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Ponyo (Blu-ray Review)

21 Feb, 2010 By: Stephanie Prange

Street 3/2/10
Box Office $15.1 million
$29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray
Rated ‘G.’
Voices of Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Liam Neeson, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Lily Tomlin, Noah Lindsey Cyrus, Frankie Jonas.

For those who have not experienced the work of Hayao Miyazaki and for those who have, Ponyo on Blu-ray Disc is a treat.

Its lush and evocative animation recalls the innocence of youth, the experience of old age and the beauty of the ocean. It should have garnered an Oscar nomination.

Also included in the story are magic and a Little Mermaid-esque love story between 5-year-olds.

As always in the stories of Miyazaki, it’s the animation that captivates the viewer in this tale of two youngsters who form a bond based on mutual need and love. The fantastic hand-drawn pictures, however, are only a backdrop to a touching story of two children who connect.

Walking on a beach near his home, young Sosuke finds a beautiful goldfish, whom he later names Ponyo. Ponyo turns out to be much more than a common goldfish — she is the daughter of a powerful wizard (Liam Neeson) and a sea goddess (Cate Blanchett).
Miyazaki’s art crosses cultures and connects to children in a very special way. He creates a kind of magic of his own with the younger set.

Extras include featurettes on the Japanese settings that inspired Ponyo, Miyazaki’s inspiration for the story, the Studio Ghibli contributions and American voiceover actors.

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