Directed by: Hayo Miyazaki
Written by: Hayo Miyazaki (screenplay)
Starring: Noah Cyrus, Frankie Jonas, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson
For those who love the art of Japanese anime, Hayo Miyazaki is widely considered the God. The man behind such works as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke delivers his latest, Ponyo, with a wide color palette and unique take on Hans Christian Anderson’s “Little Mermaid.”
It starts off underwater. The young fish we will soon know as Ponyo (Noah Cyrus) makes her way to the surface in an elaborate, beautiful opening sequence. When she arrives, she meets Sosuke (Frankie Jonas), a vibrant and happy five year old boy who rescues her from a glass jar. The fish licks the wound, healing it and binding her DNA with that of a human. She begins to take on human characteristics, learning to speak and sprouting limbs. All the while, her father (Liam Neeson) is keen on keeping her the way she is, and takes her back into the underwater realm. She breaks free, and once liberated, unleashes the sea and makes her way back to Sosuke.