Distributor: Buena Vista
Running Time: 1 hour, 41 minutes
Suggested Age: 7+
My Rating: 8/10
Summary: A boy named Sosuke rescues a goldfish and names her Ponyo, unaware that the goldfish is actually a mermaid and that her father is a sorceror. Ponyo falls in love with Sosuke after licking a cut on his thumb, causing her to desire to become human.
Review: If this sounds familiar, it should. Ponyo is Miyazaki’s modernized version of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. I found this spin on the classic story enjoyable and adorable. The story has a whimsical quality and I recommend it for anyone with very young children.
Sub/Dub: Either version works, but I prefer the dub. Oh, and I want to get this out right now, since I’ve heard some outcry: Frankie Jonas was just fine as Sosuke.So what if he’s a Jonas brother? And yes, the ending song was kind of annoying, but I guess children would like it.
Violence (1/10): There is hardly any violence in the story
Language (0/10): No bad language. It’s rated G
Religious: (1/10) For the most part, the magic in the story is of the typical fairy-tale variety. Ponyo’s mother is actually the goddess of the sea. Ponyo tastes human blood when she licks a cut on Sosuke’s thumb, which gives her the ability to become human (although she has to revert to an in-between chicken-like form to perform magic). There is a slight environmental theme, but it’s not as pronounced as Princess Mononoke or Pom Poko.