Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ponyo and Miyazaki

Okay, I was going to tackle Airbender, but I love this movie not to do this.

Ponyo is a gorgeously charming film about a sea princess in love with a human boy and longs to become human. Yes, it's an adaptation of the little mermaid, but it is a beautiful re-interpretation of it, from the master of anime Hayao Miyazaki.

It's actually really hard to separate this film from Miyazaki's other masterpiece works. So, let's put them together. NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle are just some of the movies he's done and are considered anime classics by many, myself included.

All of his works are full of imagination and magic, usually with very thoughtful children characters that go on quests, not for self-discovery, but to explore and ultimately do good for the world. There is often a very subtle, yet very meaningful environmental theme to his works that while is present, does not distract from the unfolding story.

What also is remarkable about his works is that there often are no villains; each film explores the views of opposing sides, with one seeming to be the obvious villain. However, through the stories, both the characters and the audience discovers the humanity of each character, even the non-human characters. This delightful character development illustrates that evil often depends on a point of view and that a lot of the time, what we see are good people trying to do good with the resources and information they have.

In some works, there are scenes of violence, however, Miyazaki's films are lovely classics suitable for families, adults and movies lovers alike. And in conclusion, I highly recommend and encourage my readers to watch, if you already haven't done so.

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