Friday, May 14, 2010

Movie Night: Ponyo

How can you get more Japanese than Hello Kitty pocky sticks? Find them in the oriental section of your grocery store. Caution: they taste strongly of partially-hydrogenated soybean oil, but the kids love them.

For an extra special movie night in March, we watched Ponyo. Click here for the trailer. Ignore the movie reviewer at the beginning who can't pronounce her subject. Originally released in Japan, Disney does a convincing job dubbing all of Hayao Miyazaki's films. This is a very creative twist on Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid." Forget mermaids. Ponyo starts out looking more like a goldfish with a face. When she is rescued by . . . cute-boy-with-very-Japanese-name, she likes him and decides she wants to become human so she can be with him. Lucky for her, her dad is an eccentric mad scientist with blue eye shadow (he was human, but hated them, so he moved under the sea where he is trying to resurrect ancient, extinct ocean creatures). An accidental tumble into the elixir of life and, voila! "she's a little girl with a round tummy."
One of my favorite parts of the movie is the Senior Center the boy's mom works at. The senior citizens are fabulous, well developed supporting characters.
Clean Rating: The questionables present: Ponyo's mom is once called "the goddess of mercy;" and a little playdate--ing before 16. The famous kiss? Well, Ponyo is in a bubble and the boy is told to kiss the bubble. Although he just happens to kiss the part closest to her face. I give it 4 stars for cleanliness, about on par with Monsters Inc.

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