I’ve loved Hayao Miyazaki’s exquisite anime creations since catching Princess Mononoke by chance on a damp October afternoon in 2000. I was entranced by this window into another culture’s legends. Since then I’ve watched all his films and I’m continually impressed by the creativity Studio Ghibli cram into each creation.
Ponyo is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid. When a fish-girl is rescued by a boy named Sosuke and christened Ponyo, she decides that she wants to become human to be with him. She escapes from her overbearing father and accidentally releases his stored magic into the ocean, endangering the entire world. This film is simply magical, especially in the sequence where Ponyo rides the rising waves from her home to Sosuke’s island which is a leaping, soaring masterpiece of hand-drawn animation. Although it's technically a kid’s film, Ponyo will delight the young and the young at heart in equal measure.