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Post by EricJ » August 5th, 2009, 3:39 am

I hope it's better than Howl's Moving Castle. :?

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Post by eddievalient » August 5th, 2009, 11:45 am

I doubt it. "Howl's" was pretty awesome (though I still think "Princess Mononoke" is his best).
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Post by Dan » August 5th, 2009, 12:24 pm

eddievalient wrote:I still think "Princess Mononoke" is his best.
In agreement with you there. 8)

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Post by Jafar » August 5th, 2009, 1:09 pm

Well, Ponyo pales in comparison with Mononoke, Howl or Spirited Away...but then, that could be just me.

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Post by Riv » August 5th, 2009, 7:45 pm

Saw this a while back. Was terribly disappointed with the plot, which is a pity as the animation is so darn good! Every scene was pure eye candy, with such an attention to detail, from the vibrant sea life to the simplistic yet almost tangible waves. I particularly loved any scene with Sousuke, who moved just as you would expect a five year old to move (Climing down adult-sized steps! Cautiously eating hot noodles! Pushing a boat!).

However...

The second half of the film was all over the place, both in tone, plotting and pacing.
click to reveal content
How could any mother leave two five year olds alone to fend for themselves in the middle of A HURRICANE which apparently FLOODS THE WORLD? And why are all the villagers so nonplussed about their livelihoods being literally washed away?
I know the story was supposed to be childlike in its simplicity, but that's no excuse to make stuff up as you go along, or have characters make contrived decisions just to make the story work (kind of).

The film felt far too truncated, with a worse deus ex ending than even Howl's (hey, I was the missing prince all along! No more war!). It felt almost as if a whole final reel was missing... when Sousuke and Ponyo set off on their adventure I was expecting, well, adventure! Or at least some decent payoff! Instead, all you get is
click to reveal content
all the main characters are gathered under a big jellyfish, with some exposition that the audience cannot hear. Huh?
The art is still gorgeous though :wink:

Extra note: I guess Miyazaki was aiming for the tone he achieved with My Neighbour Totoro (a dreamy child's view of the world with realistic elements); however, the innocence in Ponyo felt slightly more forced and the dreamlike elements more dislocated. Maybe it's just nostalgia.

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Post by Bill1978 » August 5th, 2009, 11:18 pm

I'll admit that I'm only a recent convert to the work by Studio Ghibli thanks to Spirited Away. I quite enjoy their work, it's even encouraged me to check out other anime but unfortunately for some reason they always appear to way out their for my thinking ability which is strange when my brain can handle Studio Ghibli productions.

While I am a little hesistant abot this film mainly cause it does look like it's aimed for the little kids, I am hoping that because of that particular reason this can be a hit at the US Box Office. It would be nice to see this crack the Top Ten and who knows maybe it will help The Princess And The Frog be a big hit, if people are willing to fork out money for a traditional animated film from Japan surely they'll fork out money for a traditional animated film from the 'home' of animated films.

The recent trailers have alleviated some of the concerns I've had, it does look like it will be an enjoyable film, however I do know that I will have to wait until the DVD release to see it. I can imagine how some of you must be feeling though with it's release since it's been a long spell since the last Ghibli movie. Thankfully Australia was able to release Tales From Earthsea so my spell isn't as long.

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Post by EricJ » August 6th, 2009, 12:37 am

eddievalient wrote:I doubt it. "Howl's" was pretty awesome (though I still think "Princess Mononoke" is his best).
Howl, I found myself agreeing with Roger Ebert (and when even Ebert thumbs-down's a Miyazaki, somethin' be wrong):
It looks pretty, but in throwing out the book, Monday-hashing his favorite shticks from his last films (oo, look, Howl's temptation is bubbling his arm again, just like in Mononoke!), tossing some other stuff into the pot and not bothering to explain one danged lick of it, after about an hour of it, you go into overload and....really just don't care. :?
I couldn't believe a Miyazaki movie would ever have me "waiting for it to end", and that's coming from someone thought Mononoke was a long stretch in a theater but got through it.

As for Ponyo, think it's not an accident that human-Ponyo bears an uncanny resemblance to Mei-chan from "Totoro".

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Post by Dacey » August 6th, 2009, 10:59 am

eddievalient wrote:Did I read that right? Did they actually put one of those no talent Jonas hacks in there? That cuts my desire to see this down to about half. At least the dvd will have the Japanese version.
Unless I'm mistaken, he's not a member of the Jonas Brothers singing group. He's just their little brother.
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Post by GeorgeC » August 6th, 2009, 3:43 pm

Double-posting may be frowned upon but I don't like editing months-old posts, either!

Word is that this film WILL be the first Ghibli featured released to Blu ray in the US.

There are advance solicitations for both the DVD and Blu ray versions of Ponyo in the current Previews order catalog for American comic shops. These catalogs often have advance solicitations for statues and the like so take it with a grain of salt.

It's already been officially announced the Blu ray is being released in Japan.

The American version can't been too far behind.

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Post by Bill1978 » August 6th, 2009, 5:42 pm

Apparently the fans of the group refer to him as the Fourth Jonas Brother as he sometimes appears on stage with him. I think he is kinda like that Jackson Brother who never made it into the Jackson 5 - he just hangs around cause the rest of the family is there.

A question for those people who have seen the English language version, did they redo the Ponyo song into English?

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Post by GeorgeC » August 9th, 2009, 3:08 pm

Update:

http://www.zakkafilms.com/


This website has a large Flash video embedded. It shows a few seconds from the films on the DVD set including Momotaro's Sea Eagles, the propaganda film depicting the attack on Pearl Harbor through animation.

The animation quality of the shorts appears to be early 1930s/Fleischer-level.

Momotaro, on the other hand, appears to have to some fairly decent animation in it...

Seeing the Flash video clips has gotten me interested in this DVD again.

Still appears to be only sold through FilmBaby.com but it looks like it's in stock and available again.

I looked on Amazon.com and noticed there was a DVD covering World War II anime but it's out of print... http://www.amazon.com/Roots-Japanese-An ... 845&sr=1-1

Somebody also wants $120 for it which is more than I'm willing to pay for 1 DVD!

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Post by Dan » August 13th, 2009, 3:31 am

There's a great line in Roger Ebert's review of Ponyo.
Already I have heard from a few people who don’t want to see it “because it’s Japanese.” This is solid-gold ignorance.

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Post by Vernadyn » August 13th, 2009, 2:13 pm

If Ponyo proves to be underwhelming to people like Howl was compared to previous Miyazaki films, I fear the inevitable, melodramatic cries of "Miyazaki has lost his touch!!" The trope of "You're only as good as your last picture" may be widespread and to some extent understandable, but it annoys me nonetheless. And even if Miyazaki never makes a film as good as all those leading up to and including Spirited Away, he has still made an incredible contribution to not just animation, but filmmaking as a whole. Just because Hitchcock's last few pictures were perhaps not as great as what came before does not mean that he should be dismissed.

Sorry for the rant, but I've noticed this disturbing trend of "short term memory loss" regarding an artist's work to be proliferating now that the Internet allows people to write things down straight out of their brains (something I'll freely admit to doing from time to time.) And unlike with Dory, this version of short term memory loss is not charming in the least.

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Post by Ben » August 13th, 2009, 3:40 pm

Disney certainly seems to be behind the picture: they've spent a lot on a top-drawer dub and are pushing this pretty hard to mainstream audiences instead of just the arthouse crowd.

We'll have something pretty special of our own up on the site in the next couple of days, too! :)

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Post by estefan » August 13th, 2009, 8:05 pm

You can probably say a lot of that is Lasseter's influence, as he is, after all, a major Miyazaki fan. I think it's great that Disney has decided to give a Miyazaki plenty of promotion and a wide release worldwide. I was lucky enough to catch Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle theatrically, two times that I have traveled abroad, but each time the cinema had been empty.

I expect when I see Ponyo tomorrow, that the cinema will have a tad more people.

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