Ponyo ★★★½

Irresistibly charming, immensely adorable & truly magical, Ponyo is an intimately crafted, elegantly narrated & richly animated tale that takes a leaflet out of "The Little Mermaid" story to deliver a cinema that brims with originality, imagination & creativity from start to finish and is a joyous celebration of childhood as well as the innocence it resonates.

Set in an oceanside town, Ponyo tells the story of its titular character; a goldfish princess who is rescued by a 5-year old boy who names her "Ponyo". The two bond quickly but her father brings her back into the ocean after which she unleashes enough magic to cause an imbalance in the natural order of life & makes her intention clear of becoming a human.

Written & directed by Hayao Miyazaki who has continued to defy every expectation with his subsequent features, Ponyo is another wonder from the master storyteller that presents him capturing the beauty & cheerfulness of early years with same passion & simplicity that was evident in his very own 1988 classic My Neighbor Totoro.

While the story continues to evoke a sense of warmth & love from its audience throughout its runtime, what's really heartwarming about it is the attention it gives to a few elements that actually mean a great deal to children but is often overlooked by adults. The portrayal of childhood has always been extremely convincing in every Miyazaki film & Ponyo is no exception.

The hand-drawn animation itself bears resemblance to drawings made by children yet there is stunning level of detail in those frames. And the breezy pace with which its plot unfolds is a definite plus but when coupled with its mesmerizing score, harmless tone & simple themes, Ponyo on an overall scale ends up being an absolute delight for viewers of all ages & is definitely worth your time n money.

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