I went with Whey* to go see Ponyo last night. I generally find Miyazaki movies a little slow, and Miyazaki-protects-nature a little cheezy, but enjoy them anyway. Howl’s Moving Castle is one of my favorite movies, and what I would probably consider Miyazaki at his best. Ponyo was almost that good again. The cheezy pro-environment bits were very toned down, opting for showing tons of garbage and having a generally cantankerous character be cantankerous about that too. Everything was very pretty, which I expect from Miyazaki. The pacing was faster than much of his other movies, and that was good thing. It was a good dub-translation, too.
Its only weak point was the ending. They build to this big event, and the gorgeous dream-like quality that develops in the building is perfect. There’s a hint of real, solid danger for Ponyo, and I genuinely wasn’t sure quite how it was going to end. Then then bam, everything’s okay, no worries, it wasn’t that big of a deal after all. I’d have liked another 8 minutes of movie where there’s an actual challenge that’s dealt with and resolved.
Still, excellent movie. If you get the chance to see it in the theater, do.