Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ponyo in English?

Rumors that Studio Ghibli's latest, Ponyo on the cliff by the sea, will be released here August 14 have reached these benighted shores...

It seems to be as popular in Japan as Miyazaki's other films, a good indication that U.S. distribution will be sparse and boxoffice abysmal, but Disney seems to be on board.

Judging from the trailers, hype & stuff, I'd say Ponyo "the girl-fish ... a mad ball of energy with popping eyes, russet-gold tresses and stick limbs purpose-grown to escape Fujimoto, the evil magician who rules the sea depths" may be the most unintentionally accusative heroine since Alice — in fact, Miyazaki may have focused too brightly on his demons this time. No, no, you say. The evil he speaks of is oceanic pollution...

(Yes, yes, everybody loves a damsel, especially in distress. But why do Miyazaki's damsels have to be so young? Kiki is not really an adult at 13, is she? Why is Porco Rosso a red-faced pig? Who wears NoFace's mask? What happens to a young girl who gets very old very fast? Does she Howl?)

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