Monday, August 17, 2009

Ponyo Redux

Not to change the subject, but has anyone else noticed that Ponyo in her "goldfish" stage is drawn like a used condom? That is an intensely weird movie.

Miyazaki always affects inability to draw certain things; in Spirited Away, it was birds, which he drew like sock puppets. This from the guy who can draw every rivet on an Austro-Hungarian Hansa-Brandenburg CC! Goldfish may not be easy to draw — Walt Kelly, a Disney artist at the time, once remarked that there's a natural hoochie-coochie motion to a goldfish — but Miyazaki, one suspects, won't draw a goldfish, for the same reason he draws his ocean waves as squirts. With eyes. It's personal. It's private. Don't ask!

And Ponyo's second phase...? What kind of little girl has chicken legs? A young Baba Yaga? A witch-in-training, wise beyond her tender years? Dare we suggest, even, the disposable kind, like the gnawed-up bones in a Colonel Sanders box? Are we so sure, as Roger Ebert opines, that the biology of Ponyo is "wisely" unexplained? Maybe it's just cultural, part of that inexplicable Japanese GothLoli varicosity that bulges up everywhere, almost, by sheer prevalence, innocently.

This time around, in any case, Hayao Miyazaki is not so much Hans Christian Andersen as Lewis Carroll, and like the good Reverend Dodgson, maybe he got some 'splaining to do. Like Susano'o-no-Mikoto, Miyazaki has now flung one too many flayed ponies at the Muse's loom.

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