Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

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Joey
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Post by Joey » Sat Jul 04, 2009 7:35 am

squirpy wrote: SPOILER BELOW:
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.
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The only thing I took issue with was that "test of love" because they built it up a lot, but then I didn't feel like it was a real test at all. Also, how cool were those shots of the world below the water once it all flooded? I love fish swimming around on roads.
Ha ha, yeah, the test of love ended up just being someone saying, "So, will you love her forever?" And Sasuke replying, "Yeah! Okay!"

So, this sort of anti-climactic ending seemed a lot more intentional than that of Howl's Moving Castle. While a lot of weird elements of the book in Howl were just sort of unexplained and suddenly thrown in at the end, which I think was perhaps a mistake, the lack of extreme conflict in Ponyo seemed like almost the whole point of the film. Like, the idea I got was, "The world may seem like a scary place, but it's actually a very fun and exciting life!"
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Post by gau dog » Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:57 pm

Joey wrote:
squirpy wrote: SPOILER BELOW:
.
.
.
The only thing I took issue with was that "test of love" because they built it up a lot, but then I didn't feel like it was a real test at all. Also, how cool were those shots of the world below the water once it all flooded? I love fish swimming around on roads.
Ha ha, yeah, the test of love ended up just being someone saying, "So, will you love her forever?" And Sasuke replying, "Yeah! Okay!"

So, this sort of anti-climactic ending seemed a lot more intentional than that of Howl's Moving Castle. While a lot of weird elements of the book in Howl were just sort of unexplained and suddenly thrown in at the end, which I think was perhaps a mistake, the lack of extreme conflict in Ponyo seemed like almost the whole point of the film. Like, the idea I got was, "The world may seem like a scary place, but it's actually a very fun and exciting life!"
*Other Movie Spoilers*
This test without showing how or explaining why reminds me of Spirited Away's ending: Which one of these pigs are your mother and father? *stare* None! "Oh, you're right!" It's abruptness also reminds me of Whisper of the Heart's ending: "will you marry me?"

And here's an interesting Ponyo/Sky Crawlers conversation between Suzuki and Oshii: http://2chan.us/wordpress/2009/07/11/ma ... -crawlers/
That's my biggest thing on post-Mononoke Miyazaki: interesting, delightful to look at, and entrancing but structurally weak, unexplained, and illogical.

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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by rohwer » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:13 am

Anyone had a chance to see it yet? Like it?
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by gau dog » Sun Aug 16, 2009 3:05 am

Seen it, liked it. It's got all the heart even though I'd agree about being uneasy with the illogical mechanics of the ending. Miyazaki continues his unique storytelling. Works fantastic as a film experience, though flawed if you try to make sense of things.

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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by Kazu » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:49 pm

This was one of the most adorable things I have ever seen. I loved the film, and it's just one of those works that is really difficult to critique, since it is made with such a wonderfully carefree and loving hand. What surprised me was how emotionally affected I was by the relationships in the film. While the story might not reach the heights of Miyazaki's previous works, I do feel he is at his very best as a director of people and human emotions in Ponyo. I can already see I'll be watching this film over and over again while working on my books...
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by Ganter » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:54 pm

I felt like I just spent a day at Hanauma Bay in Hawaii, looking at fish and marveling at how pretty life is. There's really not much more to Ponyo than that, I think. It's a very sweet, adorable film! Plus I loved the little icons next to everyone's names during the ending credits. It made me think of my days in middle school collecting stickers for my diaries for some reason. :P

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Re:

Post by [adam] » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:47 pm

gau dog wrote:
Joey wrote:
squirpy wrote: SPOILER BELOW:
.
.
.
The only thing I took issue with was that "test of love" because they built it up a lot, but then I didn't feel like it was a real test at all. Also, how cool were those shots of the world below the water once it all flooded? I love fish swimming around on roads.
Ha ha, yeah, the test of love ended up just being someone saying, "So, will you love her forever?" And Sasuke replying, "Yeah! Okay!"

So, this sort of anti-climactic ending seemed a lot more intentional than that of Howl's Moving Castle. While a lot of weird elements of the book in Howl were just sort of unexplained and suddenly thrown in at the end, which I think was perhaps a mistake, the lack of extreme conflict in Ponyo seemed like almost the whole point of the film. Like, the idea I got was, "The world may seem like a scary place, but it's actually a very fun and exciting life!"
*Other Movie Spoilers*
This test without showing how or explaining why reminds me of Spirited Away's ending: Which one of these pigs are your mother and father? *stare* None! "Oh, you're right!" It's abruptness also reminds me of Whisper of the Heart's ending: "will you marry me?"

And here's an interesting Ponyo/Sky Crawlers conversation between Suzuki and Oshii: http://2chan.us/wordpress/2009/07/11/ma ... -crawlers/
That's my biggest thing on post-Mononoke Miyazaki: interesting, delightful to look at, and entrancing but structurally weak, unexplained, and illogical.
I disagree with this. I think the individual viewer created the build up within themselves, so for some, the bar was raised for a wonderfully climactic ending. For a child, loving someone or something you care about is not a test; it just is. Like Totoro, this movie didn't necessarily tell a cohesive, narrative storyline so much as it was a study of human nature and interaction - a "slice of life" film. Miyazaki has always excelled at that, and that's why I enjoy his films so much. The colored pencil backgrounds were so refreshing, and helped keep the carefree nature of a child's innocence and wonder highlighted at all time. If you feel that his films are structurally weak, unexplained, and illogical, then perhaps your watching the films expecting something other then what it's offering? At least, that's just my perception of the films.

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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by gau dog » Sun Aug 16, 2009 9:54 pm

Miyazaki always pulls off the emotionalisms in his stories very well. I'm fine with less than climactic endings, and ending on the high emotion of love is good enough but all the other characters were treating it like some big test and it was just a pleasant affirmation. It felt like nothing. There was no real heightened conflict, danger, surprise, or absence to overcome. Of course Ponyo and Sosuke love each other; was there ever any difficulty or doubt? At least Miyazaki made it a little showy.

Totoro the movie made more sense though Totoro the character less so. To me, My Neighbor Totoro was mainly about discovering a magical childhood friend to cope with a world of real worries (sick mother, getting lost).

I love slice of life too though I'd say Miyazaki's generally more of a maker of entertaining adventure fantasy films than "slice of life" films. Although there are slice of life moments (the at home and ramen scenes're great), Ponyo is hardly the likes of Only Yesterday, Ocean Waves, My Neighbor Totoro, My Neighbors the Yamadas, Whisper of the Heart, or Kiki's Delivery Service. Isao Takahata has more realist tenancies. I think Miyazaki's later films say "magic is amazing" more than "real life is amazing".

At this point, I'm not expecting something other than what Miyazaki's recent tenancies, but I'm desperately hoping he returns to the same type of less magically reliant logical narrative movies that I hold on a golden pedestal. The ones from Cagliostro to Mononoke. Movies past Mononoke, I put on silver and bronze pedestals.

Ponyo's art is fantastic; the colored pencil backgrounds really look great. This is just me but I just prefer less fantasy based plots. Too many times magic is used to make stuff happen. And the character visuals get weirder after Mononoke. It's hard to say that since I can appreciate fantasy, even random stuff like Disney's Alice in Wonderland though explaining it as a dream does make it more palatable. And their craziness was for comical purposes at least.

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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by mr cow » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:41 am

man i loved this movie, even if it didn't really make an ounce of sense. jen and i were actually wondering if something got lost in the translation? although it doesn't really matter to me since noah lindsey cyrus voicing ponyo was ONE OF THE BEST THINGS EVER!

HAAAAAAAAM!!!

anyhow. gorgeous, adorable, wonderful miyazaki film. as usual. and the theme song is still stuck in my head. :D
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by gau dog » Mon Aug 17, 2009 11:35 am

mr cow wrote:and the theme song is still stuck in my head. :D
You mean THIS song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bYDtPcRMlg

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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by mr cow » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:11 pm

gau dog wrote:
mr cow wrote:and the theme song is still stuck in my head. :D
You mean THIS song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bYDtPcRMlg
umm... yeah. but the version BEFORE that one- during the credits. before it got disney channelized.
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by mr cow » Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:18 pm

mr cow wrote:
gau dog wrote:
mr cow wrote:and the theme song is still stuck in my head. :D
You mean THIS song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bYDtPcRMlg
umm... yeah. but the version BEFORE that one- during the credits. before it got disney channelized.
great. now THAT version is stuck in my head...
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by dark77778 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:43 am

The morning after watching the movie, my friend and I had pancakes and "haaaaaam" for breakfast! It's a very cute movie.

What I found this film had a lot of, was pacing. The film never missed a beat and that's something that I think Ghibli has down to a fine art. Every moment hangs in your mind and there's never a time when you feel like the movie is going too fast, or too slowly. It takes just as much time as is needed, and the pacing is even winked at [minor artistic spoiler] in the gradual landscape trasformation.[/minor artistic spoiler] The only time when things felt rushed were in times of vagueness in the story, which is a shame because some of the shorter explinations could've been vastly benafitial to the overall story.

*Spoilers*

Yeah, the "Test of Love" and the "BALANCE HAS BEEN RESTORED!" parts were probably the weakest bits of the film, but at least they left in the sea foam reference! Did anyone else find the evil-archway to be a little anti-climatic as well? Still, it was very entertaining, and the animation was gorgeous as usual.
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by Joey » Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:28 am

gau dog wrote:
mr cow wrote:and the theme song is still stuck in my head. :D
You mean THIS song? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bYDtPcRMlg
My God....it is just as I feared............

So, Mike, was this one the version that was featured in the credits?

(also here's a live version for extra credit)
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Re: Ponyo on a Cliff (2008)

Post by mr cow » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:22 am

Joey wrote:So, Mike, was this one the version that was featured in the credits?
yeah! that's the one! but in english... i thought. now i'm just confused. regardless the language, the tune is darn catchy. :D
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