Gake No Ue No Ponyo

I’ve just bought 3 DVD from Studio Ghibli and planning to review them all one by one. However, next month I will not review the one that I’ve just bought, I will review Hotaru no Hoka because it’s related to Indonesian Independence day.

I already expressed that I love Studio Ghibli’s animation far more than Disney, even Pixar. I still adore the art of drawing rather than digital animation. I find drawing animation (I don’t really know how do people call it, but I hope you do understand what I mean by drawing animation) has more heart than digital animation.


I’m going to write a bit about Gake no Ue no Ponyo (崖の上のポニョ), or Ponyo on the cliff. The story is lighter than Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away) and the art is also different. Spirited Away is full of sophisticated art while Ponyo is rather childish. Ponyo is inspired by Little Mermaid, Hayao Miyazaki rewrites the story into something with more Japanese Taste poured into it. The animation is so colorful and I love how they play with those colors.

The story is opened by the appearance of a man in stripped suit trying to make the ocean more colorful. He carried small creatures that looked like golden fish, but they were not golden fish at all, they have face that look like human. One of the oldest came out of the ship and took a ride on a jelly fish. She was carried far from home into a dirty harbor. A little boy named Sousuke rescued the fish and took it home. He named it Ponyo. Ponyo understood human’s language, Ponyo would squirt water from its mouth whenever it heard someone talking bad thing about Ponyo. Sousuke soon found out that Ponyo could speak, Ponyo’s first sentence was ‘Ponyo Sousuke Suki’ (Ponyo likes Sousuke). But the man in the stripped suit took Ponyo away from Sousuke.

The man in the stripped suit was Ponyo’s father and Ponyo was actually a girl, her name is Brünnhilde. She refused to be called with her name and wanted to be called as Ponyo. She wanted to be a human and she was able to shift her shape into human-like, although still imperfect, because she had tasted Sousuke’s blood. Because of her father’s elixir, she could turn into a complete human and ran away from the house. Ponyo searched sousuke by riding waves in shape of fishes, it’s one of my favorite scenes. She found Sousuke. Lisa, Sousuke’s mother, took her and cared for her. Ponyo didn’t realize that she had magical power which was too powerful for human world. Her coming to land had carried a big storm and drowned the entire town.

Her father wanted to take her away again, but her mother prevented him from doing so. She wanted to give Sousuke a chance to prove his love. However, if he couldn’t accept Ponyo for whatever she is, Ponyo will turned into sea foam. If Sousuke accept Ponyo, then Ponyo’s magical power will be gone. Lisa left before both children at home because she needed to check on the old people in nursing home. When Sousuke and Ponyo woke from their sleep, the water had almost reached inside the house and there are so many bizarre creatures swimming in the sea.

Ponyo and Sousuke went to the town to find Lisa, they were riding Sousuke’s toy boat which already been enlarged by Ponyo.

On their way to the nursing house, Ponyo turned back into fish. Sousuke met Ponyo’s mother and told her that he would like Ponyo as a fish or as a human, it didn’t really matter for him. Sousuke had said the right words.

I really like this animation…it can entertained both grown up and children. I love watching this animation without subtitle because the language is so easy 😉 children’s language is really easy to comprehend. The first time I watched it, I still use subtitle, but the second time does not need subtitle. Like I said before, it’s not as deep as Spirited Away but it’s very enjoyable to watch it.

The animation is directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki with Joe Hishaishi, once again, as the music composer.


My other reviews on Studio Ghibli’s amazing animations:


  1. This is probably my 3rd favorite Miyazaki film right under Howl and Laputa…it is the pretties and most intricate Ghibli film by far and also one of the cutest anime films I’ve ever seen:) I just love this one!!

    1. It is also in my top 5 Ghibli. Although the story is not as complicated as other Ghibli movies, but you’re right by saying it is the cutest animation. I also love the colors they have chosen for this animation.

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