Synopsis: The latest animated adventure from Hayao Miyazaki ("Spirited Away") follows the story of a young goldfish named Ponyo and her quest to become human.
Round-up: On Wired's blog, Scott Thill concludes that "'Ponyo' is a refreshing ride through the seaside, short on bumps and long on heart." Scott Foundas in the Village Voice raves<... /a> about the film, saying "It's a movie for anyone who, like Miyazaki himself, can still happily commune with his inner five-year-old. Like much of Miyazaki's work, the film carries an unsubtle environmental message about the littering and overharvesting of the ocean. Yet, as he glances at the world once more through a child's wide, unspoiled eyes, Miyazaki seems to find hope for renewal." In an unenthusiastic but not loathsome review, Slant's Andrew Schenker says, "If the film finally seems a little confused about what direction it wants to take (early hints at social critique involving the stresses of the nuclear family and man's deleterious effect on his environment, for example, are raised only to be dropped), then its lack of definite direction jibes well with its preteen viewpoint, which makes a virtue out of random and finely imagined bits of business. Only in the film's ending does this lack of cohesion become problematic, as Miyazaki attempts a tidy resolution, papering over any narrative contradictions with some trite claptrap about the power of love." The AP's Christie Lemire thinks the film is "beautiful but suprisingly boring," saying, "If you're 5 years old, or under the influence of some sort of hallucinogenic drug, "Ponyo" is probably awesome. Clearly, these are the ideal scenarios in which to watch the latest animated fantasy from Japanese writer-director Hayao Miyazaki."