Hayao Miyazaki's Got Another Anime - Ponyo on a Cliff

March 20, 2007

Hayao MiyazakiMiyazaki just keeps on making them, non stop, and I don't know about you, but I love it. Hayao Miyazaki is brilliant. He's one of the most talented filmmakers of this century. Even if you rarely watch anime, I know you still enjoy watching his movies. There's always some humane depth to them that isn't even found in any Hollywood filmmaker's live action movies. Fortunately he's got another one that's been in the works set for a summer 2008 release.

Studio Ghibli is producing Gake no ue no Ponyo, in English meaning Ponyo on a Cliff, which will be about a goldfish princess named Ponyo who wants to become human and her relationship with a 5-year-old boy. I've always found his stories vastly intriguing, and I expect this to be the same. The latest Studio Ghibli production, Tales from Earthsea, has yet to make its way over here, but hopefully it will soon. More on the script and his inspirations ahead.

Miyazaki is writing the original script and basing the boy on his grandson, and the seaside setting was inspired by his stay on Japan's Inland Sea, renowned for its scenic views. He also said that he intends to make the film with a pastel watercolor, hand-painted look instead of CGI. How many directors can you really say took that much inspiration from their surroundings and life and put it so emotionally into a film? Almost none.

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Spare us the hellstorm Miyazaki has unleashed upon the animation world with those monstrosities he calls films. He seems to have two distinct morphs of movie, neither one very good. The first is usually just him babbling about why nature is always good and man is always evil as he forces us to hear his characters have at least one speech about how good a person they are because they defend nature. Yes, Hayao, we are destroying nature, yes we are polluting the environment, how about telling us something new? He's not making his audience think with these types of movies, he's just selling them a guilt trip. The second is his other equally bad but far less offensive movie type where a female character is just usually crying and/or doing chores or wandering around a fantasy environment like they're on the world's dullest sightseeing tour. Just look at them, Kiki, Chihiro, Sophie, they spend more than half the movie crying or doing chores, it's like he made the exact same movie at least three times and switched the setting slightly. Then he gets praised for using a “strong” female protagonist because she happens to look determined in one single scene while she cries and whines the rest of the time. Miyazaki is not being creative. He utilizes the same themes and character types in every movie with little to no variation. Everyone praises his works for looking pretty while being distracted from the utter lack of realistic or meaningful story or character.

Glass on Nov 22, 2010

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