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  • Writer's pictureDesiree Gutierrez

Studio Ghibli Fest of 2023

Each year certain dates are reserved to showcase Hayao Miyazaki’s well known animated films. From the large lineup, “Ponyo” is my most favorite childhood movie of all time. It was made in 2008 and is making its way to their 15th anniversary, which is all the more reason to take the trip down memory lane. This Japanese animated film actually is an adaptation from the famous “Little Mermaid.” Other memorable and well liked movies are “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Spirited Away.” Usually, the theaters in the United States offer the subbed and dubbed version of the films. Subbed meaning that the film is in its original language and it also offers subtitles of the viewers preferred language. Growing up watching “Ponyo” I was first introduced to the dubbed, which was easier to understand since it was already voiced over using English speaking actors.

The main character Ponyo is actually a princess goldfish that encounters a boy by the name of Sosuke. She turns into a human using her magic since her father is actually king of the ocean. Throughout the movie you get to see the relationship between Ponyo and Sosuke grow and it warms the hearts of many. Ponyo’s voice actor in the English version is Noah Cyrus, and she couldn’t have played the role any better. Since the animation’s characters are young children, it makes it so much more heart warming. The whole purpose of the film is how Sosuke’s everlasting love for Ponyo will be the reason to keep her human. Without that, Ponyo will have no choice but to return to the ocean because using magic on land can create many problems for society.

I believe the reason I hold the animation so dear to my heart is because of the carefree characters and wild imagery. This film uses vivid colors especially since it deals with a lot of underwater creatures.The reason for Ponyo’s name comes from the Japanese origin meaning “soft” or “squishy,” this fits her characteristics perfectly. I have found myself time and time again wanting to reach into the screen to become a part of the fantasy world. More specifically, the scene where Ponyo and Sosuke are drinking a warm cup of honey milk. Hayoa Miyazaki has shaped the childhood of many, and will be remembered for some of the best animated film productions.

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