Acclaimed Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki reprises his nineth animated film with PonyO, which revolves around a happy friendship between a young human girl and a cute goldfish called Ponyo. The story revolves around a pet store owned by Ponyo's father wherein Ponyo lives with his two best friends Mommy and Daddy. But one day, a strange thief interrupts the store and steals the all of the animals in it including Ponyo's pet fish, Chunk. The thief then takes off with the stolen fish and Mommy and Daddy are left greatly distressed since they didn't get to save their beloved pet. However, thanks to the magical powers of a fairy godmother and her magic pump, they are able to track down their missing friend and find that Ponyo has been kidnapped by pirates.
Ever since then, Ponyo has been living among the aquatic creatures of Ogasawara Islands (her homeland) and seeks to return to the mainland with them. Along the way, she forms a new life with the help of humans but since she is so accustomed to being among aquatic creatures, she is not able to adapt well to life on land. When humans come to visit Ogasawara Island, however, Ponyo gets to meet the new girl in town and the two get to know each other. Then the two begin to pursue each other and the story starts to take shape. Miyazaki is known for creating unique stories with his unique style of animation, so this movie certainly ranks up there as one of his most memorable films.
This film was made available to audiences in Japan a few months before it opened in the USA and received warm welcomes by both the critics and audience. The opening was done at the Tokyo Disney Land and was met with over three million tickets. On the other hand, the film festival in Los Angeles where the movie was showing was also a huge hit. Although Ponyo performed below expectations, the film festival was said to have been more entertaining and successful than the opening ceremony.
Directed by Tsubasa Kimino, Ponyo is a story of Ponyo (Kenny Shimatsu), a five-year-olds orphan who lives with his uncle and younger sister on the Ogasawara Islands. One day, Ponyo's Uncle invites Ponyo and his sister to go fishing, but upon arriving they realize that there is no place for them to fish because the big fish has washed up on the shore. Their uncle then brings them to Ogasawara City where they meet their new friend, the human Ponyo Chiyo.
Ponyo begins with Ponyo singing and dancing his heart out at a local kiddie pageant, but soon realizes that he has no friends and wants to spend the rest of the day at his Uncle's house. He is therefore forced to work in his uncle's fish processing plant, where he meets the cute and spirited Chiyo. While there, he gets to know her better and the two begin dating, with the knowledge that Chiyo will marry him once she becomes an adult.
But as the years go by, Ponyo and Chiyo become closer as if they were really brother and sister and therefore the film ends with the two lovers planning to get married. This is the premise of the Japanese movie franchise known as "Ponyo". Since the first film, "Ponyo", was a box office hit, Japanese companies have turned to animation to create future blockbusters. There have been four feature length animated movies made from Japanese cartoon movies and three television shows. The most recent of which is the very popular My Little Pony: Equestrian Princess and the Elements of Friendship.