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The Green Life: Movie Review Friday: Ponyo

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September 25, 2009

Movie Review Friday: Ponyo

Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that's currently in theaters or available on DVD. Seen a good eco-flick lately? Send us a short review and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.

Ponyo (2009)

In theaters now

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the creator of Princess Mononoke, Ponyo is an animated film about a magical goldfish who gets stuck in a piece of trash stirred up by a bottom-trawling fishing boat and is rescued by a little boy named Sosuke. After licking a cut on his finger, she becomes human and they fall in love.

Ponyo’s transformation, however, creates an imbalance in the natural world – a violent storm rages, flooding Sosuke’s village and threatening his parents. The moon draws closer to Earth. Sosuke's and Ponyo’s love is tested as the fate of the planet hangs in balance.

Ponyo's environmental message is clear: The world's natural balance must be respected. The beauty of the ocean, teeming with life, is juxtaposed against pollution's ugliness. Ponyo’s grumpy wizard dad is repulsed by humans and their trash.

But the misanthropy ends there. Ultimately, the movie exudes a childlike cheerfulness by focusing on the relationship between Ponyo and Sosuke. The art is bright and bold, with wild images such as the one of Ponyo racing atop waves shaped like giant fish. For those who enjoy fairy tales with a green twist, Ponyo is a fun pick. 

 -- Année Tousseau

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