Ponyo (2009) Hayao Miyazaki
In 2009, after the worldwide success of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away (Oscar for Best Animated Feature in 2001) and Howl’s Moving Castle, the brilliant animator Hayao Miyazaki produced this marvellous story of love and fantasy, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.
One morning, when playing on the beach, little Sosuke finds a goldfish trapped in a jam jar. Sosuke frees the fish from the jar and gives her the name of Ponyo, promising to protect her forever more. But Ponyo’s father, a wizard who lives at the bottom of the sea, forces the small fish to return to the depths. Determined to become human, Ponyo runs away to search for Sosuke and accidentally releases a magic potion into the ocean, transforming her sisters into giant waves that threaten to flood Sosuke’s village. Love and responsibility, the ocean and life, are all to be found in this fantastic world, a place where magic also forms part of the natural order of everyday life.