You could call this a Nemo meets Little Mermaid in Japanese and it would be fine. You could also call it a very simple love story that transcends age as the protagonists are 5 year olds (or at least one and a little goldfish). But the director Miyazaki who did works like “Spirited Away” has done well again to create a relatively simple and straight forward story that audiences from all age groups can enjoy, and then go back and watch it again for more nuances and detail, despite the simple story, which consists of a goldfish child of the sea wizard and the sea goddess who falls in love with a little boy and the story of how they get separated and re-united.
The animation is traditional 2 D here, no fancy Pixar CGI, yet, without the usual eye-popping colors and dimensions, you still get a good sense of movement and the imagination in the director’s mind.
Action : despite being an anime, with the DTS-ES equipped HK DVD, the surrounds are well used for ambience and when the tsunami comes, you get plenty of bass too. Not a bad effort, but the dialogue is the main thrust and it is clear and easy to follow. Note the Chinese version will be in SS 2.0. 3/5
Chick factor : being an anime, there is little of this, apart from the cuteness Ponyo and the feisty mum
Should you buy or rent or avoid this? – well, I recommend buying, and watching it alone, then with your kids or your partner. It has the depth and watching the lovely Ponyo in her exuberance as she rides the waves with the single objective of meeting her beloved young boy is a joy that transcends age and language barriers. Then watching the destruction trail behind her and the subsequent calmness and the strange fish in the water makes you feel like a child in a glass bottom boat again.