‘Ponyo’ with my son

9 09 2009

The other day, we have been to Ponyo movie for the benefit of our 2-year old son. He actually watches lots of kids’ movies at home. His favorites are Lion King, Shrek, Finding Nemo and Stuart Little among others. But our previous attempts to make him watch a movie in a theater were futile. After a long gap, as we decided he had grown up a little bit to able to engage more in the movie on the big screen, we  picked up the latest hit Ponyo for our experiment.  We have been showing him the trailer for a few days and were satisfied by his interest and eagerness.

To be frank, I too was excited about watching the movie ever since I heard that it’s a Hayao Miyazaki movie, the maker of the Academy Award winning movie Spirited Away(2001). I watched it around 3 years ago and liked it for its strange, mysterious and fantasy story as it takes you to the bizzare world of spirits. I was so looking forward to watch Ponyo.

Well, I loved the movie. It was fabulous. Besides the story, I liked the Japanese town a lot. The animation was very colorful and appealing. But I felt that  the ocean creatures looked real weird. All in all, it was so refreshing to watch something other than American/Western.

A brief synopsis:

The movie begins with Sonken, a five-year old boy finding a goldfish trapped in a bottle near the shore. He befriends her and names her Ponyo. She is in fact the daughter of a wizard and sea goddess. Her father takes her back into the ocean and confines her. Ponyo wants to become a human girl and be with Sosken. She uses her father’s magic to accomplish this and get back to Sosken. The rest of the story is how Sosken proves his love for Ponyo to her parents so that they let Ponyo remain a human girl.

My son actually sat glued to his seat and watched the movie for about an hour and later got distracted. (It’s a 90 minute movie).  But , this is not the actual point I want to make here.

There was a tsunami scene in the movie, with giant waves leaping up while Sosken and his mother drove up along the winding road beside the ocean and Ponyo running over the waves to catch up with them. Actually, it’s a little frightening to kids and naturally, my son started to cry. As I was comforting him, I realized that he was crying for Sosken and Ponyo, sensing that they were in danger. He was getting anxious for them and just wanted it all to finish soon and for them to be safe. I was really surprised, because that was  the first time I saw him get so much emotional over a movie.  I know my first reaction should have been to comfort him by saying the right words, but there I was smiling and laughing because he seemed so cute. Cuter than ever!

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