Ponyo (U)

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The Independent Culture

Hayao Miyazaki, Japanese legend of handmade animation, recasts the story of The Little Mermaid, as a five-year-old boy discovers a goldfish named Ponyo that metamorphoses into a girl.

No animator captures the movement of tides and the deep physics of the sea as lyrically as Miyazaki, and the story's themes of rejuvenation and ecological balance carry a highly topical edge. It is difficult nonetheless to get involved in its slightly bland characterisations – my inner child had got quite restless by the end.