Ponyo US Trailer at Apple

I got the word from Disney earlier today that the US Ponyo trailer is now up on Apple's site. It seems everyone pretty much knows about it already, but I figured I should post the notice here anyway. As soon as a YouTube clip is available for embedding, I'll post it here on the Ghibli Blog.

For those who have seen the new trailer, what are your thoughts? Your impressions of the voice cast? How does this trailer compare to others around the world? Dive right in, kids.


Geoff said...

I think the trailer tells you basically nothing about the film. All it tells you is that it is 2D animated, it has some sort of mystical fish character, lots of water and it is made by some Japanese guy who has won a bunch of awards and the critics love him.

I think to help advertise it, they should have included something like "and the director of My Neighbor Totoro", or something along those lines. That way it might set off some bells of parents who have shown their kids Totoro or even people who are older who watched Totoro as a kid.

As or the voices, I'm always down for some Liam Neeson and I think Cate Blanchett's voice will suit her character well. As for Ponyo, the voice of Noah Cyrus seems to match the Japanese actress' very well, in terms of tone and pitch, from the bits i've heard. (specifically when she says "Sosuke) As for Sosuke, (by Frankie Jonas) he only has one word ("wow") and he sounded fine, haha.

Dave said...

I find the voice cast too distinct. I don't know how it works in Japan, but I don't want to see "Liam Neeson staring in Ponyo".

Ruins the illusion.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Remember that most American moviegoers, and especially parents taking the little tykes to see the cartoon babysitter, have never heard of Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miyazaki. My Neighbor Totoro may be known to the faithful and the Ghibli Freaks, but it's not a name that you can sell to the general public.

In this instance, the strongest selling point is the voice cast. And that's why Disney pushes that angle. They will also promote the 2D style, since that's a novelty in this age of 3D CGI.

I'm pretty hopeful for the US voice cast. Pixar has always been in charge of Miyazaki's features, and they love him too much to mess things up. They will be far more reverential than any other studio. Thank God Dreamworks didn't scoop these movies up. Hey, let's give that part to Eddie Murphy! Is Bruce Willis on the other line?

Justin said...

Thoughts after watching it 3 times (and I've watched the film):

-it feels cheapened
-too many action shots; seems uninterested in the story & characters
-the voice cast feels detached and hollow for the most part
-"you're the only one who can save the planet, do it, do it now" nothing close to that is even implied in the film; fail
-why use reflective 3D letters & hyper-real flares?

Watched the Japanese, Hong Kong, French & Italian trailers. They're all way better. More interested in the characters & story. Capture the spirit of the film much better.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

-"you're the only one who can save the planet, do it, do it now" nothing close to that is even implied in the film; fail

Hmm. That's always been my biggest problem with Disney's Studio Ghibli dubs. They hack up the scripts. It's always for some parochial reason that has nothing to do with the original work, but instead shoehorning the script into the Disney Stepford Family formula. There's a reason the company is popular among Christian conservatives.

I'll continue to reserve judgement until I see the final film. I'll probably import the Japanese DVD in July, but wait to see it in theaters.

Mikochan said...

-"you're the only one who can save the planet, do it, do it now" nothing close to that is even implied in the film; fail

I've seen the film (twice) in Japan, and was super surprised when I heard that in the U.S. trailer. It wasn't quite so dire in the original, haha. However, my Japanese isn't awesome, so... maybe I missed something?

I agree, I hate it when Disney adds things to the script, as it seems unnecessary and assumes the viewers are stupid. (Like, "hey, they won't get this part, so let's spell it out, or make up something else entirely.")

I think the voice cast will be fine, but it's hard to tell from the trailer. I don't like the announcer, or how he can't pronounce "Hayao." I think other trailers emphasize the delicacy and sweetness of the film a lot better.

Rain said...

Echoing Mikochan's sentiments, I do feel that the American trailer fails to emphasise the quiet charm and sweetness of the film. Too much focus on 'action' scenes, while the characters and story get downplayed. It all looks too slick.

Thank goodness, at least we are able to see Miyazaki's animation shine through - the underwater visuals look incredible. Give me "Ponyo" anyday over the glut of brash and painfully hip 3D stuff being thoughtlessly churned out by some animation studios (*cough* Dreamworks *cough*).

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