These Ponyo shots are screen-grabs from the US trailer. Again, looks wonderful, can't wait. I'm always amazed how Miyazaki can sneak in his apocalyptic revenge fantasies - a devestating flood - into a children's movie, and nobody bats an eye. Have the Americans ever figured this out? This isn't mere spectacle; this is what he really believes. Miyazaki really is rooting for the giant tidal wave and the giant bugs to take out civilization.
Much like John Lennon had discovered, if you take a serious message and wrap it in a dollop of sugar, it goes down very well. What is the hope of a young generation in a world headed for extinction? How do you pull yourselves together among chaos and suffering, with no visable escape?
Aha! It just occured to me that what I'm describing - it's World War II. Miyazaki was born in 1941. He grew up around the complete destruction of his homeland, and the long, painful aftermath. Is this the source of his apocalyptic leanings? Does he view today's world through that prism? In that sense, these scenes are very deeply personal. These are the dreams and nightmares of a five-year-old Hayao Miyazaki, reexamined through 60 years of life experience.
In a few weeks, we shall see how everything in Ponyo fits together. This is a much deeper and richer movie than it first appears.