Did Disney Change the Ponyo Theme Song?


I should say, one more time, that I shall reserve judgement until I see Ponyo next Friday. But it has always irked me how the Disney suits always tried to chip and trim and change the Studio Ghibli movies on DVD. I realize this is a sore spot for me, so prudence is called for.


serhei said...

I must be missing something, but your link is to a copy of the second movie trailer on "Daemon's Movies". If you want to have your ears raped by Bonus Jonas and the crack Disney team of musical psychologists who've "updated" the song you would look somewhere such as

I dare you to turn the volume up really high and skip to 1:25. Then read the Youtube comments. That is the fastest way to extract the most despair, at least the most despair that it is possible to feel about a movie release, out of the above video.

Funny, when Googling for the updated theme song I came across an article ( with a quote about how the theme song was imagined sung in a bathtub with a father and a girl who was just learning to speak.

Now consider the sentiment in light of this abomination of modern pop. You can tell in the first two seconds. There. is. definitely. no. bathtub. There isn't even a Frankie Jonas here, this is mostly lifeless computer post-processing on something that, we must assume, came out of a kid's mouth at some point.

And I thought that there was no way Disney would top the following ridiculous item of dialogue rape in the English dub for Laputa:

Dola: "You'd better learn to talk like a pirate."
Sheeta: "I've been practising! Um... arrr, me heartie. Shiver me timbers."
Dola: "Keep practising."

And no, I am not making this up. After recently taking a look at that dub for the first time, and noticing the buddy-picture pirates, the low-watermark-Disney-villain cackling by Muska, and Pazu who comes across as a 21-year-old man with dwarfism pretending to be a kid, I thought that certainly, based on the trailers so far, I'd have nothing to worry about if I didn't find a Japanese screening for Ponyo. And then this comes along as a fitting punishment for such complacency.

And yes, I think in this case "rape" is a warranted word for me to have used twice. As in, damage to human dignity ensues in these cases. If not for the makers of the original movie, then at least for the goddamn cartoon characters that have been licensed to Disney in the United States. Objectification of the visible results of human expression as a licenseable commodity. And let me remind you that at the rate Disney's lobbying the government they're going to keep the United States rights to Ponyo, Mickey Mouse and whatever else they're sitting on that's of any cultural value for the next 200 years, or at least until Miyazaki gets his wish and civilization collapses.

(Please correct me if Disney's ownership to the Ghibli catalogue is less binding than to the films they made themselves. I would certainly love to be wrong on this one.)

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

I linked to that site because of the comments after the post. I only read a warning about Disney changing the Ponyo song at the end of the day, and only had time for a cursory Google search. Now that I'm back home, as you can see, I've had time to explore more deeply.

As always, my deepest thanks to all my fellow Ghibli Freaks. I always think of this blog as a team effort, and your dedication and work proves this. Domo arigatou.

Anonymous said...

Disney didn't change the song, they made two versions, the original and the remix heard in the commercial. (Both appropriately re-dubbed)

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Having seen the movie, I'd like to state for the record that this issue is a mountain over a moe hill. The Disney "remix" plays over the second half of the closing credits, and yes, it's awful and cheesy, but not the end of the world.

My point is simple: don't let this issue keep you from seeing Ponyo in theaters.

Unknown said...

The film is terrific, and you're right that the song should not stop you from seeing it on the big screen. But I think it's closer to mountain than mole hill. It's not the end of the world, but it is, literally, the end of the film. It is the taste left in your mouth as you walk from the theater.
The song is absolutely appalling. It is the cheapest, most crassly commercial thing I have ever seen associated with Miyazaki-san. That's especially true following an unusually good soundtrack, inspired by the likes of Debussy, Wagner, Mahler, and Copland.
Disney totally sucks. Everyone should send a loud F.U. to Disney for that abominable song.
When you go to see Ponyo, sit near an exit and bolt when the closing credits begin.

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