Hidroapeiron asks a very good question about the opening scene in Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea:
"Actually, the only think I didn't understand was in the opening scene, when a big squid swims above Fujimoto and he points it with some kind of a light gun. Any ideas?"
I really loved that opening scene, with its densely packed life swimming, creeping, crawling around. The sight of the man in '60s Mod suit sending signals to a giant squid was especially impressive.Here's something you may not know about squid. Some species of squid and have transluscent bodies and communicate by changing their colors.
Here's a quote from Wikipedia's page on Caribbean Reef Squid:
"Caribbean Reef Squid have been shown to communicate using a variety of color, shape, and texture changes. Squid are capable of rapid changes in skin color and pattern through nervous control of chromatophores. In addition to camoflauge and appearing larger in the face of a threat, squids use color, patterns, and flashing to communicate with one another in various courtship rituals. Caribbean Reef Squid can send one message via color patterns to a squid on their right, while they send another message to a squid on their left."
If you notice closely, you'll see that Miyazaki has populated his ocean with real life creatures. Now imagine how that looks to a small child. The magical and natural elements are one and the same through their eyes.Fujimoto is using his pocket light to communicate with the giant squid. What is being said? What are they telling one another? No one knows. Fujimoto is the caretaker of the ocean, and he tends to his garden carefully.
In this movie, the adults live in a world of mystery. Nearly everything they do is either out of sight or tucked away, unexplained. It doesn't matter if we're talking about Fujimora, Gran Manmare (that's the Mother of the Ocean), or Lisa and the grandmothers. They live in a distant and unknown world, and that's because we are watching them through a child's eyes.
Here's another thing that I find very interesting: this opening scene is the only moment in the movie where Fujimoto, the father, is truly happy. If not happy, he is certainly not grumbling or fraught with worry. He may appear bitter toward the civilization above, but he is devoted to his work. It's a portrait of the director himself - Miyazaki the alchemical wizard, who spins magic with paint and dreams of washing away the corrupt world of men.