This is an excellent example of reusing a classic shot from an earlier work. I spotted this Ponyo riff on my second viewing. This scene shows a group of elderly grandmothers racing each other, the woman in blue is speeding ahead, her arms pumping comically. When I spotted that, I was immediately reminded of another senior in a Miyazaki movie - Dola, the leader of the pirates, from Laputa: Castle in the Sky.
I'm posting a couple photos from the run in Castle in the Sky, so you get a good idea of the movements. It's pretty funny and goofy, and I think it dates back to Yasuo Otsuka's comic slapstick in Lupin III. He really embraced the limited animation style of television, and adapted his full animation skills with Lupin. The result is a lot of funny antics and poses. Hayao Miyazaki, clearly, learned from that.
I was surprised and glad to see an old bit reappear in Ponyo. It also happens to be a sweet, touching moment in and of itself, a romantic fairy tale for the elderly. Are the elderly even allowed to be in American movies anymore? I'm pretty sure Governor Ahnold signed something into law.
daniel thomas Categories: castle in the sky, ponyo, riffs