At long last, Ponyo is now playing in theatres across the UK. I know you've all been waiting for months and months, and now you'll finally enjoy Hayao Miyazaki's latest.
The UK reviews are in and are very favorable. I have a roundup of the latest reviews. Feel free to use this as your all-purpose Ponyo thread. Have you seen the movie yet? When are you planning to go? What were your impressions? Did Miyazaki live up to the hype?
Financial Times (4 stars): Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo is absurdly delightful, a prestidigitation of line and colour from the Japanese animator-director of Spirited Away. A fish with a little girl’s face spreads delight in a coastal village. We recognise, if we want, a fable about art’s power to enchant and the storyteller as epiphanic visitor.
London Evening Standard (4 stars): Hayao Miyazaki, the brilliant Japanese animator of Princess Mononoke and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away, is never afraid to mix naturalistic detail with out-and-out fantasy, which is why this children's film, hand-drawn throughout, appears so original and charming.
Times Online (4 stars): The underwater scenes are as rich and teeming as Miyazaki’s boundless imagination; little Ponyo in her human form, joyfully wobbling around on her newly sprouted legs, is a pure delight.
Guardian UK (4 stars): Miyazaki's is a gentle narrative art, but with moments of ambiguity and strangeness: I loved Ponyo's face looming up to that of a crying baby: a silent moment held just long enough to be disturbing. This film will be loved by those who admire the intricacy and power of his Howl's Moving Castle and the great Spirited Away. It is an arresting work from an unmistakable film-making personality.
The Independent (3 stars): No animator captures the movement of tides and the deep physics of the sea as lyrically as Miyazaki, and the story's themes of rejuvenation and ecological balance carry a highly topical edge. It is difficult nonetheless to get involved in its slightly bland characterisations – my inner child had got quite restless by the end.