Wednesday and Thursday at the Minneapolis Studio Ghibli Film Festival is devoted to Hayao Miyazaki's 2008 movie, Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea, and his 1986 adventure classic, Castle in the Sky. We're headed into the Thanksgiving holiday, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Thursday's shows are packed.
I've written extensively about Ponyo when it arrived here in the States back in 2009, and there's not much left for me to say now. It's a terrific picture that stands as a stubbornly defiant defense of hand-drawn animation. After three years, I am willing to concede that the ending is a bit weak (Spirited Away was the last Miyazaki film to really score the landing), but it's such a terrific ride that it's worth every minute.
The Lagoon Cinema will be playing the Disney-dubbed version of Ponyo, which was pretty good. I still could do without that crummy auto-tuned pop song at the closing credits...yuck. Letting Disney try to cynically turn Ponyo into a star vehicle for yet another Jonas Brother didn't quite pan out, did it? Ah, well, the kids and parents will be happy.
For me, Castle in the Sky is the one to see. It's still the only Ghibli Blu-Ray from Japan in my collection, thanks to the horrific import price ($80 w/shipping). It's going to look fantastic in 35mm, projected on the big screen. Studio Ghibli's debut film has everything: adventure, romance, amazing action, dazzling visuals. Miyazaki swung for the fences just as he did with Nausicaa, leaving nothing behind. For many years, anime fans hailed Castle as a Miyazaki masterpiece. Come to the show and see if you agree.
Oh, and can somebody smuggle some extra pumpkin pie into the theater for me, please? Thanks in advance.
daniel thomas Categories: castle in the sky, film festivals, ponyo, video