Photos: Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea

I haven't posted anything about Ponyo in a very long time, so we're long overdue to revisit this great movie. I absolutely loved this movie when it was released in American theaters, saw it three times and had a blast each and every time. It's a wonderfully lush and loving tribute to hand-drawn animation, a defiant middle finger to the age of computer-graphics animation. Every frame bursts with color and wonder, like a great children's book brought to life.

This is probably my favorite Hayao Miyazaki movie post-Spirited Away, and it's probably the most visually dazzling and inspiring. Ponyo is an artist's movie, an animator's movie. It celebrates the craft itself. You can practically smell the pencils and watercolor paints.

When you think about how much money mainstream dreck like The Emoji Movie or The Angry Birds Movie earns at the box office, and then reflect on the fact that Ponyo barely struggled to make $15 million, even with the full backing of the Disney empire...ugh. The mind reels.

Once again, to quote John Lennon: "War is over...if you want it." Stop wasting good money on cartoon poop emojis. Spend that money on Ponyo.

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