Gake no ue no Ponyo 2008

Critics score:
92 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies: I was, I'm afraid, a little lost at times. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: When the ocean rises in this wonderful movie, each leaping wave stares out at us with a baleful eye as if in watchful and worried wait. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: When Miyazaki makes films that decry the threat to the natural world, every molecule onscreen resonates with that belief -- a belief that dissolves the boundaries between form and content. Read more

Joanne Kaufman, Wall Street Journal: If the plot of Ponyo is small as a minnow, its themes -- the relationship between parent and child, between the young and the elderly, between friends, between man and nature -- are large and fully realized. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Hayao Miyazaki's magical Ponyo blends fantasy with just a drop of reality, and the result is irresistible. Read more

Ruth Hessey, MovieTime, ABC Radio National: Children will love this. It's classic Miyazaki. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Older kids and even adults are unlikely to get bored, thanks to the story's unforced sweetness, giddy highs, and stunningly beautiful visuals. Even in the unspoiled Devonian, real life never looked this good. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Nothing in the great animation of a Miyazaki movie stays cute for long. Not the ocean, not the trees, not the critters that live in them. Change is constant but rarely natural. Read more

Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: One of the anime master's weaker efforts. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: It's unlike any other animated feature -- excepting, of course, Miyazaki's own. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: A bright tale of wonder and connection, Ponyo is a reminder that a G rating needn't be a "little kid" designation. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Don't tell Walt Disney, but Hayao Miyazaki 
really holds the keys to the magic kingdom. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Five minutes into this magical film you'll be making lists of the individuals of every age you can expose to the very special mixture of fantasy and folklore, adventure and affection, that make up the enchanted vision of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: If you've never experienced a Miyazaki movie, here's your chance to try one. Come on in. The water's fine. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: Even when the film feels murky, Miyazaki's painterly eye keeps things afloat Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Miyazaki's artwork can be lovely -- and the delicate, watery colors of Ponyo are particularly well done -- but he's still a slave to the genre's peculiar traditions. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: Trippy in the right way, and wholly enchanting. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: This exquisite pastel-colored, eye-popping example of hand-drawn animation is still very Japanese, aimed most specifically at children around the world -- but with a storytelling sophistication that adults will savor. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Charming, amusing and firmly anchored in a child's point of view, this movie from the master animator of Spirited Away makes a great introduction to that acquired-taste style of filmmaking. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: You watch a Miyazaki film with the pie-eyed, gape-mouthed awe of a child being read the most fantastic story and suddenly transported to places previously beyond the limits of imagination. It's quite a trip. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Even though Ponyo is not one of Miyazaki's great masterpieces (at least from a narrative perspective), it is so beautiful and immersive that it's hard to imagine grown ups not losing themselves in it. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: This poetic, visually breathtaking work by the greatest of all animators has such deep charm that adults and children will both be touched. It's wonderful and never even seems to try: It unfolds fantastically. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Miyazaki works marvels. Sit back and behold. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Ponyo hasn't changed my mind about Miyazaki. But I'm willing to accept and enjoy this little window into the dream life of fish. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: The 68-year-old filmmaker shows that he's at the peak of his skills, both as a visual artist and a storyteller. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Ponyo has elements of both a classic fairy tale and an environmental message movie, but it shifts as nimbly between those genres as Ponyo herself does from person to goldfish and back again. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ponyo isn't quite as memorable as some of Miyazaki's previous works, but it's a magical experience that's far superior to most animated offerings. Read more

Alan Niester, Globe and Mail: It's very much a charming kids' film, created by a master of animation. Read more

Greg Quill, Toronto Star: It's a wonderful place that Miyazaki creates, an alternatively sweet and savage world that defies physics and common sense, as imaginative and impossible in its own way as Jules Verne's sci-fi fantasies or Maurice Sendak's animal kingdom. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: When you see Ponyo -- and you must -- be prepared for a movie that doesn't abide by Hollywood rules. This is a tale for children (yes, of all ages) who are ready to be coaxed into another world through simple words and luscious pictures. Read more

Aaron Hillis, Time Out: What held in the animator's previous films as eccentrically multifaceted dream logic comes off for once as a series of non sequiturs -- but really, why complain while sucking on an Everlasting Gobstopper of eye candy? Read more

David Jenkins, Time Out: We're drawn under the waves of the sea to a hidden enclave of neon-hued aqualife more vibrant, surreal and enchanting than any of the floating 3D whatsits in 'Avatar'. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: With its ever-shifting world and palpable sense of magic, Ponyo captures the wonder of being a child. Read more

Ronnie Scheib, Variety: Ponyo possesses an almost demonic childish energy and a delight in form stronger than reason or narrative. Read more

Scott Foundas, Village Voice: It's a movie for anyone who, like Miyazaki himself, can still happily commune with his inner five-year-old. Read more

Dan Kois, Washington Post: Ponyo isn't Hayao Miyazaki's greatest film, but his beautiful, quirky fable has magic other children's movies can't touch. Read more