Ponyo parents guide

Ponyo Parent Guide

Combining Sosuke and Ponyo's childlike charm with an enchanted storyline about obtaining independence and forming bonds of friendship makes this animation a warmhearted, fish-out-of-water adventure.

Overall A-

Director Hayao Miyazaki uses his famous Japanese anime style to bring this tale to life. Ponyo is a mermaid-like creature who wants to be human. When she swims away from her watery home, she is befriended by a young boy willing to help her realize her dream.

Release date August 14, 2009

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use B-

Why is Ponyo rated G? The MPAA rated Ponyo G

Run Time: 90 minutes

Official Movie Site

Parent Movie Review

Like Director Hayao Miyazaki’s previous works (My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle), Ponyo is a fantastical voyage full of magical characters, classical music scores and in this case, mermaids.

Living underwater in her father’s (voice by Liam Neeson) bubble-like kingdom with hundreds of sisters, Ponyo (voice by Noah Lindsey Cyrus) is a tiny sea creature that yearns for sunshine. Sneaking out of her family’s habitat, she reclines on a floating jellyfish and warms herself in the sun while lying just below the surface of the water.

But on one such adventure, she is scooped up in the net of a large ship trolling for garbage on the bottom of the lagoon. Caught inside an old, discarded bottle, she washes up near shore where she is found by 5-year-old Sosuke (voice by Frankie Jonas) who thinks she is a goldfish.

Ponyo’s exposure to humans is a brief one before her father finds and returns her to the sea. However, she has seen just enough of life above water (and tasted ham) to want to exchange her fins for feet. Her decision causes turbulence of oceanic proportions and hazardous moments for Ponyo when her Dad discovers her intentions. It also results in huge waves, rising tides, and severe weather that threaten Sosuke, his mother Lisa (voice by Tina Fey), his father Koichi (voice by Matt Damon) and the residents of a Senior Citizens’ home (voices by Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Lily Tomlin) before Ponyo’s mother (voice by Cate Blanchett) calms the tempest.

Yet aside from these brief perilous predicaments the characters face, Ponyo is an unusually gentle tale drawn in colorful Japanese anime. Combining Sosuke and Ponyo’s childlike charm with an enchanted storyline about obtaining independence and forming bonds of friendship makes this animation a warmhearted, fish-out-of-water adventure.

Note:The official website for Ponyo is in Japanese. Click here to view the English version of the movie’s trailer.

Starring Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2009. Updated

Rating & Content Info

Why is Ponyo rated G? Ponyo is rated G by the MPAA

In his underwater kingdom, Ponyo’s father keeps a balance in nature by using special, magical potions he brews and then metes out according to need. When these potions are mistakenly released into the ocean, they cause severe storms, flooding, and giant waves as well as disrupting the moon’s magnetic pull on the Earth. A young creature is almost hit by a boat. A character is caught in a bottle and washed up near the shore. A woman drinks a beer to console herself after a brief marital spat. A character drives erratically and dangerously on a narrow winding road. A father expresses his disappointment with his children.

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Ponyo Parents' Guide

On several occasions, Ponyo’s father tells his children to show respect for him. How can sons and daughters best show their regard for a parent? What responsibility do moms and dads have in order to earn that honor?

What do humans do to the ocean in this story? How does that disturb the balance of nature? What accountabilitydoes mankind have for the sea?

Home Video

The most recent home video release of Ponyo movie is March 2, 2010. Here are some details…

Release Date: 2 March 2010
Ponyo released to DVD (2-Disc Collector’s Edition) and Blu-ray (Combo Pack)with the following bonus extras:
- The World Of Ghibli (an interactive experience).
- Meet Ponyo—Introduction by the producers.
- Storyboard presentation of the movie.

Related home video titles:

Disney (who distributes this film in North America) told a similar fishy story in The Little Mermaid. Other young boys befriend sea-creatures in The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep and Mee-shee The Water Giant.

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