The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
There is a word to describe “Ponyo,” and that word is magical. 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.
The G-rated feature tells a story both simple and profound. Sosuke, a 5-year-old who lives in a house on a seaside cliff, finds a goldfish trapped in a jar on the beach. This is Ponyo. Freeing her, he is rewarded by a lick on a finger that heals a cut. And by tasting human blood, we learn, Ponyo gains the ability to transform between fish and human.
This begins a friendship. Sosuke (the voice of Frankie Jonas, younger brother of the Jonas Brothers) protects Ponyo (Noah Cyrus, Miley’s kid sister) in a pail until arms and legs pop spontaneously from her body and she becomes a little girl who speaks his language. He takes her to school and to the nursing home next door where his father works; all is wonderful until we discover that by crossing the divide between land and sea, Ponyo has triggered ecological changes that unleash a dangerous tsunami that floods Sosuke’s village right up to the doorstep of his house.
This begins an exciting escape in a toy boat that Ponyo magically enlarges, and a dreamlike journey among flooded treetops in search of Sosuke’s mother. From the surface, they can see giant prehistoric fish, awakened by the great wave, which cruise the highways his mother once drove.