Each week FILMCLUB will be bringing you reviews of the latest and classic DVD releases that feature on the charity’s 4,000 strong catalogue.
And so you know exactly whether you’ll like it or not, the reviews come from kids just like you!
Below you can read the review of new DVD release Ponyo by FILMCLUB member Luke McWilliams aged 13 from St Ninians High School.
A heart-warming tale of the struggle of two young children (well, a human child and a human/fish/avian child) who wish to be together despite all the odds, Ponyo will touch the hearts of all who watch it.
Ponyo is a young female goldfish who lives in an underwater castle with her father, Fujimoto, a wizard whose job it is to clean the sea and thus despises humans; this is why Ponyo decides to not reveal that she wishes to become a human and experience the surface world for herself.
After meeting a five-year old human boy, Sosuke, her dreams and desires begin to come true – however, as ancient beings reappear in the sea and the moon begins to draw the ocean into the sky, Ponyo and Sosuke must race to undo the effects of Ponyo’s magic whilst also finding a way to keep her as a human girl.
For anyone who watches it, it’s probably a unaminous vote that Ponyo is an extremely touching, heart-warming film that dictates how people from different cultures – indeed, different worlds – can come together in the best of ways.
Parts of it are extremely up lifting, others bitterly sad, while all are acted out to the very ultimate factor.
However, what I thought was the best thing about Ponyo was the amount of symbolism present throughout the whole movie; Fujimoto is a xenophobe who hates humans, but he must overcome it for Ponyo’s sake. Sosuke and Ponyo represent the innocence and purity of youth, for neither judge each other at all for who they are in the slighest way.
Most present in the film, though, was the environmental issues it raised; Fujimoto must clean up human pollution in the sea, the rising seas (symbolic of global warming) submerge most of the Japanese island the movie takes place on, and humans are pushed to the very brink of the abyss in their struggle to survive in a world where past and present are clashing in the seas.
Therefore, I give Ponyo the five stars it deserves!
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Ponyo (U) is out on DVD now. Click here to buy your copy
FILMCLUB is a nationwide education charity and experts in film for young people. The initiative offers access to thousands of popular and classic films from around the world for young people and teachers to watch and discuss in their school film clubs.
Visit www.filmclub.org for more information.