Well I went and saw a sneak preview of Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo on the Cliff, or just Ponyo according to Disney marketers, and it was very much up to the master’s usual standards. It is very much going back to the simplicity of his works specifically for children like Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Artistically it was amazing. All of the backgrounds were done in pastels which reminded me of the use of watercolor in Lilo and Stitch. The animated figures clashed against the background slightly but not enough for me to have had a problem with it. I can’t help wondering if they could have fixed that by running the cells through a special filter or something similar.
One small nitpick I had with it was after the spectacular entrance of Ponyo as a human child running on the backs of a tsunami in the shape of giant fish, the ending felt anticlimactic in comparison. That’s okay though. Miyazaki’s quiet meditative scenes are just as good as his spectacle’s.
If I had one real complaint it was that the closing theme left a nearly inextricable earworm.