Universal acclaim - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 203 Ratings

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  • Summary: Ponyo is a story inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Mermaid." Already a box-office success in Japan, the story of a young and overeager goldfish named Ponyo and her quest to become human features an outstanding roster of voice talent. (Walt Disney Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    It is a work of great fantasy and charm that will delight children ages 3 to 100.
  2. The latest masterwork from Hayao Miyazaki, places emphasis on the natural world, its tumults and fragility.
  3. 100
    Best of all, Ponyo never ceases to be a genuine odyssey in short pants.
  4. Traditional in the best sense.
  5. 88
    This environmentally themed, very loose version of Hans Christian Andersen's "Little Mermaid" is never going to be mistaken for Disney's musical of the same name.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    It's a movie for anyone who, like Miyazaki himself, can still happily commune with his inner five-year-old.
  7. 50
    His (Miyazaki) stories, and often his character design, just leave me cold. I know I'm supposed to be magically transported by his fanciful tales and his whimsical grandiosity, but they make me listless.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 81
  2. Negative: 5 out of 81
  1. AC
    Aug 14, 2009
    Another classic by the greatest film-maker on the planet. Best the film of 09.
  2. JoeyC
    Sep 11, 2009
    My brother and I (him 19 and me 22) went to see this one together. Beautiful film, perfect in every way. We laughed through the whole thing. The theatre erupted with the giggles of children every time Ponyo did something silly. Had serious moments as well, I even cried. Not sure why anyone would rate this film low. An instant classic and masterpiece. Expand
  3. Aug 4, 2014
    This movie kind of reminds me of Winnie the Pooh: there isn't much of a plot, but it is just so charming and innocent, and the animation is just so adorable, that I would feel too guilty giving it anything less than the best score I can possibly give it.

    Especially in a movie industry filled with countless action-filled movies and romantic comedies and heartbreaking serious movies, a movie as innocent as Ponyo is something to cherish.
  4. Sep 27, 2013
    Beautifully animated with all the style and grace of Miyazaki’s work. It is distinctively his own and I hope nobody ever tries to copy it. I saw it in the ‘Americanised’ Disney version with some well known names in the cast. For me though, I feel it always loses something; I would have rather seen it with its original Japanese soundtrack. For some reason, that gives it a little more authenticity and also makes it a little more mystical. But the English language version was ok too with the likes of Cate Blanchett as Granmamere, Liam Neeson as Fujimoto, Tina Fey as Lisa, Matt Damon as Kôichi, Frankie Jonas as Sôsuke and (of course) Noah Lindsey Cyrus as Ponyo. They all did a pretty good job. I very much liked to music by Joe Hisaishi as well, it has a great feel to it and fits the visuals really well. Over all, although I’m far from the target audience, I have to say I really enjoyed this engaging mystical tale. Maybe one for a very young audience, which proves I must be young at heart, but certainly a worthy watch.

    SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED

    My score: 8.2/10.
  5. Mar 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Ponyo is sweet and innocent, but I would rate this as a rather mixed bag. I actually thought this movie was quite short. But honestly, I like this movie in many ways. Expand
  6. RobertB.
    Aug 15, 2009
    What??? You have got to be kidding me. This gets an 89? What??? A cartoon movie with that high of a score you expect to be funny and/or very moving with a great story line and good animation. No. This is some kind of psychotic whacked out fantasy that only may be halfway cute if someone is stoned. Even then they will say it was bad. People, what is going on with ratings??? Where are the truly good movies? I mean really.... did they just quit being made years ago? We left the theater early as you would guess, but we were not the first ones to do so. Expand

See all 81 User Reviews


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