(2009/Disney Blu-ray w/DVD)
B+/B- Sound: B/B- Extras: B Film: B
Miyazaki is one of animation’s great auteurs.
A master of hand-drawn animation, his films are filled with true wonder
that is child-like and not childish, natural and not condescending, pro
environment and not mindless. His latest
film Ponyo (2009) is an adaptation
of The Little Mermaid, but far
superior to the Disney animated feature from 1989 for so many reasons we could
do an essay. However, it is not a
musical and is not quite the same story.
boy finds a goldfish trapped in a glass jar barely escaping a giant fishing net
that picks up as much trash as life. He
breaks the fish out of the jar and keeps it as a pet. Then he sees an odd person seeming to show up
at the oddest times spraying… something from a back pack canister. He befriends the fish, but there is something
unusual here, starting with when it starts to talk. Soon, he’ll find out much, much more.
aimed at children, the film is a superior achievement in animation of any kind
work is so color rich that you have to see it the best way possible, which is
why its arrival on Blu-ray is so key.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is absolutely stunning in its detail,
clarity, definition, depth and especially color range. With many demo quality shots throughout, Miyazaki rarely makes any
of the shots softer than they should be or would be in extreme Animé
cases. In comparison, the anamorphically
enhanced DVD included as a bonus just cannot cut it, especially in color range,
which the old DVD format just cannot deliver.
This will become a favorite Blu-ray for anyone serious about High
Definition who has a home theater system and we can only hope Disney issues the
rest of the Miyazaki
films they handle this way ASAP.
MA (Master Audio) lossless 48/24 5.1 mix is English and sounds good, but
something smooth is missing in the translation between this track and the
Japanese version only here in Dolby Digital 5.1. That may not have the fidelity of the Disney
English version, but purists may prefer that one, which is as weak as the Dolby
Digital 5.1 English mix on the DVD.
include storyboards, Meet Ponyo
introduction two-part World Of Ghibli
interactive look at the studio (Studio Ghibli) that produced this and so many
other fine animated features. This
includes Enter The Lands and Behind The Studio and adds up to another
deluxe Disney Blu-ray that everyone will want to own.
- Nicholas Sheffo