Ponyo loves Sosuke!
- It’s more than just a love story
This movie isn’t just about love, it’s about the ocean and the environment too. Like other Miyazaki films, environmentalism is a strong theme throughout the movie. Ponyo explores the idea of humans as a devastating force that pollutes the environment, particularly the ocean. Miyazaki leaves his audience with the affirmation that the ocean is not just some dumping ground for our rubbish, it is a world all of its own.
- The characters are realistic
We have young children with round, little tummies and chubby, soft faces. Ponyo and Sosuke act like children – neither are perfect but show the same resourcefulness and bravery that real-life five-year-olds are capable of.
Miyazaki has also provided us with a remarkable female character, Lisa. She is simply a mother who has her own flaws and importantly, she is not solely defined by her role as a mother. We see her arguing with her husband while he’s at sea, we see her at work and we see her share gleeful moments with her child. Lisa isn’t an idealised mother figure, she’s a whole person.
Fujimoto also isn’t your stereotypical antagonist. He may be controlling, but it’s clear that he’s doing what he thinks is best for both his daughter and the ocean. In fact, he isn’t a villain at all.
- In Ponyo, the people you love are simply the people you love
Ponyo and Sosuke’s relationship is one filled with childlike emotions. You could say what they have is love or a deep friendship, but it doesn’t really matter. They bond quickly like another pair of five-year-olds would and it’s easy for Ponyo to tell Sosuke she loves him like one would say to any other significant figure in their life.
Sosuke also finds it easy to transfer his love for his goldfish to the human girl Ponyo becomes – because he loves her simply as the Ponyo that he loves.