Ponyo is a gentle but mischievous little girl who lives on a seaside island named Ponyo Island. The daughter of a famous sea captain, 5-year-old Sosuke resides a quiet life at an unfamiliar ocean cliff with his young mother, Lisa. One fateful day, while sailing on a large cruise ship, a vicious storm brews up that sends both his home and his ship to crash onto the beach. As luck would have it, Ponyo lives alone on the hostile island with no means to go back to sea. The sight of his battered and dilapidated house further drives him to seek out for help from others including his friendly and spirited dog Maru who becomes his constant companion.
Ponyo's quest for affection leads him to various colorful and charming people whom he meets on his way such as a fairy princess named Shiori who falls in love with him immediately, a cute and kind turtle named Kazuma, and an evil human named Sugimoto who intends to destroy Ponyo's house. Each of them proves to be a challenge to Ponyo in their own ways as they try to outwit each other and thwart the schemes of the evil Sugimoto. Ponyo's other notable friends include Tsubasa, a warrior and former bodyguard of the Shiori family; gae, a greedy and crafty fox; Misono, a human female who wishes to learn about living with animals; and Tetsubai, a stoic Japanese potter. The various friends and their encounters with the different denizens of Ponyo's house draw more in depth as the story progresses. They even become quite likable as the narrative draws near its end.
Ponyo was first aired on Fuji TV stations and then later on DVD by Japanese distributor Funimation. The film became a huge hit not only in Japan but also around the world through the help of various online video sharing sites. This is the reason why Ponyo was selected as one of the most popular anime of the 2020 Global Cartoon Awards. This animated film has also won several awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival including the outstanding animated feature award for the best animated feature.
The story of Ponyo is told from the point of view of the main character Ponyo Shominbee, a boy who lives in the city of Gero and enjoys playing the role of the main character in the film. One day, Ponyo is attacked by a gang of bullies who intend to bully the other boys of the town called the Golden Pine Cliffs. Their plan is to make Ponyo lose his passion for the sport of horse riding so that he will not continue to appreciate it. But before they can carry out their nefarious plan, Ponyo notices a mysterious young girl named Chiho who runs away from home to find help from a bear. But before she knows what is happening, Chiho is captured by the evil Shigorai.
Ponyo's friends and the local wildlife storekeeper try to rescue her but to no avail. When the other animals, namely the dog Yoruichi, the monkey Tatsu, and the cat Ukyo, try to help, they are only helped by the magic pony Vincenzo who then transforms into his full magical form. But before he could fully transform into his full-sized body, Vincenzo gets injured by a falling tree branch and is left with amnesia. A year later, Ponyo returns to Gero and thanks to the efforts of a new female trainer named Mitsu Kooba, who wants to help Ponyo become a top star in the world of animation, he finally transforms into his full appearance and is now known as Ponyo Shominbee. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Ponyo was one of the most popular and most viewed Japanese animated films of 2020. Many animation fans, both young and old, loved this movie so much that it went straight to the top of the worldwide iTunes chart and has since gone on to become one of the highest grossing DVD movies of all time. This is not the only Japanese film to receive a great deal of attention however as the hit series Spirited Away also did very well in its own right. Both of these fantastic anime films are guaranteed to enchant any fan of animation and have created quite a stir among those who love to watch anime. So, if you are looking for an excellent choice of Japanese animation to watch, look no further than Ponyo and Spirited Away.