Ponyo is another in the line of great little family movies from those masters of animation at Studio Ghibli. A rollicking tale of a young goldfish who falls in love with a young boy and sets out to become human. It's supposed to be based on the Little Mermaid, but I think that's more hyperbole than real. However like most Ghibli films; it's a great story that all ages will enjoy.
It's also a perfect movie for those who don't like violence and are tired of the usual evil villain intent on nefarious deeds. Like Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro or Whisper of the Heart; it's another one of those Ghibli movies that doesn't really have a villain or even a conflict that's settled by violence. Lot's of action yes and daring deeds, but no fighting and no villain. Just ordinary folk in extraordinary circumstances. It makes a nice change from the usual fare.
As one of the newest of Studio Ghibli's films, the animation is just stunning. Especially in an underwater scene near the beginning of the movie where every fish and every object is individually animated. It just takes your breath away. Colours are so vivid they almost jump off the screen. The bluray is worth it for this part alone.
Also, like most Ghibli films, the storytelling is impressive, low key and quiet passages where you can hear a pin drop juxtaposed against other scenes like the great storm that will give your subwoofers a good run for the money. It's a really fun movie to watch.
The bluray audio for the English dub is bumped up from the dvd's Dolby Digital 5.1 track to a full DTS-HD 5.1 Master track. Likewise the Japanese and French prologic stereo tracks on the dvd are upgraded to full Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks. Another reason to get the BD provided you have the audio and video equipment to handle it.
A great little movie that will really wow you if you have a screen large enough to show all the detail and perfect for all ages!