3.5 stars... maybe drifting up to 4 with the tides. Was the Ultimate Squidginess until the dreaded tsum tsum took its crown. When Eisenstein wrote on the pure placidity of form in Disney in 1941 he should have written about the Fleischers' output... but better still he would have stayed alive to witness 'Ponyo'. The gummy animus of life on wibbly, joyous display - not least when Ponyo transmogrifies in the tunnel. <3
In my humble opinion, there's not a more enchanting, beautifully drawn film in Miyazaki's canon than this one. Though relatively light on drama and especially nonsensical (even by Ghibli standards) the heights of joy it reaches are second to none. From smaller human moments, to grand undersea vistas, every scene is packed with an intoxicating magic unlike any other. And it's all about the power of friendship!