The recent release of Super 8, in which [SPOILER] Joe Lamb and his little girlfriend Alice form a psychic connection with a magnetic extra-terrestrial, got me thinking about the film industry’s love of bizarre inter-species pairings. So here are some unexpectedly harmonious affinities, and some that should have banished multi-species experimentation to the top shelf.
For the longest time animation was simply perceived as something for kids, and wasn’t taken seriously by adults. If an animated film did in anyway achieve the hallowed ground of ‘appealing to kids and grownups alike’ it was considered a pretty rare thing. Today, animated films about toys are getting Oscar nominations and reviewers like to deal out their opinions based on one neat bit of criteria: is it any good?
Ponyo is a visually arresting addition to Miyazaki’s impressive portfolio. The opening underwater sequences take the breath away with hundreds of jellyfish, crustaceans and schools of fish swarming across the screen in a dazzling display of colour. However, Ghibli’s work is usually distinguished by its attention to the emotions of the characters and here, this charming escapade doesn’t quite stay afloat. The makers seem a little too preoccupied with hitting home (over and over again) its central eco-friendly message, and this somewhat hampers the natural flow of the plot.