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If you're like me? No.

It's difficult to recommend Ponyo since I really don't like Japanese anime as an art form. It would be like asking me to recommend a good entree at a seafood restaurant or Mel Gibson to recommend a good Jew. I just don't like anything about anime...

The easiest thing to pick on is the actual animation. It's so simplistic that I find it difficult to invest any real emotion into it. What makes it worse though, is that it seems like they over-do the other parts that make up the movie as a way to compensate for their lack of ability to create an interesting visual landscape. The voice acting is always over acted; especially the moments of dialogue that no one would ever say, ever. Very often, you will hear someone saying a line out loud that represents what they are thinking. In my opinion, it's like comparing apples to rotten apples, but in WALL-E, the artists were able to convey emotion throughout the majority of the movie, without the characters uttering a single word. There should be no reason for a character to say out loud, when no one is around, that they wonder what another character is doing or thinking.

The other thing is sort of a bittersweet complaint because it really was the only thing I enjoyed about the movie. When set as the background to the simplistic 2D animation, the lush, powerful orchestral score seemed entirely out of place. I'm a sucker for good movie scores... i love them, but they absolutely must make sense in the context presented by the film.

I've forced myself through several anime films from renowned filmmakers like Mizhyaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke) strictly because they get such rave reviews. I just don't get what is so special about these films, though, and I probably never will.

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