Ponyo

Outside of Disney/Pixar magic, you may wonder why critics consider animation an art. Wonder no more. Just see Ponyo, from Japanese animé genius Hayao Miyazaki. Ponyo falls a sliver short of the maestro's landmarks (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away), but the delicate colors and hand-drawn, proudly 2-D images are breathtaking. Ponyo, voiced by Noah Cyrus (Miley's sis), is a goldfish with a human face. Sosuke (voiced by Frankie Jonas, a guppy JoBro), a five-year-old boy, finds her in a jar. Then magic turns her into a human girl, throwing the natural order out of balance, along with his parents (Matt Damon, Tina Fey) and hers (Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchett). Miyazaki works marvels. Sit back and behold.

From The Archives Issue 134: May 10, 1973