Archive | August, 2013

Stevie Reviews: Ocean Waves, Ponyo and Whisper to the Heart

6 Aug

It been quite the while guys, but today I am back with a new blog post for all you guys. Today, I will be doing 3 short reviews of the various Studio Ghibli films I been watching over the past few days. For people that do not know, Film4 are currently doing a Studio Ghibli season, with a different film on everyday at 11AM. So without any further ado, it time to get this show on the road.

Ocean Waves

This first movie is not so much a movie, but more a TV special, as it only times at 72 minutes. The film follows a university student travelling back to his hometown a year after he finished high school, during the trip back, he remembers his last year of high school. During the year, Taku ended up in a love triangle between his best friend Yutaka and a transfer student from Tokyo named Rikako.

I will say this, this is pretty much Ghibli’s most mature film, from the movies that I have seen from the studio, and I got to say it was a nice change, but it sadly gets hit by a few problems in my view. The main one being Rikako, her character, is a interesting one, but I find they took her, how could I put this, cruelness a bit to far. I think the story could of gone more in depth as well, I would of loved to learn more about the characters and their past, sadly this problem is most likely due to the length.

Overall, the movie is well worth the watch if you want to watch a different kind of Ghibli film, but this is one of the companies weaker films. It is still great non of the less, even more so when you know that students made it. Note that there is no dub version, which surprised me more that the channel even showed the film. I would give the film a 7/10.

Ponyo

 

Moving forward quite a few years, Ponyo is a 2008 offering from the company, and follows a boy called Sōsuke, who befriends a goldfish. After tasting human blood, and gaining a liking for the boy, the fish turns into a human in the hope that she can stay with him. they then journey together to find Sōsuke’s mother.

If you don’t like, or can’t look past the childish theme then this isn’t the film for you, this one is aimed toward children. Non of the less, this is a fantastic film, the characters are developed amazingly, even to the point where they are more developed than Spirited Away. The story is a great one to, with the telling of the bonds that can be developed by humans, even to creatures that are a different kind to us. The animation is great to, here a fact, this was the first film from the company since 2008 to use traditional animation methods.

If you can look past the childish theme, you will be in to quite an adventure, a magical world of adventure, the sea, and of course Ponyo awaits, I wasn’t a fan of the ending theme however. Overall I will give the film a 9/10.

Whisper to the Heart

Our final offering today is a 1995 film based on a manga of the same name. The film follows Shizuku, a 14 year old school student who loves to read, and after meeting Seiji, a boy in the same grade as her who loves to play the violin, she gets inspired to start writing.

I found the film really interesting, as it was telling 2 stories rather than 1, one about the 2 characters mentions, and another about a statue of a baron cat called Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, who was spilt from his partner. The second story is in fact the story Shizuku is writing during the second half of the film. I felt this was done very, very well. The baron even got his own film 7 years later, as he stars in The Cat Returns, which if you want to watch, is tomorrows offering on Film4.

There are a few problems however, the biggest one was Yuko, Shizuku friend, there was a side story about her and a friend she liked, this was not developed on nowhere near far enough. You don’t even find out what happened with them at the end. it saddened me quite a bit. I still really enjoyed the film non the less. I give the film a final score of 8/10.

Keep your eye on my YouTube channel, where I will be reviewing another Ghibli film more in depth, but for now this will do. Until next time guys, keep being awesome.

Oh, one more thing, gamers might recognize Shizuku English voice actress, she was voiced by Brittany Snow, who voiced Naminé in Kingdom Hearts II

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