I was a little underwhelmed by Hayao Miyazaki's latest work, Ponyo, which seemed to me more cutesy and less dazzlingly expansive than what I am used to from the Japanese master of gorgeous cel animation. I suspect my reaction is due largely to the fact that this time Miyazaki wanted more earnestly than usual to appeal to the single-digit set, and so focused on keeping things as simple and adorable as possible. (Which, by the way -- if you're within grabbing distance of a tyke in the 5-8 age vicinity, haul him and her to the theater forthwith, as Ponyo will be gone by next weekend.) The result is less rewarding to Miyazaki's adult fans, but maybe that's unavoidable. I mean, Up -- a masterpiece and the best film of the year, if you ask me -- would probably bore a six year-old to tears.
Whatever your feelings about Ponyo, it's a vivid and not unpleasant reminder of the treasures that Miyazaki's filmography holds in store. If you're a movie buff who hasn't delved into Miyazaki, I envy you. If you have, what's your favorite? Mine, without a doubt, is Spirited Away, which is not only head-spinningly rich and imaginative like all of his work, but also haunting, and achingly sad, and somehow more personal. Even the poster -- as perfect a piece of movie artwork as I've ever seen -- is evocative and disquieting.
I'm curious to see if others share this view, so I've set up this poll. Which Miyazaki marvel is your favorite?