We got a thumbs up from our resident Miyazaki expert, my son Christopher. Overall, Ponyo's fun, crazy, funny, sweet, touching. Fantastic and creative animation, as usual from Studio Ghibli. Love the look of the ocean, especially from below the surface. Brilliant stuff.
A couple details that stand out:
First, Sosuke's mother, Lisa--voiced in the American version by Tina Fey--is hands down, absolutely, without any doubt, the best mom in any animated film--and she drives like a maniac, a plus in my book.
There are always special things in every Miyazaki film that stand out for me, and one I noticed in Ponyo is so simple, but it's a detail you miss in other animated films. It's difficult to put my finger on why this struck as wonderful, but there's a scene with Lisa and Sosuke returning home, and she stops, puts down the grocery bags, gets out her keys, unlocks the door, opens the door, kicks it to keep it open for Sosuke, all in one brilliantly smooth stream of action. This sounds mundane, but I'm telling you, there's magic in that.