What is it that I don't get? I'll give you some hints:
1) It is animated.
2) It is feature length.
3) It has a lot of big name stars lending their voices to it's characters. (Why does Cate Blanchett always gets roles of ethereal women with long flowing hair? In this case, ridiculously long and ridiculously flowing.)
4) It is a Japanese import.
5) It is supposed to have some greater meaning about harmony or nature or true love or something.
Did you figure it out? It is the movie "Ponyo".
We have a tradition of watching a family movie on Sunday afternoons. As a child my family always watched "Wonderful World of Disney" on Sunday nights and I remember those times fondly. Now we use our handy Netflix to pick one family friendly movie a week. This week I convinced the family to watch "Ponyo" because it was rated "G" and I remember vaguely hearing some good reviews of it a couple of years ago.
For some inexplicable reason, my kids LOVED it. I myself was kind of freaked out by the whole thing. Particularly by Ponyo's parents - the androgynous looking father with the hideous purple bags under his eyes and the bafflingly large aforementioned Cate Balnchett as the mother.
The kids want to watch it every day. I made a rule that they can watch a half hour of it per day. I can't decide if they would grow out of their Ponyo phase faster if I just let them watch the whole thing a couple of times or if I keep up the installment plan.
It's not all bad - the little boy in it has excellent manners that hopefully my children are noticing. Maybe they'll start calling all adults "San" from now on...
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