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Guess the Tune (2) — Miyazaki’s animated film Ponyo

August 17, 2009
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Gake no ue no Ponyo (2008) (literally, “Ponyo on the Cliff” or just “Ponyo” in US) is the latest animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. The story is inspired by “Little Mermaid” but is more happy one than the original.

The reviews of the animated film, “Tales from Earthsea”, directed by Goro Miyazaki (H. M.’s son) were not well perceived by the public, and there were lots of rumors about the conflicts between the son and the father. Hayao Miyazaki then produced “Ponyo” to save not only the reputation of Studio Ghibli but also the relationship between Goro and him. After seeing this (DVD is just out here), unfortunately, I was disappointed by the elder Miyazaki’s work (I didn’t see Goro’s film yet so cannot comment on it). Some key ingredients in his earlier works are missing here. All Hayao Miyazaki presents to us here is just a happy fairy tale. I’m sure that this appeals to the children (it is said that he wanted an animation that a five-year-old can understand), but to the grownups that’s pitifully not enough. That’s my thought on Ponyo.

Anyway, this post is not a review of this animated film but a quiz on music. Listen to this clip of the background music (composed by Joe Hisaishi, a long-time partner on Miyazaki’s works). What does this clip sound like?😉 (I wonder whether that’s Mr. Hisaishi’s intention to remind you that music.😕 Well, apparently that’s it, but I didn’t know before I watched this animation.) (Answer is posted in the end)

Here are some snapshots when this clip is played. (somehow a hint for you). The same clip also appears in the film clip at Apple site.

Answer: The famous aria in Wagner’s Die Walküre, “Hojotoho! Hojotoho! Heiaha! Heiaha!”. (Select the text by mouse).

According to the press announcement (in Japanese) from Studio Gihibli, Miyazaki were listening to this during the setup of this production and therefore the setting of this animated film is also influenced by it (wiki).

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