Parents need to know that this stunning adventure from anime master Hayao Miyazaki is one of his most kid-friendly films to date, with strong characters and positive messages. There's little violence, although a few scenes during and after a climactic storm may disturb the youngest viewers. Some scenes in which parents and other characters seem to be missing might also be upsetting. Parents may be put off by the idea that two 5-year-old characters must at one point fend for themselves without supervision -- but this is, after all, a fairy tale-like story.
- Families can talk about Sosuke and Ponyo's journey to be together. What obstacles did they each have to overcome, and what sacrifices (if any) did they each have to make? Is it strange that Sosuke and Ponyo are 5, instead of teenagers?
- Miyazaki loosely based this story on Hans Christian Andersen's original Little Mermaid fairy tale. How does this version of the story compare to the Disney movie?
- Families who want to learn more about anime may want to screen Miyazaki's other films together. How are they similar to each other, and how are they different from most American-made animated movies?