Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
When Disney released Ponyo on home video, the film was released as a two-disc DVD and as a Blu-ray/DVD combo. This review focuses on the Blu-ray/DVD combo release of the film.
Ponyo tells the story of a fish-girl who lives in an aquarium in her magician father's underwater castle with her younger sisters. One day, the fish-girl decides to go exploring, and she ends up stranded on the shore of a small fishing town. A five-year-boy named Sosuke rescues her and names her Ponyo. When Sosuke gets a cut, Ponyo licks his finger and heals it. Ponyo falls in love with Sosuke, but Ponyo is taken by her father's wave spirits back to her father. Sosuke is heartbroken.
At her home, Ponyo refuses to allow her father to call her by her given name, and she says she wants to become human. Due to the human blood she licked from Sosuke, Ponyo suddenly starts to become human. Fujimoto (Ponyo's father) manages to return Ponyo to her normal state.
After Fujimoto leaves, Ponyo's sisters help her to escape. Ponyo releases her father's magic to make herself human; unfortunately, this magic causes an imbalance in the world. Ponyo is reunited with Sosuke, and the rest of the film follows a test Sosuke must pass in order for Ponyo to remain human and to restore balance to the world.
When it comes to the video quality of the Blu-ray, I have to admit that I didn't see a lot of difference when I compared it to the DVD copy of this film I had viewed previously. However, this doesn't mean that it's a bad picture quality on the Blu-ray; all it means is that I personally didn't see any significant differences.
According to the box, the main feature on the Blu-ray is 1080p High Definition, and the bonus features are 1080p High Definition or 480i Standard Definition. The DVD is Widescreen (1.85:1) that is enhanced for 16x9 television. The audio for the film on the Blu-ray disc is in English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, and Japanese and French 5.1 Dolby Digital. The bonus features are only available in English 2.0 Dolby Digital. The audio on the DVD is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Japanese and French. The subtitles on everything are available in English SDH, French and Spanish.
The special features included on the Blu-ray are exactly that same as what was included on the two-disc DVD release. The DVD that's included in this release only has the movie on it.
If you enjoy Ponyo and don't already own a copy in your home video collection, then you should purchase a copy. In my opinion, it really doesn't matter which release you purchase, since you're getting the same material and bonus features on both versions.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this Blu-ray/DVD combo release that my husband and I purchased.