Thursday, August 27, 2009

More about Ponyo

I posted before that after watching Ponyo, Maya said, “It was just like adoption!” I saw more differences than similarities to adoption, so I was curious about how Maya saw it. We talked a bit more about it this week, and here’s a pretty good recounting of our conversation, which was no where near as linear as it appears here. Maya was in a completely silly mood, and was throwing in head stands and cartwheels as we talked! But she provided the opening, so I took it!

Maya: I loved Ponyo. I want to be Ponyo!

Me: It was a good movie, wasn’t it?

Maya: Yes, yes, yes, yes! [the silly goose!]

Me: Have you thought any more about how it was like adoption?

Maya: Yes, Sosuke adopted Ponyo.

Me: Really? Do you think so?

Maya: Yes! He loved Ponyo and he promised to take care of her forever.

Me: Who did he promise that to?

Maya: You know, like you did in China – like the . . . the. . . [groping for the word]president?

Me: Do you mean the government?

Maya: Yes, yes, yes! [I didn’t see any government in the movie -- I was fishing for birth parents!]

Me: Why do you think Ponyo’s parents wanted Sosuke to adopt Ponyo?

Maya: They needed to save the world from the monster fish! They had to stay in the ocean. Ponyo wasn’t a fish anymore so couldn’t stay in the ocean with them. She wanted to be a girl and stay with Sosuke.

Me: How do you think Sosuke felt about that?

Maya: He was happy! I want to be Ponyo! I want to be a fish AND a girl! [we’re losing interest, I think].

Me: How do you think Ponyo’s mom and dad felt about Sosuke adopting Ponyo?

Maya: [long pause for a head stand] Sad. They’ll miss her, but I bet they’ll visit her. I’m a fish, fish, fish!
And as usual, when Maya’s done talking, she is D-O-N-E. I had wanted to ask her a few more questions, like what role she thought Sosuke's mom played in this adoption, but we were DONE!

I'm not sure she had focused before on Ponyo's parents as relinquishing birth parents. She was thinking of adoption from Sosuke's and Ponyo's perspectives, and pretty much disregarded any involvement from grown-ups. That doesn't surprise me msuch, since Maya professes to not being very interested in her birth parents (in contrast to Zoe who is ALL ABOUT her birth parents), and seems to want to avoid talking about them or thinking about them. I think that's why we were D-O-N-E talking when I raised the issue of Ponyo's parents. She didn't want to see that similarity to adoption. But I liked her statement, "I bet they'll visit her." She doesn't see adoption as a complete divorce from the first family, it seems. And that's a good thing!


cfountaine said...

I hope the movie you went to was in English!! I didn't get much out of the clip, I must say.

It sounds like Maya really was trying to be a fish while you talked--complete with cartwheels and headstands. I've always envied fish-flexibility myself.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Zoe's obsession with her birth parents - do you think that you would ever be able to find them? My 7 yr old is serenely certain that when we go to visit China in a couple of years we will be going to see her parents. Despite the many times that I've told her we don't know who they are and that it may be impossible. She recently asked me to sign her up for Chinese classes, so she would be able to talk to them when we see them. I've been wondering whether it is possible to hire a private detective in China to find birth parents, but don't have a clue how to proceed.

malinda said...

Yes, the movie was in English! But Disney being Disney, there's no embeddable link in English, so I used the original Japanese version.

I know folks who have successfully found birth parents in China -- one who reads and comments here. Zoe and I talk about it, and she really wants to, but with the information we have, it isn't THAT likely. But nothing is impossible! Thirty years ago, they told Korean adoptees it was impossible, and it clearly was not.

Chinazhoumom said...

New blog I found...

Have a super day!
Carol in FL