No debunking of the Miyazaki cult here! Yes, Dana, please do report back about how your daughter fares when you take her to Ponyo . That dilemma of a few scary moments plagues me, as a parent, for so many kids' movies. As a fellow worshipper, though, I assume Miyazaki puts them to good and necessary use here.
Your strategy of talking through the story line and the harrowing bits beforehand is a great one. It saved us from serious meltdown when my husband and I let my 6-year-old son Simon finish the first Star Wars trilogy, by watching The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi , as many readers urged us to do after I wrote about his Star Wars obsession .
This whole question of how to handle scariness in movies and DVDs is part of why we started our section for reviewing kids' fare, XXtra Small . I'd love to hear from readers about what you think of the ratings we devised.
Image from Ponyo courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures.