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Ponyo
is a 2008 Japanese animated film by Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is Miyazaki's eighth film for Ghibli, and his tenth overall. The plot centers on a goldfish named Ponyo who befriends a five-year-old human boy Sōsuke and wants to become a human girl.

The film has won several awards, including the Japan Academy Prize for Animation of the Year. It was released in Japan on July 19, 2008 and August 14, 2009 in the US and Canada, where it reached #9 in the box office charts for its opening weekend.

The plot is centered on a fish girl who lives in an aquarium in her father's underwater castle with numerous smaller sisters. When her father takes her and her siblings on an outing in his four-flippered submarine, she is driven by a desire to see even more of the world and runs away. She ends up stranded on the shore and is rescued by Sōsuke, a five year old boy who lives on a cliff. After taking a great liking to her, Sōsuke names her Ponyo and promises to protect her forever. Meanwhile, her father, Fujimoto, is looking for his daughter, upset that she ran away. He calls his wave spirits to return Ponyo to him. Sōsuke is heartbroken by this, and goes home with his mother, Lisa (or "Risa" in some translations), who tries to cheer him up, but to no avail. Ponyo and her father have a confrontation, where Ponyo refuses to let her father call her "Brünnhilde". She declares her name to be Ponyo, and voices her desire to become human because she has started to fall in love with Sōsuke. Her father silences her with difficulty and goes to summon Ponyo's mother. Meanwhile, Ponyo, with the help of her sisters, breaks away from her father, and uses his magic to make herself human. This causes an imbalance in the world, which in turn results in a huge storm. Riding on the waves of the storm, Ponyo goes back to visit Sōsuke. Lisa, Sōsuke, and Ponyo stay the night at Sōsuke's house, hoping the storm will be over, whereupon Lisa leaves the house to check up on the residents of the nursing home where she works.

Granmammare, Ponyo's mother, arrives at Fujimoto's submarine. Fujimoto notices the moon has come out of its orbit and the satellites are falling like shooting stars. Granmammare declares that if Sōsuke and Ponyo pass a test, Ponyo can live as a human and the world order will be restored. Sōsuke and Ponyo wake up to find that most of the land around where the house has been covered by the ocean. Lisa has not come home yet, so with the help of Ponyo's magic, they make Sōsuke's toy boat life-size and set out to find Lisa. While travelling they see ancient extinct fish swimming, such as the Gogonasus and Licosus. After landing and finding Lisa's empty car, Ponyo and Sōsuke go through a tunnel. There Ponyo loses her human form and resumes the form of a fish. Sōsuke and Ponyo are taken by Fujimoto into the ocean and down to the protected nursing home where they're reunited with Lisa and meet Granmammare, both of whom had just had a long private conversation. Granmammare asks Sōsuke if he can love Ponyo even if she is a fish or mermaid. Sōsuke replies that he loves Ponyo in all forms. Granmammare then allows Ponyo to become human once Ponyo kisses Sōsuke on the surface.

Production on Ponyo started October 2006.

Miyazaki was intimately involved with the hand-drawn animation in Ponyo. He preferred to draw the sea and waves himself, and enjoyed experimenting with how to express this important part of the film.[7] This level of detailed drawing resulted in 170,000 separate images—a record for a Miyazaki film.

Ponyo's name is an onomatopoeia, based on Miyazaki's idea of what a "soft, squishy softness" sounds like when touched.

The seaside village where the story takes place is inspired by Tomonoura, a real town in Setonaikai National Park in Japan, where Miyazaki stayed in 2005. Some of the setting and story was affected by Wagner's Die Walküre. The character of Sōsuke is based on Miyazaki's son Gorō Miyazaki when he was five. Sōsuke's name is taken from the hero in the famous novel The Gate.

The name of the ship on which Sōsuke's father works is Koganeimaru, a reference to Studio Ghibli's location in Koganei, Tokyo. Maru is a common ending for ship names. It literally means circle.
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Details

CastCate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Liam Neeson, Cloris Leachman, Betty White, Lily Tomlin, Tina Fey, Noah Cyru, Frankie Jonas
DirectorHayao Miyazaki
Genre:  Family
Release Date:  14 August 2009 (USA)
MPAA Rating:  G
Screen WriterHayao Miyazaki
DVD Release Date:  March 2, 2010
Runtime:  101 minutes
Studio:  Studio Ghibli
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review by . March 03, 2013
posted in ASIANatomy
Miyazaki has been a favorite of mine for many years. If there is one artist I can say has never let me down, it is Miyazaki (well, him and Tolkien, so you see how highly I regard his work). Every one of his movies are amazing, from his epic masterpieces Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, to his more down to earth family affairs such as Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro. So how does Ponyo stack up against the other films in Miyazaki's arsenal?     Well, …
review by . August 17, 2009
Ponyo is the latest creation by the master animation director Hayao Miyazaki, and it is completely hand drawn, and in the world of CG dominating the world of animation, this is a welcome and refreshing change of pace.      Ponyo is a magical gold fish, her father is a humanoid living under the sea named Fujimoto, and her mother is a goddess of the ocean, and one day, she was caught in a glass jar while escaping a fishing net, and was rescued by a little boy named Sosuke.  …
review by . September 20, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
U.S. poster
     Among my favorite anime films are Hayao Miyazaki‘s “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away” (won Best Animated film); those two films are truly masterworks of animation accompanied by a very intricate storyline. “Howl’s Moving Castle” was good but I thought it was a bit of a mixed bag. Miyazaki’s eighth film for Japanese animation company “Studio Ghibli”, “PONYO On The Cliff” (full title: Gake No Ue …
review by . August 17, 2009
Sosuke and Ponyo take a look underwater
Miyazaki's films are refreshing for their even pacing and tempered characters. A far cry from the neurosis of Disney characters where everyone is shouting and riding on high octane. Ponyo is almost completely silent in its first 10 or 15 minutes, and even when the dialoug begins it has more of a sobering effect. If you pair that with the gorgeous hand drawn characters and hand painted backgrounds you suddenly remember what animation felt like twenty-plus years ago.      The story …
review by . August 10, 2010
posted in ASIANatomy
Ponyo (which is also known as Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea) is a film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. For this film, Miyazaki chose to make a completely 2D film, and not utilize any 3D computer effects. This approach gives Ponyo a very distinct feel when compared to some of the more recent films that have been produced by Studio Ghibli. However, I believe that the simplicity of the animation really works well with the story being told in the film. Ponyo is a very family-friendly film, and …
review by . August 18, 2009
From Hayao Miyazaki, the master of Japanese animation, comes a story similar to The Little Mermaid, where a small and ever-so-cute fish-like female becomes infatuated with a land dwelling male, and moves heaven and earth, and a lot of ocean to try to make her dream come true.       Short attention span summary (SASS):       1. Fish girl lives with her father and siblings in an aquarium-like home inside a really cool submarine with flippers.    2. …
Quick Tip by . April 07, 2010
I really enjoyed the animation & music, but the story & characters were severely under-developed. Plot felt rushed.
review by . September 02, 2009
Title: Ponyo    Director: Hayao Miyzaki    Starring: Cate Blanchett, Noah Cyrus, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Frankie Jonas, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1    Studio: Studio Ghibli    Genre(s): Family    Rated:            I'm not normally so blunt in my movie reviews, but I think to beat around the bush for a Hayao Miyazaki film is a futile attempt. So I'll put …
review by . December 13, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
Ponyo is a young fish-girl who loves to explore, but her father, a great wizard of the sea, fears the chaos her untamed powers could unleash upon the world. He's right to worry, since she, like every young undomesticated child, is an elemental force of nature who has little respect for the boundaries that grownups take so seriously. She escapes and meets up with a young boy whose imagination at least is a match for her magical powers - and it is love at first sight. Not romantic love but something …
Quick Tip by . October 30, 2009
An endearing movie that will appeal more to younger viewers, but adults will also enjoy. See it If you liked Miyazaki films like Totoro!
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