Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (崖の上のポニョ, Gake no Ue no Ponyo) is an animated film written and directed by famed anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and produced by the Japanese anime studio Studio Ghibli. It is Miyazaki's eighth film to be made under Ghibli. The plot centers on a goldfish named Ponyo who desperately wants to be a human. In pursuing her goal, she befriends a five-year-old human boy, Sōsuke. It was released by Toho on July 19, 2008, in theatres across Japan.
The theme song for Ponyo was released on December 5, 2007, performed by Fujioka Fujimaki (famous duo Takaaki Fujioka and Naoya Fujimaki) and Nozomi Ohashi, who was only eight years old at the time of the film's production. The official website for Ponyo also opened on December 5, 2007. On March 6, 2008, producer Toshio Suzuki announced that Akiko Yano would be performing for the film as well.
HM Queen Silvia of Sweden was granted a sneak preview of the film together with director Hayao Miyazaki during the King and Queen's state visit to Japan on 29 March 2007.
The plot centers on a goldfish named Brunhilde and a boy named Sōsuke who renames her Ponyo. Ponyo's father Fujimoto had been a human in the past; however, he decided to live in the sea. Ponyo wants to live on land and be a human. She rides a jellyfish away from his home and meets Sōsuke. Ponyo's father finds her and takes her back. However Ponyo still wants to see Sōsuke. She escapes again and transforms into a human. Her semi-transformation unbalances the world, however, so Fujimoto seeks the aid of Ponyo's mother. Ponyo's mother decides to give Sosuke a test... if he really loves Ponyo, she may fully become a human and balance will be restored.
Production on Ponyo started October 2006. Miyazaki has been 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.
Ponyo on the Cliff is inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid as well as by the traditional Japanese folktale Urashima Taro. The seaside village where the story takes place is inspired by a real town in Setonaikai National Park in Japan, where Miyazaki stayed in 2005.
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.
- In the English dub, Ponyo is voiced by Noah Cyrus, the little sister of singer and actress Miley Cyrus.
- In the English dub, Sosuke is voiced by Frankie Jonas, the little brother of the boy band The Jonas Brothers.
In the English dub, there is a music video for the DVD. In the video, Both Noah Cyrus and Frankie Jonas sing a remix of Ponyo's theme song.
- Sōsuke - Hiroki Doi (Japanese) and Frankie Jonas (English)
- Ponyo - Yuria Nara (Japanese) and Noah Cyrus/Dakota Fanning (English)
- Kōichi - Kazushige Nagashima (Japanese) and Matt Damon (English)
- Fujimoto - George Tokoro (Japanese) and Liam Neeson (English)
- Granmamare - Yuki Amami (Japanese) and Cate Blanchett (English)
- Lisa -Tomoko Yamaguchi (Japanese) and Tina Fey (English)
- Toki - Kazuko Yoshiyuki (Japanese) and Lily Tomlin (English)
- Yoshie - Tomoko Naraoka (Japanese) and Cloris Leachman (English)
- Noriko - Tokie Hidari (Japanese) and Betty White (English)
- Ponyo's sisters - Akiko Yano (Japanese) and Ella Dale Lewis (English)
- Newscaster - Shin'ich Hatori (Japanese) and Kurt Knutsson (English)
- Kumiko - Eimi Hiraoka (Japanese) and Jennessa Rose (English)
- Young Mother - Rumi Hiiragi (Japanese) and Mona Marshall (English)
- Kayo - Akiko Takeguchi (Japanese) and Marsha Clark (English)
- Karen - Nozomi Ohashi (Japanese) and Colleen O'Shaughnessey (English)
- Japanese: Akihiko Ishizumi, Eiko Kanazawa, Tomie Kataoka, Shirô Saitô, Mutsumi Sasaki, Yusuke Tezuka, Keiko Tsukamoto, Ikuko Yamamoto, Michiko Yamamoto, Yoshie Yamamoto
- English: Carlos Alazraqui, Bob Bergen, Johanna Braddy, John Cygan, Jennifer Darling, Madison Davenport, Courtnee Draper, Crispin Freeman, Jess Harnell, Sherry Lynn, Danny Mann, Mickie McGowan, Laraine Newman, Jan Rabson
- Dee Bradley Baker - Sōsuke (some scenes), Sea Monster
- Katelin C. Holiday - Woman in the Boat
- Frank Welker - Junior
- Original story, screenplay written and directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
- Music by Joe Hisaishi
- Supervising animation directors: Katsuya Kondō, Kitarō Kōsaka
- Art director: Noboru Yoshida
- Chief color designer: Michiyo Yasuda
- Producer: Toshio Suzuki (Japan)
- Production: Studio Ghibli
- Japan distributor: Toho
- North American distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
- Produced by: Tokuma Shoten, Studio Ghibli, Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Walt Disney Pictures, D-rights, Mitsushi and Toho
US Version staff
- 19 July 2008 - Movie theater in Japan
- 15 October 2008 - DVD release in Japan
- 14 August 2009 - Disney dub