Up 206 this week

Ponyo (2008)
"Gake no ue no Ponyo" (original title)

G  |   |  Animation, Family, Fantasy  |  14 August 2009 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.7/10 from 79,027 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 141 user | 249 critic | 29 from Metacritic.com

An adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

11 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Stars: Bridgit Mendler, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Chieko Baishô, Takuya Kimura, Tatsuya Gashûin
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses.

Director: Yoshifumi Kondô
Stars: Youko Honna, Issei Takahashi, Takashi Tachibana
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette come to life.

Director: Hiroyuki Morita
Stars: Chizuru Ikewaki, Yoshihiko Hakamada, Aki Maeda
Spirited Away (2001)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Daveigh Chase, Suzanne Pleshette, Miyu Irino
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school's clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

Director: Gorô Miyazaki
Stars: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A flamboyant thief and his gang struggle to free a princess from an evil count's clutches and to learn the hidden secret to a fabulous treasure that she holds part of a key to.

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Yasuo Yamada, Eiko Masuyama, Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Summer Wars (2009)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside; an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there; a girl who may or may not be real.

Director: Hiromasa Yonebayashi
Stars: Sara Takatsuki, Kasumi Arimura, Nanako Matsushima


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tomoko Yamaguchi ...
Risa (voice)
Kazushige Nagashima ...
Kôichi (voice)
Yûki Amami ...
Granmamare (voice)
Jôji Tokoro ...
Fujimoto (voice) (as George Tokoro)
Yuria Nara ...
Ponyo (voice)
Hiroki Doi ...
Sôsuke (voice)
Rumi Hiiragi ...
Fujin (voice)
Akiko Yano ...
Ponyo no imôto-tachi (voice)
Kazuko Yoshiyuki ...
Toki (voice)
Tomoko Naraoka ...
Yoshie (voice)
Shin'ichi Hatori ...
The Newscaster (voice)
Tokie Hidari ...
Kayo (voice)
Eimi Hiraoka ...
Kumiko (voice)
Nozomi Ôhashi ...
Karen (voice)
Akihiko Ishizumi ...


The son of a sailor, 5-year old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an oceanside cliff with his mother Lisa. One fateful day, he finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach and upon rescuing her, names her Ponyo. But she is no ordinary goldfish. The daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, Ponyo uses her father's magic to transform herself into a young girl and quickly falls in love with Sosuke, but the use of such powerful sorcery causes a dangerous imbalance in the world. As the moon steadily draws nearer to the earth and Ponyo's father sends the ocean's mighty waves to find his daughter, the two children embark on an adventure of a lifetime to save the world and fulfill Ponyo's dreams of becoming human. Written by The Massie Twins

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Welcome To A World Where Anything Is Possible.


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 August 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ponyo  »

Box Office


JPY 3,400,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,585,852 (USA) (14 August 2009)


$15,081,783 (USA) (30 October 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(as Dolby Digital Surround EX)| (6.1 channels)| (English-language version)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The level of detail in the animation resulted in 170,000 separate images - the most that have ever appeared in a Hayao Miyazaki film. See more »


Kôichi: You can't be busy - you're five!
See more »


Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Ponyo (2012) See more »


Gake no ue no Ponyo
(Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea)
Lyrics by Katsuya Kondô & Hayao Miyazaki
Composed by Joe Hisaishi
Arranged by Joe Hisaishi
Japanese version performed by Takaaki Fujioka (as Fujioka) Naoya Fujimaki (as Fujimaki) & Nozomi Ôhashi
English version performed by Noah Lindsey Cyrus (as Noah Cyrus) & Frankie Jonas
Courtesy of Yamaha Music Communications
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Nutshell Review: Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea
25 December 2008 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Hayao Miyazaki's magic continues with this absolute crowd pleaser Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, his latest animated film, which turns on the usual sweetness to charm your socks off. I thought that the trailer featured its song which was quietly hypnotic, and I didn't have to wait for an invite to make sure I got my ticket for the sneak preview of the movie, scheduled to open here next week.

For fans of Studio Ghibli films, you'll probably know what you're in for, as Miyazaki has yet another winner in his filmography, that will win new fans over. I'm embarrassed to say the least that I've so far watched only My Neighbour Totoro (eyes that pile of Ghibli DVDs) and love it to bits, but I guess this would serve as a final push for me not to continue missing what would likely be animated films that I would enjoy.

Ponyo (voiced by Nara Yuria) is a magic goldfish that yearns to know what is life beyond the sea, with her constant forays in a bubble to the surface of the water to sneak a peek. Nonetheless these ambitions do not bode well with her humanoid dad Fujimoto (Tokoro Joji), who harbours some hatred toward the human race for pollution, and briefly touching a subplot on environmental protection / revenge by Mother Nature as well. An accident one day sees Ponyo being washed ashore, and picked up by five year old boy Sosuke (Doi Hiroki) who lives on a house on the said cliff with his mother Lisa (Yamaguchi Tomoko), while dad Koichi (Nagashima Kazushige) is mostly out to sea since he's a sailor. And you can expect some moments of throwback to the likes of The Little Mermaid, or Splash made for kids. Saying anything more would be to spoil the fun.

The artwork here is still simply astounding even though it's in 2D glory, knowing that each cell is painstakingly worked on. There are so many things going on at the same time within the same frame, that you'll probably be game for repeated viewings just to spot them all. This definitely beats any 3D or CG animated production any day given its beauty coming from its simplicity, and not only from the artwork department, but on its story too, despite complaints coming in that it took a leaf from the Hans Christian Andersen classic. While there are avenues to make this film extremely dark, it only suggested certain dark themes, but opted instead for a film with more positive emotions, suitable for both kids and adults alike.

At its core, its about love, that between the family members of Koichi, Lisa and Sosuke, and especially between mother and son. More so, it's about the love between the boy and his new pet fish which he christened Ponyo, and I tell you Ponyo herself has enough cuteness in her to beat the likes of Bolt, WallE and Eve all hands down. Characterization here is top notch, and it's hard not to fall in love with Ponyo, in whichever form adopted, especially when she's such a playful being who doesn't hide her emotions - if she's upset with you, either she turns away or you could expect a jet stream come spewing from her mouth into your face!

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is a definite shoo-in to my top films of this year without hesitation. And the next time I go to Tokyo, I'm sure as hell going to make my way to the Ghibli Museum to bask under the magical world brought to us by Hayao Miyazaki. Highly recommended film, so don't you go missing this on the big screen!

71 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
English dub vs. Original Japanese dub jjstarA113
Showed This To My Little Sisters alisnapsback
Why are the characters all apparently Caucasian? Laurlcrown
BUG OFF . . . BUG OFF . . . curlew-2
Tsunami in Japan flcracker
Difference in Endings? javierp15
Discuss Ponyo (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: