7.7/10
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201 user 274 critic

Ponyo (2008)

Gake no ue no Ponyo (original title)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
A five-year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a young goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

Director:

Hayao Miyazaki

Writer:

Hayao Miyazaki
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Popularity
2,369 ( 195)
12 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Welcome To A World Where Anything Is Possible.


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hayao Miyazaki stated at the 2009 San Diego Comic Con that he was inspired to create the film after watching Disney's animated adaptation The Little Mermaid (1989). See more »

Quotes

Sosuke: Mom! Ponyo came back, and she's a little girl now!
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Alternate Versions

The Japanese theatrical release had the Toho logo at the start of the movie (Toho was the distributor for this release). The U.S. theatrical release removes the Toho logo and replaces it with the 2006 Disney logo, followed by the Studio Ghibli logo. All other international theatrical versions have the film simply beginning with the Studio Ghibli logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: The Purge (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Umi no okâsan
(Mother Sea)
Lyrics by Hayao Miyazaki
Composed by Joe Hisaishi
Performed by Masako Hayashi
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User Reviews

 
All the Enthusiasm of Finger Paints
27 July 2008 | by tinulthinSee all my reviews

Gake no Ue no Ponyo is like something you might get if you mashed My Neighbour Totoro into The Little Mermaid, then put the entire project in the hands of a five-year-old animation prodigy. The film is simultaneously stunning in its beauty and endearing in its simplicity, unrestrained enthusiasm walking the edge between inspired brilliance and mind-addling delirium.

In the opening sequences, literally thousands of individually animated fish swirl across the screen—a task Western animators wouldn't touch without a room full of computers. And yet the film's omnipresent water is defined by hard lines that seem to have been drawn in with crayons and coloured by pastels. In style and content, this is clearly a children's fantasy, and yet it isn't.

Remarkably, Miyazaki has yet again achieved what he created in Totoro: a film that draws the viewer indelibly into the world of children, reminding us of the time when every discovery was unique, every possession precious, and the agony of loss crouched behind every well-meaning mistake. Perhaps this is why the film has appealed more to adults than to children in Japan: children still live in this world. They need no such reminders.

Sousuke, a five-year-old who retrieves the eponymous Ponyo from the ocean, is not another Pinocchio-like screen caricature. He is a real boy. He is intelligent yet careless, deeply conscientious but distracted by impulse. He grounds us in a world that wavers between the real and the surreal.

Wide-eyed wizard Fujimoto, voiced with narcoleptic mania by comedian Tokoro Joji, is by far the most rational of the film's fantastical creations. He's an oddball, but he makes sense. But when waves begin to lap at the doorstep to Sousuke's hilltop home and the townsfolk jovially pile into rowboats to scud over a swollen sea of prehistoric fish, we begin to wonder whether this is the real world or some beatific daydream. Miyazaki draws no clear distinction.

Gake no Ue no Ponyo is a children's love story, driven with monomaniacal ferocity by Ponyo and Sousuke's pure mutual affection. Composer Joe Hisaishi underscores this intensity, calling up mighty swells of strings to accompany Ponyo's first ascent to the surface, and later evoking Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries in a stunning sequence where Ponyo chases down a speeding car while running atop a cascading tsunami of gigantic fish.

While the film loses much of its energy—though none of its eccentricity—in the final act, Miyazaki has nonetheless succeeded in creating yet another modern fairy tale. It is a simple, pure vision, guilelessly washed across with a devoted kindergartener's finger paints.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

14 August 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ponyo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,585,852, 16 August 2009

Gross USA:

$15,743,471

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$203,204,882
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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