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Miyazaki’s Ponyo

There are two exciting hand drawn films coming up later this year – both being released by Disney. The first one is Hayao Miyazaki’s Ponyo, which opens August 14th – several weeks after Ice Age 3 and a few weeks before Shane Acker’s 9. The U.S. one sheet poster was just released (click thumbnail at left to see full size image) which mentions its big-name cast. The French trailer (below) looks gorgeous. I’m really looking forward to this film.

(Thanks, Mathew Gaastra)

  • I bet the US trailer will be nothing like the French trailer.

    That looks great. More like a typical Studio Ghibli movie than previous images had led me to expect, but nothing wrong with looking like a typical Studio Ghibli movie.

  • AH…GUH…..I got some serious goosebumps watching that trailer. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL AUGUST IT’S NOT FAIR.

  • Saturnome

    Why is it taking months and months to be released here? I have many friends in France who all saw it (and they all loved it, which goes against what the press seems to say, I think) and I feel like I’m living surrounded by producers, who decides what I see or not, who are scared of a release. Or are they planning too much (Is august such a good month for a release? Won’t it be crushed?).
    And I hope it’s a wide theatrical release, not the usual big cities limited thing, because we like Miyazaki too in smaller towns.

    I’d like to see a 2D feature on the big screen. The industry want people to go to cinema, well here’s a reason.

  • André

    What`s the second one?

  • First! I win the pie!

    Ponyo is shaping up to be an excellent movie. It should be a special event for traditional animation fans, as the movie is entirely hand-drawn (no cgi shots at all). The backgrounds have this wonderful watercolor stencil quality, much closer to storybook illustrations than anything I’ve seen in a feature film. This is going to look amazing on the big screen, and I hope enough of us turn out to ensure Ponyo becomes a hit in the US.

    Also, I’ve been posting screenshots on the Ghibli Blog, and I’ve also posted a series of film clips that were made available for the French theatrical release. Thankfully, these six clips don’t give away any important secrets; everyone can watch with a clear conscience. Feel free to take a look and share all you want.

  • This looks beautiful. I can’t wait until August.

  • J. Speed Schwartz

    This really is a beautiful film- I’m curious to know how it does in the states. It’s much ‘calmer’ and skews a bit younger than many of Miyazaki’s other films (much like Totoro). I doubt it can bring in the kind of money that Spirited Away or even Princess Mononoke did– but I would like to be pleasantly surprised…

  • Tom Ruegger

    looks awesome. and moving. thanks for the trailer link.

  • mike

    in my opinion, that’s probably one of the best posters released in a long time. clean, simple and awesome.

  • Jinmen

    In before inevitable “all anime is shit” comments the people here are so fond of making. Though some of you op for “all anime is shit, except for Miyazaki”.

  • Viridis

    I was lucky enough to be in Japan last year when Ponyo was released there (and to know enough Japanese to follow it). It’s a very sweet film– very similar to Totoro in tone, with a simpler plot that focuses more on the emotions of the young protagonists than anything else, and the animation is gorgeous. Apparently Miyazaki hand-drew all the jellyfish in the opening sequence… and there are a LOT of jellyfish. Beautiful effects overall, although… it has very little to do with the actual ‘Little Mermaid’ tale. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I’ll be interested to see what they do with the translation.

  • dronon

    Nothing revealed in this trailer’s French text, basically “After Princess Mononoke … (other films, etc.) discover the new work by Miyazaki … Ponyo on the Cliff.”

  • Trevor

    “What`s the second one?”

    Princess and the Frog, who just had its release date bumped up from Christmas to Thanksgiving (Nov 11 in select cities I think too).

    I think there must be a culture gap with me and Miazaki films. I think they’re visually stunning and have a lot of great tender moments, but the overall story of any Miyazaki film just doesn’t resonate with me.

  • Saw it in bad quality on U2be w/my 5-year-old last night; can’t wait to see it in the theater!

  • Cameron

    Hayao Miyazaki is the greatest living filmmaker, and that is a fact.

    Interestingly, it seems as if this will be the first year in which Pixar and Ghibli are competing for the Oscar. Oh, what a painful decision to make.

  • Isaac

    Someone is going to look over my comment and say “he’s just a bigoted coot”. That out of the way, the motion timing on Miyazaki’s films always makes me queasy and nauseous. Everything has too much inertia and takes forever to settle, as if it’s all made of molten lead.

  • what are those tiny things that look like Ponyo? Ponyo’s kids? Its all so astonishingly cute :D cant wait for this and 9 which looks creepily great as well.
    althought i’m sure neither ponyo or 9 will have any advertisements at all here in the U.S. just like all miyazaki’s past work and triplets of belleville. :[

  • Looks good. I like the scene with the storm hitting the island, the waves look really awesome.

  • “very similar to Totoro in tone, with a simpler plot that focuses more on the emotions of the young protagonists than anything else, and the animation is gorgeous.”


    A hand-drawn animated film with gorgeous animation and a simple plot focusing on the emotions of the characters ? I love it already.

    The French language trailer looks great and I really enjoy seeing that the Disney theatrical poster is so simple and direct.

  • Usually I prefer seeing just the first trailer and none of the internationals, but the French trailer looked much more soothing and inviting than the Japanese trailer (which were upbeat and off-the-bat.) I’m also thinking that the US poster that Disney chose is blue and simple compared to the other promotional material.

    I’m very excited for this one, defiantly on my list of ones to see, despite the fact that most people have probably seen the cam-recorded / fan-subbed bit-torrents by about now. I heard a report somewhere that Disney’s US distribution for this is going to hit towards a wider audience.

  • Ponyo certainly has the potential to be a great success. It all depends on Disney, how effectively they sell the picture, and how many screens it appears on. Miyazaki’s last three features were placed on far too few screens (except when Spirited Away won the Oscar), but I think those movies were far more dense and complex than Disney was comfortable with. Ponyo is squarely a children’s movie and that’s much more in line with they Disney brand.

    I’m impressed that so many people like the US poster. I have to admit that my first impression was slight disappointment; but much of that is because I’m so enamored of Ponyo’s Japanese poster. But that’s a good thing if people like this new poster, and it helps bring fans into the seats.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Meh. I’d never watch a fan-sub or pirated version. I’ll wait for the theatrical release. It really does look different than anything I’ve seen.

  • Thanks for the trailer. It looks terrific. I wonder what happened to their Heidi remake Goro was doing? I saw pre-production when I was there a few years ago, but nothing since.

  • I’m so pumped because this will be the first Miyazaki film I’ll get to see in theaters!

  • Kevan

    I posted my insight on the US poster over at Daniel’s blog, but it was rather long winded so I’ll keep it to the point. While not as engaging as any of the international art for Ghibli fans, I think that this poster is a well planned effort from Disney’s marketing team. It’s a sharp, bold, colorful and graphic poster that should stand out for kids amongst the photoshopped heads and clustered CG madness on the cinema walls, while maintaining that it’s a traditional 2D feature (something that almost seems new these days). I also like that compositionally it’s a throwback to the teaser posters for Disney’s early 90’s classics (Little Mermaid, B&tB, Aladdin, etc..), which should ring nostalgic for today’s parents. Let’s hope it works!

  • Tom, are you referring to the Heidi exhibit at the Ghibli Museum a few years ago? If so, that was an exhibition for the 1974 television series, featuring extensive production artwork created by Hayao Miyazaki and the Heidi staff. I would have loved to have seen that, since Heidi is such a wonderful series. Why it has never been shown in the US remains a puzzling mystery.

    Tommy, you’re very lucky to be able to see a Ghibli film on the big screen. It’s an all-too rare event to see these movies the way they’re meant to be seen, on that giant canvas.

    Finally, you can vote for your favorite Ponyo movie poster at the Ghibli Blog. Feel free to drop in and have some pie, ha ha.

  • Cameron

    I would love to see someone release Heidi in the US. All of the Ghibli crew’s pre-Ghibli work really oughta be released in the US. I had to track down torrents of the Green Coat episodes of Lupin III and Future Boy Conan (the latter of which was taken off youtube…people won’t release it but they’re willing to enforce copyrights anyway). I don’t know how to see Heidi or Anne of Green Gables or Horus or Gorshu the Cellist. There’s a whole mess of work that needs to be made available over here.

    For that matter, when the hell will we get Ocean Waves or Only Yesterday?

  • Jack

    Hopefully this will run at the El Capitan Theatre for at least a few days. The digital projecton equipment they use really does justice to Miyazaki’s work.

  • Anyone notice how similar the poster looks to the poster of ‘Finding Nemo’? I guess it’s a carefully thought out plan. The Film looks magical and sort of nostalgic of past japanese animations.

  • Cameron, everybody, if you’d like to see Gauche the Cellist, here it is!


  • Cameron

    Thanks a million! I’ll watch it in the morning.

    Say, didn’t Ghibli also work on a video game with another company? That I’d really like to get my hands on.

  • Welcome

    To a World

    Where Copywriters

    Have no Imagination.

  • Adam

    If that gentleman with the Distinctive Movie Guy Voice were alive, I know he’d be voicing over the american trailer. Dramatic pauses and all.
    “This summer…” “Walt Disney Presents…” “A fantastic adventure…”
    “Where a young boy….” “Learns about love…” “And the power of friendship.” “From the studio that brought you Princess Mononoke…” “And Academy Award Winner Sprited Away…” “Ponyo by the Sea Cliffs.”

  • petran79

    [b]I would love to see someone release Heidi in the US. All of the Ghibli crew’s pre-Ghibli work really oughta be released in the US. I had to track down torrents of the Green Coat episodes of Lupin III and Future Boy Conan (the latter of which was taken off youtube…people won’t release it but they’re willing to enforce copyrights anyway). I don’t know how to see Heidi or Anne of Green Gables or Horus or Gorshu the Cellist. There’s a whole mess of work that needs to be made available over here.[/b]

    Regarding Heidi, there was an English dubbed version on VHS. A movie made from the first 4 episodes. But you’ll only understand how great the series is after reading the book. I read it in German and the series was very faithfull to the book for the most part, though there are some important differences and omissions. Because the series of Future Boy Conan, though very good, had nothing to do with the book.

    There was a broadcast on HBO of Little Women, made by the same animation studio (the director of the Ghibli movie Whisper of the Heart took part in character animation) and also of the more popular series Peter Pan, made also by the same studio and also the series Swiss Family Robinson was broadcasted. But there is no DVD yet even for those series. We are talking about series especially appealing to Westerners and not something only those delved into Japanese society would understand and appreciate. We are talking about missing opportunity.

  • Russell H

    For those who can’t wait, the Region 2 DVD of PONYO, with English subtitles, is being released in Japan early July and can be ordered on-line from CDJapan, et.al.

  • Richard G

    Well – the trailer looks great. Really looking forwards to this one. I think we lucky souls in blighty may be getting it a bit before you guys in the states. Hopefully it will get enough of a release so people get a chance to see it in the cinema. Just hope the end isn’t as – erm abrupt? – as Howl….

  • Manning

    Hmmm… maybe someone can help me. Does anyone know if there is a theatrical release planned for Australia? IMDB doesn’t give any info on that front.

    As both Spirited Away and HMC had successful theatrical releases here it seems unlikely that they would send Ponyo straight to DVD.

  • precode

    Does anyone know if Disney plans to make a few subtitled prints, as they did with SPIRITED and HOWL, for those of us who care enough about Miyazaki to want to hear the original track?

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    I cannot wait to see this!

  • Still surprised by the US poster for Ponyo… a CG / Finding Nemo look for a film that goes back to good old fashioned 2D hand work. I’ve got my doubts, but as long as it manages to get people to see it, it’s fine by me…

    Btw, here’s an impression of Miyazaki & Ponyo at Venice Film Festival last summer: http://www.ghibliworld.com/miyazaki_at_venice_ponyo_review.html

    For those who’d like to see Ponyo at their own home theater as well (even before the US release), GhibliWorld.com is giving away three copies of Ponyo’s Japanese DVD release (with English subs): http://www.ghibliworld.com/news.html#1205