New Miyazaki film New Miyazaki film

New Miyazaki film

Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature, Ponyo On The Cliff, opened yesterday in Japan. It’s one of his gentler films, more along the lines of My Neighbor Totoro – and I’m looking forward to it. Not wild about the theme song on the trailer, but the visuals look terrific.

(via Frames Per Second)

  • Carlos

    Maybe I’m mistaken, but I thought this film was being produced in a watercolor style, buttt… maybe I’ve mixed it up with another feature. Anyway, damn, looks great.

    *sigh* What I’d give for the US to be consistently producing 2D films…

  • Annie-Mae

    hehe I kinda like the theme song. If it is like Totoro, then they might only use it during the opening credits. Looks cute though, I’m excited.

  • Looks great and I can’t wait for the U.S. release.

    That is an odd choice in the trailer to have the light-hearted “theme song” play all the way through the trailer , even under the dramatic scenes … sort of undercuts the effectiveness of those scenes. Watched it again with the sound off and it has a much different effect .

    I expect the actual score to be another great one from Joe Hisaishi who scores all of Miyazaki’s films.

  • A movie for kids. And I meant that as a compliment, as kids deserve nothing but the best :0)

  • By the way, I noticed the YouTube link has the option to “Watch in High Quality” which shows off the visuals to even better effect .

    Watched it again with the sound off and it has some terrific imagery. I’m looking forward to seeing this on a big screen (I hope Disney releases it theatrically, not just direct-to-DVD)

  • This looks great! I read on Tony White’s blog that, unlike his past couple of films, there is no CG in this one at all, completely hand-drawn!

  • Painfully cute.

  • Oliver

    Japan Times review by Mark Schilling:

  • Saturnome

    I also heard about the Watercolors. Maybe it’s the backdrops, or certain scenes, or …?

    All hand-drawn. Looks awesome. I want it to be a hit.

  • Rat

    I dunno… looks too dark and brooding.

  • Really curious about this one. Miyazaki’s stories are usually very layered, and its difficult to piece it together from a trailer. That’s not a bad thing, but rather it builds up an audience’s curiosity.

    Can’t wait to see this one. Always nice to take a trip to Miyazaki’s world.

  • For the fans of the song of the trailer

  • It’s the storyboards of the film which were done in watercolour, as opposed to the normal monochrome line work with colour only used where it’s particularly important. Many examples of those as well as translations of interviews and press releases can be found at though the lack of categorisation makes finding them rather a challenge. This one with Miyazaki Goro seems particularly telling of Ponyo’s ambition:

    Miyazaki Goro: In the scene in which a lot of jellyfish are swimming, all of them are drawn by hand. There aren’t any the same ones. I’m afraid of its formidableness. A total over 170000 pieces of picture were drawn for only 100 minutes of animation. The density is awesome.
    Q: How is that in the case of usual animation?
    Goro: They draw a few of the jellyfish and copy and paste them by computer.

    The backdrops, meanwhile, are not the normal ink or gouache but watercolour pencil crayons, and there’s no doubt that this will be theatrically released in every country it’s distributed in – that’s been the case with Miyazaki Hayao films since Mononoke-Hime, and unlike that Ponyo is precisely what Disney’s been wanting him to do ever since they signed that deal back in 1996. I’ve been planning to compile all my own thoughts on Ponyo into one blog post but for now most of them can be read at

  • Martin Juneau

    That’s a great choice that they left CG and the damn cell-shadding for make a decent animated feature. With “The Girl Who Leapth Through Time” who sound interesting when the characters live without the cell-shadding technique and for the storyline, it’s surely being a hit. The song and characters is still adorable and pretty good.

    At last, the Japan features producers finally realised that the animation is better in hand-drawn and without shadding. I hope the anime series do the same because for now, it’s kinda bother and annoying.

  • I thought he retired already. For his health. So is this the last one or can we expect another Myazaki film?

  • Yeah robcat, I was thinking the same thing since Gedo Senki was made by his son…

  • Chuck R.

    It looks like the central character is a boy. Are you sure this is a Miyazaki film?

    Seriously, I’m looking forward to seeing it, and if it’s more like Totoro and Spirited Away than Howl’s MC, that’s good news.

  • IKR

    I’m pretty damn excited myself. Like Persepolis which Kennedy also produced, I would insist to Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall (the reported US producers of “Ponyo”) to release a subbed version at film festivals and later release the US version to a wide audience next year.

  • El Topo

    I like how Jerry isn’t sure about the Ponyo song. The song is awesome folks.

  • Marbles

    Jeez, Miyazaki just keeps breaking his promise to retire over and over and over again!!

    Luckily for us. XD

  • endekks

    Man, every time my wife turns on the TV I hear that damn song. Much as I can’t stand it now – it does get stuck in your head. And this means that i am sure my little one (who is only two weeks old today and consequently too young to sing it now) will likely be driving me more crazy with it in the years to come.

    And I am sure I will come to enjoy the film once I am forced to watch it.

  • J. Speed Schwartz

    Saw the film earlier today,
    very charming-
    The mood and story are more similar to Totoro than to Mononoke or Spirited Away.

    The animation is, as always, excellent. The opening scene is particularly well done, and is referenced in the interview with Miyazaki Goro. The individual motion of the sea creatures is palpable.

    However- this is certainly one of Miyazaki’s more childish films. Not immature by any stretch of the imagination- but without the kind of dramatic climax or danger that are found in films like Laputa and Mononoke.

    I can’t imagine it’ll appeal to an adult audience the same way many of his other films have, but we’ll wait and see how the American release does.

  • haaaaaaaaa :)

    cannot WAIT to see it!

    It’s Miyazaki/Ghibli… of COURSE it’s gonna be great!

  • Chris L

    I really need to see Totoro. I liked Spirited Away and Mononoke, but I always prefer his quieter films like Kiki’s Delivery Service and (my all time favorite) Whisper of the Heart. I think I’ll really like this new one.

    (Does anyone else with the Spirited Away dvd keep watching the Japanese making-of documentary over and over just to watch him interact with his crew and actors? I love the part where he makes ramen noodles for the whole crew.)

  • Animehater

    It’s ironic that this report should come from ‘Frames per second’. Miyazaki only knows how to use a limited number of frames :D

  • Animator

    There’s nothing wrong with expecting the animated characters in any major motion picture to invoke human expression to a reasonable degree. Even Walt Disney accomplished this in 1937.

    Miyazaki doesn’t.

  • Karma


    You know… I get REALLY tired of how incredibly overrated his filsm are. Everyone looks down their nose at the entire anime industry, but when something overblown, pretentious and so full of itself like Miyazaki’s incredibly overrated films comes along, everyone is falling over themselves to praise it.

    I seriously wish that anime would get a clue, and stick to what it’s good at instead of all of this nonsensical, pretentious overrated “arthouse” crap.

    Anime should stick to it’s strengths: Fanservice, random comedy, self-parody, quirkyness, incessant genre clones, ridiculous, inane plots, ludicrous character development, stylized violence, and cheesy melodramatic cartgirl android battle girls with big eyes, and spikey haired heroes with giant swords jumping 70 feet in the air, and over-the-top battles for the fate of existence.

    Sure. Everything I just mentioned is a staple of anime stereotypes thrown together, and may even sound somewhat insulting towards anime.

    Not at all. It’s the kind of mindless niche that anime fills, and fills extremly well.

    I actually like these kinds of things, instead of this experimental, pretentious garbage that pretends to be all high concept and artful when it’s just not.

    Style over substance, fanservice, ridiculousness and mindless quick fixes of hilarious dumb, quirky, frenzied, self-parody is what anime has always done well, and what at least makes it enjoyable, and serves some kind of self-fullfilling purpose and unique content delivery that is an unimitatable style all it’s own.

    Anime shoudl stick to that, and leave these melodramatic, art films in the garbage. Because anime and Japan in general does it badly.

    It’s like trying to cast a serious action adventure thriller love story starring a guy in a chicken costume. it just. Doesn’t. Work.

    At least when anime is anime, it’s doing it’s own thing and sticking to what puts it in it’s own niche, and recognizable category that works for it, and delivers what’s expected of it, true to form.

    Miyazaki’s films are just undistilled, disingenuine pretentiousness at it’s absolute worst.