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Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea is Miyazaki’s own unique take on Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, “The Little Mermaid”. It tells the story of a young girl fish who defies her father’s wishes and beliefs about the human world to live with the boy she loves. After covertly travelling to the surface by jellyfish, Ponyo becomes stranded near a house on a seaside cliff, where she is found and rescued by a human boy named Sosuke. Sosuke names her Ponyo, and takes her to his school in a bucket, and shows her to the little old ladies who live in the nursing home where his mother, Lisa, works. Imajine Sosuke’s surprise when Ponyo speaks, and tells him that she likes him!
It isn’t long before Ponyo’s father, Fujimoto, discovers her missing, and goes looking for her. Fujimoto is a kindly, yet somewhat xenophobic sea wizard, who oddly enough goes about in human form. He recovers Ponyo and returns to the sea with her, much to Sosuke’s distress. He gives Ponyo a good talking to, but is disconcerted when she not only defies him, but begins to transform herself into a human. Fujimoto uses his magic to stop her, and essentially imprisons her.

On the surface, there is a bittersweet moment when Sosuke and Lisa find out that his father, a crewman on a ship, is unable to return home that day. This leads to a series of testy messages from Lisa, delivered by Aldis lamp, but Sosuke manages to cheer her up, though he is still desolated by Ponyo’s disappearance.

Ponyo’s sisters, meanwhile, free her from Fujimoto’s prison and help her to steal some of their father’s magic, so that she can complete her transformation and escape to the surface. This has an immediate knock-on effect of causing a heavy sea storm above. In the midst of this storm, Ponyo and Sosuke are happily reunited. There follows a series of humorous vignettes with Ponyo not-quite-managing to learn to act human, mainly by copying Sosuke. In the morning, however, they discover that the town is flooded, and the citizens have had to take to boats. Ponyo helps Sosuke find a boat, and the two set off to find Lisa, who had left during the storm.

The effects of Ponyo’s stolen magic cause progressively worse effects, including knocking the moon out of its orbit. This eventually compells Ponyo’s mother, a gentle giantess, to intervene and set things right. Sosuke and Lisa are re-united, but Ponyo is again recaptured and returned to fish form. This leads to a meeting between Sosuke and Ponyo’s mother, where she gently asks him if he can still love Ponyo, even though she is a fish. Sosuke assures her that he loves Ponyo, no matter what her form is, and Ponyo’s mother allows her to remain with Sosuke, which Fujimoto also grudgingly accepts.

Info & Credits

Title Ponyo (on the Cliff by the Sea)
Japanese Title 崖の上のポニョ
Japanese Title (Romanized) Gake no Ue no Ponyo
Release Date July 19, 2008 (Japan)

August 14, 2009 (United States)

Rated G
Duration 1 hr 41 min

The characters

 01 Ponyo
Ponyo, given the name “Brunhilde” at birth, is one of the main protagonists of the Studio Ghibli film Ponyo. She is a fish at the beginning of the film.
 02 Sosuke
Sosuke is a 5 year old boy who wears a yellow t-shirt and brown shorts. His hair is mostly black but it is grey at the roots.
 03 Lisa
Lisa is the mother of Sōsuke and the wife of Kōichi in Ponyo. She is voice by Tomoko Yamaguchi
4 Granmamare
Granmamare is the mother of Ponyo and the wife of Fujimoto in Ponyo.
 image004 Fujimoto
Fujimoto is the father of Ponyo and the husband of Granmamare in Ponyo. Despite his position as the antagonist, his intentions are only in his daughter’s best interest, so he isn’t really a villain.
5 Kumiko
Kumiko is a supporting character and friend of Sōsuke and a student at Himawari Nursery School in Ponyo on the cliff by sea.
image005 Ponyo’s Sisters
Ponyo’s Sisters are little sisters of Ponyo. They are so cute and daughter of Fujimoto. The leader of sisters is Ponyo when she transform the human.Ponyo’s sisters was voiced by Akiko Yano
 01 Junior
Junior also known Young Mother’s Baby is a minor character from Gake no ue no Ponyo
 image001 Noriko
Noriko is one of old aunts on the 2008 film Ponyo on the cliff by sea She livs on Senior Local Center there Lisa works.
 image001 Toki
Toki is a elder woman from Ponyo .She live Local Senior Center with along the Noriko and Yoshie
 image002 Karen
Karen is a very minor character in Ponyo. She is student in Himawari Nursery School.
image003 Yoshie
Yoshie is one of Senior Center inhabitants in 2008’s film Ponyo

Production Credits

Director Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay Hayao Miyazaki
Chief Animator Katsuya Kondo
Art Director Noboru Yoshida
Chief Color Designer Michiyo Yasuda
Producer (US) Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy

Voice Casting

Character English Japanese
Ponyo Noah Cyrus Yuria Nara
Sōsuke Frankie Jonas Hiroki Doi
Lisa (Sōsuke’s mother) Tina Fey Tomoko Yamaguchi
Kōichi (Sōsuke’s father) Matt Damon Kazushige Nagashima
Fujimoto (Ponyo’s father) Liam Neeson George Tokoro
Granmammare (Ponyo’s mother) Cate Blanchett Amami Yuki
Ponyo’s sister(s) Cloris Leachman
Lily Tomlin
Betty White
Akiko Yano
Kumiko Madison Davenport Emi Hiraoka
Young Mother ??? Rumi Hiiragi
Toki ??? Kazuko Yoshiyuki
Yoshie ??? Tomoko Naraoka

Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea Trailer

Screenshots from the movie




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