Miyazaki's Ponyo on the Cliff Coming to Theaters in August

March 24, 2009

Ponyo on the Cliff

Disney will finally be bringing Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, Ponyo on the Cliff, to theaters on August 14th later this year. Unfortunately, the version we'll all be seeing will have dubbed voices instead of subtitles (I prefer to watch all of Miyazaki's films with subtitles and original Japanese audio). Ponyo on the Cliff actually opened in Japan in July of last year and has already earned ¥15.0 billion, which is about $153 million. Disney's John Lasseter has been working with Spielberg's producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy to make this release Miyazaki's "biggest hit ever Stateside." Mark this down in your calendar!

Spirited Away, which went on to win an Academy Award, debuted in 2002 in the US and made only $10 million at the box office. Howl's Moving Castle only made $4.7 million in 2005. As absolutely wonderful as Miyazaki's films are, they're not exactly big hitters at the box office, but I've heard that Ponyo on the Cliff is more accessible for kids than some of Miyazaki's past work. I'm a huge fan of Miyazaki and love almost all of his films, so I can't wait to see this, even dubbed in English. Last year we debuted the Japanese trailer for Ponyo, so check that out and otherwise stay tuned for the Disney approved US trailer soon enough.

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Not to steal away anyone's business, and I'm sure you'll report this soon anyway, but Entertainment Weekly has a list of the English cast as well as a translator: "The movie, which follows a goldfish that longs to become human, has assembled an English voice cast that includes Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Liam Nesson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, Frankie Jonas (the youngest Jonas brother), and Noah Cyrus (younger sister of Miley). The English-language version is being produced by John Lasseter, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall, with a translated screenplay by Melissa Mathison (E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial)." I already has interest in this film because of how good Mononoke is, but with this cast, I may make an effort to see this.

James on Mar 24, 2009


Already out here in Italy, think I must go.

Flavio on Mar 24, 2009


I am a huge fan of Miyazaki, i will go see that movie for sure. Miyazaki is at a level that Disney and Pixar can only dream to reach one day. His films are just amazing.

Jon Von Noibauten on Mar 24, 2009


I'm skeptical and afraid of the casting for Sosuke and Ponyo.

Ushio on Mar 24, 2009


im thrilled but the casting seems a bit odd with a cyrus and a jonas.

PJ H on Mar 24, 2009


I wouldn't worry too much about this. Lassiter has exec produced localizations of the last couple Miyazaki films, and having seen both English and Japanese versions, the English versions aren't butchered in the process. I think Lassiter's love for the source material makes him the safest person to entrust this to.

Mr. BabyMan on Mar 24, 2009


Right, I think Disney does cast well for Miyazaki movies. I mean c'mon: Christian Bale, Billy Crudup, Daveigh Chase, Kirsten Dunst, Uma Thurman, Liam freakin' Nesson. Plus I prefer watching Miyazaki movies in dubbed format only so I can fully focus on the animation.

Noemi on Mar 24, 2009


Disney does a good job dubbing the films usually, despite a few weird sounding characters. I like to watch the film in the original Japanese with subtitles and then go back and watch it again in English, just to take in the beauty of it all.

keicharones on Mar 25, 2009


One of my favorite Myiazakis! Great, great story and awesome visuals...Can't wait for cinema experience, but off course, on japanese! XD

m4st4 on Mar 25, 2009


It's strange they do not offer a subtitled version to go along with the dubbed one. Over here in Finland the wonderful folks over at Cinema Mondo have been bringing out all of Miyazaki's old movies out yearly in movie theaters, with both subtitled and dubbed versions. Films like Porco Rosso (the not so child friendly ones) have been subtitled only. A DVD release has followed later. This year we already got Laputa (I saw it twice), with Ponyo coming out in a few months. They're also releasing other Ghibli films, Whisper of the Heart is coming out this friday, Ocean Waves came out last year. They are not doing the films chronologically as they started many years ago with Totoro and Nausicaä was last year (Laputa this year). The only old movie left now is Mononoke.

Mark on Mar 25, 2009


"Unfortunately, the version we'll all be seeing will have dubbed voices instead of subtitles (I prefer to watch all of Miyazaki's films with subtitles and original Japanese audio)." yeah, im sure kids would love that, as if they have it in english with japanese subtitles over there. please quit with the "i'm better than you attitude'" already and get over it.

WHOCARES on Mar 25, 2009


Yeah I like subtitled but agree kids would obviously prefer dubbed... why they can't put both versions on a DVD is beyond me. I think it is pretty obvious that there's a split in preference.

dRailer on Mar 25, 2009


The dubs are usually good, but the Japanese is always, always better. I wish they would release this dubbed in major theaters (for families) and subbed in independant theaters, like Landmark. Then die-hard Miyazaki fans could watch it subbed, and kids wouldn't have to read the movie. I'll see it regardless, but I'm more excited for the DVD release.

DinoChow on Mar 25, 2009


I enjoyed Spirited Away and Moving Castle but Princess Mononoke will always be my favorite animated film of all time. If this movie can have the same level of voice acting as PM then I dont mind watching dubs.. The key is the translation.

Drew on Mar 25, 2009


I have all ready seen this movie in Japan to compair it to any other film if you liked my neighbor totoro then you will love this film

Reel Maddness on Mar 25, 2009


I was hooked on Miyasaki after seeing Totoro and Porco Rosso, I think the subtitles are great to watch but sometimes you miss the actual animation so the dubbed versions are good too. I think if Disney or Pixar could make a film half as good as Miyasaki they would be lucky Ghibli films are in a whole other realm.

Crapola on Mar 25, 2009


I've seen this in japanese, and I have to say that this film is very much on par with My Neighbor Totoro. It's got the same sort of flavor to it. The dubbing is probably for the target audience, which is quite low. A lot of 5-6 year olds are gonna be seeing this in the theater. However, it's not a movie that only kids can enjoy. The thing abut Miyazaki's flicks is that kids love them for their fun characters and stories, and adults can love them for their spirit and overall tone. He's one of the few directors that can make something totally cute and loveable, yet avoid all the cheesy, sappy stuff that makes kid's movies so annoying to adults. I also love that most of his movies aren't about conflict, but are just movies with characters that have an intent and a series of trials they go through to acheive their goals. There are no 'villains', or at least none that are well-defined. And the ones that could be considered 'villains' generally turn out not to be so villainous at the end of he flick. Ponyo continues that trend, and the plot ends up going in directions that you could never have gone in had there been some 'enemy' character to confront. I think that's really all that lacks in US animation and studio filmmaking. Too many people fall back on some easily definable villain instead of really exploring a plot or idea. If you like his other stuff, you'll love this flick. Like I said... it's up there with Totoro.

Squiggly on Mar 25, 2009


Took my 9 year old to subtitled version this week. We laughed, cried and thoroughly enjoyed it. Interesting change in his animation style - still has gorgeous handpainted backdrops, but people were simpler and more stylised. We will be going again once the dubbing is done. Absolutely enchanting.

Minimonos on Jul 21, 2009


The only voice I didn't like was Billy Crystal dubbing Calcifer in Howl's Moving Castle. I think it relly detracted from an otherwise great movie.

Dennis B-H on Aug 9, 2009


They messed it up! So bad! The English version is Noah Cyrus, Miley Cyrus's little sister. They don't pronounce the name right, they call her a mermaid, and they change the theme! It's not the same! They seriously messed it up over here in the US. I'd rather go out and buy a subed version of the Japanese film because at least it'd be correct.

Lisa on Aug 12, 2009


Um, "WHOCARES", requesting access to a subtitled version of Ponyo alongside the dubbed version of it is not an "I'm better than you attitude". I think it's a reasonable request. I want to see it subtitled so that I can hear the original audio, too. The subtitled version could be shown in art theaters while the dubbed version gets a wide release so the kids can watch it. Take a step back and think about it for a second before you blow up at people about this.

Kamilah on Aug 15, 2009


Spare us the hellstorm Miyazaki has unleashed upon the animation world with those monstrosities he calls films. He seems to have two distinct morphs of movie, neither one very good. The first is usually just him babbling about why nature is always good and man is always evil as he forces us to hear his characters have at least one speech about how good a person they are because they defend nature. Yes, Hayao, we are destroying nature, yes we are polluting the environment, how about telling us something new? He's not making his audience think with these types of movies, he's just selling them a guilt trip. The second is his other equally bad but far less offensive movie type where a female character is just usually crying and/or doing chores or wandering around a fantasy environment like they're on the world's dullest sightseeing tour. Just look at them, Kiki, Chihiro, Sophie, they spend more than half the movie crying or doing chores, it's like he made the exact same movie at least three times and switched the setting slightly. Then he gets praised for using a “strong” female protagonist because she happens to look determined in one single scene while she cries and whines the rest of the time. Miyazaki is not being creative. He utilizes the same themes and character types in every movie with little to no variation. Everyone praises his works for looking pretty while being distracted from the utter lack of realistic or meaningful story or character.

Glass on Nov 22, 2010

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