Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (movie)
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Risa's reply "watashi wa genki~" to Sousuke's statement that he would protect Ponyo is a reference to the song "Stroll" in Tonari no Totoro.
Sôsuke is based on Hayao Miyazaki's son Goro Miyazaki, when he was five years old.
Sôsuke's father works aboard a ship named the Koganei maru. Koganei is the town in Western Tokyo where Studio Ghibli is located.
The opening 12 seconds, involving vast schools of fish and undersea creatures, required 1613 pages of conceptual sketches to develop.
The first Hayao Miyazaki film to be rated G by the MPAA since the release of Kiki's Delivery Service in 1998.
This was the first animated film to be nominated for and win the Best Film Score prize at the Japanese Academy Awards.
Sôsuke is a reference to the works of famous Japanese novelist 'Sôseki Natsume' (1867-1916). In 'The Gate,' central male character Sôsuke lives in a house that stands on a hill, Gake no ue.
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.
There are many references to Richard Wagner's opera series 'Der Ring des Nibelungen' scattered throughout the film. Ponyo's real name is Brünnhilde, one of the leading roles of Wagner's 'Die Walküre.' Brünnhilde is also a "supernatural," being who falls in love with a human (Siegfried), much like Ponyo falls in love with Sôsuke. When Ponyo is chasing after Sôsuke and his mother during the giant storm scene, you can hear a musical tribute to Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries."
Hayao Miyazaki drew most of the sea and wave imagery himself, experimenting with making it as expressionistic as possible. John Lasseter said that he had never seen water animated so beautifully before.
The level of detail in the animation resulted in 170,000 separate images - the most that have ever appeared in a Hayao Miyazaki film.
The seaside village where the story takes place is inspired by the town of Tomonoura in Setonaikai National Park in Japan where Hayao Miyazaki stayed in 2005.
This received the widest release for a Studio Ghibli in the US when it ran in 927 theaters. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi opened in 26 theaters, Hauru no ugoku shiro 36 and Mononoke-hime 38.
Melissa Mathison wrote the English language script in just four days but also worked with the actors during the voiceover sessions to further refine the translations.
Hayao Miyazaki was very surprised by the lukewarm reaction of children to his film in test screenings.
The film's North American theater count (927) and gross ($15 million) set records for a Disney/Ghibli production. Only four other anime films have grossed more than Gake no ue no Ponyo in the USA, three of them being Pokémon movies, the fourth Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Movie.
Toki, the bitter old lady in the rest home, is actually an affectionate homage to Miyazaki's mother.
Miyazaki originally wanted to do a sequal titled "Ponyo: Part II'. He changed his mind when Toshio Suzuki asked him to adapt his own manga Kaze Tachinu (The Wind Rises) instead.
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