Ponyo by Miyazaki Symbolism and Structure | SLAP HAPPY LARRY (2023)

Hayao Miyazaki’sPonyo is a feature-length anime which makes heavy use of myth and symbolism but is aimed squarely at a young child audience.

What Is A Coming-of-age Story?

What Is A Coming-of-age Story?

Gake no ue no Ponyo is the Japanese title: Ponyo At The Top Of The Cliff.

Dani Cavallaro, in Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study describes Ponyo as ‘an intimate bildungsroman‘ and writes:

Sousuke’s developmental journey begins with his rescue of a plucky little goldfish that has run away from her underwater home and is desperately keen on becoming human (presumably unaware that such a status is by no means unproblematically advantageous), whom the boy calls Ponyo, vowing to protect her at any price. At the same time, the anime’s intimate mood is reinforced by its close focus on domestic life and the little boy’s relationship by its close focus on domestic life and the little boy’s relationship with his mother Lisa. The bildungsroman dramatized in Ponyo concentrates concurrently on two interrelated journeys. One of these addresses the human protagonist’s emotional and intellectual development as he negotiates the various complications attendant on his relationships not only with the heroine and the marine domain she comes from but also his caring mother and often absent father. The other focuses on Ponyo’s evolution from the moment she decides to abandon her father’s protected abode and explore the outside world with all its unforeseeable wonders and perils.

SETTING OF PONYO

Food

Food usuallyhas its own starring role in the setting of Miyazaki movies.

  • The feast that turns the parents into pigs in Spirited Away, then the steamed red bean buns and the sponge cake scene
  • The bacon and eggs in Howl’s Moving Castle
  • Herring pot pie and rice porridge (おかゆ) as well as all the fresh bread products from Kiki’s Delivery Service
  • More rice porridge in Princess Mononoke
  • Bento boxes from My Neighbour Totoro
  • The fried egg in bread(目玉焼きパン) and the winter vegetable stew (煮物) from Laputa
  • Fried horse mackerel (アジフライ) from Up On Poppy Hill (nothing to do with horses — it’s a different kind of mackerel)

In Ponyo we have the bowl of ramen (Chinese noodles)

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The transmogrifying magic of food is repeated from Spirited Away in this film, in which by eating food from a different world, you become of that world — a literal interpretation of ‘You are what you eat’. It’s by licking the blood from Sousuke’s thumb that Ponyo is able to become human, but the huge hunk of ham seems to seal the deal.

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Symbolism of the Cliff

This comes off a dodgy-looking dream symbolism site, but I think it does applyto a lot of literature, and to this film as well:

To be at the edge of a cliff is to be where earth meets both sea and sky. Sky is a symbol of consciousness/masculinity; sea is the unconscious/femininity.

I think there’s something in the masculine/feminine associations — Miyazaki has definitely made use of the dichotomy by making Sousuke a boy and Ponyo a girl. But as soon as Sousuke meets Ponyo, his feminine, caring side has a chance to shine:

Don’t worry, Ponyo. No matter what, I will protect you. I promise. I will love you too!

It is significant that this house is on a ‘cliff’ rather than on a mountain. The mountain in storytelling has quite different associations for the audience: The mountain is set in opposition to the plain. The mountain is where revelations happen (a la Moses), and in films, main characters often go to a high place in order to really work out what’s going on. The mountain is where revelations happen.

The cliff, on the other hand, is precarious. There is no safety to be had on top of a cliff. This house is elevated because its occupants are separate from the ocean, but when Ponyo arrives she unites land and ocean, and the ocean literally rises to engulf the house.

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Symbolism of the Wind

Traditionally, a wind storm means that change is afoot. Something bad is about to happen — probably destruction or desolation. A precarious-looking house on a cliff is in particular danger.

Chimeras in SF

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Throughout history, hybrid creatures have functioned as remarkably versatile vehicles for the expression of abiding cultural anxieties. On many occasions, they have been rendered just about tolerable by the sublimation of their uncanny anatomies into so-called “curiosities.” Yet, this has frequently led to a paradoxical situation, insofar as our attraction to those beings’ intractable alterity is never conclusively anesthetized: much as we may seek to domesticate the threatening connotations they are held to carry, by relegating them to the province of the abnormal or the repulsive, the sense of menace abides as a vital component of their bizarre, monstrous and fearful beauty. In other words, hybrids’ attractiveness is inextricable from their intimidating power.

Dani Cavallaro, Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study

Examples of hybrids in well-known tales:

  • angels
  • centaurs —a mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse
  • devils
  • sphinxes —a mythical creature with, as a minimum, the head of a human and the body of a lion.
  • termagants —In medieval Europe, Termagant was the name given to a god which Christians wrongly believed Muslims worshipped, represented in the mystery plays as a violent overbearing personage. The word is also used in modern English to mean a violent, overbearing, turbulent, brawling, quarrelsome woman; a virago, shrew, vixen.
  • tritons —a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. He is the son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, god and goddess of the sea respectively, and is herald for his father. He is usually represented as a merman, having the upper body of a human and the tail of a fish, “sea-hued”, according to Ovid“his shoulders barnacled with sea-shells”.

The spectrum of hybrid creatures can be beautiful, with lovely wings, or they can be monstrous and deformed, evoking a wide range of moods. Ponyo is strange in a jellyfish kind of way, but she is on the loveable part of the spectrum.

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Miyazaki seems to have been influenced by traditional Japanese art in his depiction of water.

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Roy Stafford makes some direct comparisons between this particular work and the film Ponyo:

The triangle formed by the cliff-top house where Sosuke and his mother live, the ship at sea carrying the boy’s father and the school/old people’s centre is the centre of the world Miyazaki has created. It neatly represents the social concerns about an ageing population, an economy that still needs the resources of the seas and that perennial fascination for Miyazaki, the self-reliant children, seemingly confident because there is a community of supportive adults who are there when needed. Jonathan Ross, in one of his more lucid comments on Film Night, made the perceptive comment that in Ponyo, Miyazaki (writer and director) spends time on everyday incidents involving children and adults – such as sharing a cup of soup – in which this sense of a community of all ages, not just parents and their own children, comes across so forcefully.

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The water is literally alive in this story, with the waves morphing back and forth between fish and water.

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Here we have still waters, so the viewer can see the house on the cliff mirrored in the ocean. The water has risen and now the house — formally up high and therefore separated from the sea — is literally at one with it.

Miyazaki’s preoccupation with environmental issues, a crucial aspect of both his political perspective and his cinematic signature, obliquely permeates the marine habitat depicted in the film even though the recurrent images of dolphins and whales swimming about unmolested bear scarce resemblance to the reality of Japan’s notorious fishing ventures. […] Miyzaki also creates a tsunami that, however fantastical and benign he portrays it, can’t help recall the fatal force of nature.

Dani Cavallaro, Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study

Ponyo’s Name

Although Ponyo’s real name is Brunhilde, Sousuke names her ‘Ponyo’. Why? This name is interesting in the context of Japanese onomatopoeia. Onomatopoeia and mimesis are a huge part of everyday Japanese, and if you are a fan of manga you’ll see onomatopoeic words used to their fullest in that genre. Miyazaki himself started in manga and is a native Japanese speaker, so it’s fair to conclude that he is also an expert in onomatopoeia.

The sound ‘pon’ in Japanese has a ‘burst’-like quality to it. ‘Pon-pon’ expresses the following sounds in Japanese (from日英擬音擬態語活用辞典):

  1. The resounding sound or action of clapping one’s hands or beating a drum etc. continuously. [The repetition of the pon sound indicates the repetition.] It can also be used to describe the sound of an explosion or something bursting. [Ponyo ‘bursts’ into Sousuke’s life — she exists inside a bubble — another thing closely associated with ‘bursting’ in the world of a child.]
  2. Things being vigorously or carelessly said or done. [Related to Ponyo’s exuberant nature]
  3. To fill something to the brim. Also to fill something so full that it appears as though it could burst at any moment. [Related to the theme of being inundated by water/flood/environmental disaster].

Symbolism of the Tunnel

Tunnels are a classic symbol in fairy tales marking the ‘portal‘ between childhood and self-discovery (maturity).

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But what does the tunnel mean in this story? Halfway through, the children get scared and turn back. The dark of the tunnel is at least ominous, if not a metaphor for death.

CHARACTERISATION

Ponyo As Mirror Image Of Sousuke

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When Sousuke sees the ‘goldfish’ in the bucket, he sees the sea version of himself.

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Using the red-oni, blue-oni trope (also used in The Girl Who Leapt Through Time), Miyazaki includes many frames in which these characters are basically mirror images of each other. In this shot, even the arrangement of the food inside the bowl is exactly the same. Ponyo is the more gregarious version of Sousuke, who actually comes from the sea rather than being fascinated by it. It’s natural that Sousuke is fascinated by the sea — it’s where his father works, and due to his father’s frequent absence, Sousuke would be glamorising the sea life.

Here’s another mirror image. While Sousuke’s interest is symbolised by the toy boat, Ponyo is more interested in the trappings of human life, symbolised by the lamp.

Sousuke’s Name

宗介 pronounced soo-suke

The individual characters mean centre/pillar/principle + mediate/shellfish

I’ve always thought it weird that the character for mediate also happens to mean shellfish. Is Miyazaki using that here, since shellfish are associated with the sea, and Sousuke is the mediation between the sea and the land?

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This gag reminds me very much of a scene featuring Connie from Enid Blyton’s The Folk of the Faraway Tree, the third in her Magic Faraway Tree series. In my illustrated deluxe version there is a picture of Connie that closely matches this one.

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In Blyton’s story, too, a girl who is preoccupied with her appearance (pretty dresses) gets her ‘comeuppance’ by having water dropped on her, in this case by Dame Washalot. Often in children’s stories, when a girly girl goes along with the dominant cultural idea that she should be pretty, rather than rejecting it, she is punished and ends up a version of ugly as a didactic message. Miyazaki uses the same trope when he first shows the scene in which the little girl shows Sousuke her pretty new dress but then is later punished — ostensibly for calling Ponyo unappealing — by having water squirted in her face. (I could continue into adult territory and explore this popular metaphor further, but I don’t want that kind of traffic to my blog.)

Sousuke is therefore embracing the caring, nurturing side of femininity, but the filmmaker is also very obviously rejecting that other side of femininity, the one in whichappearance is important. What does this mean for the story? Perhaps Miyazakiis saying that humans are inclined to ignore that which is just beneath the surface. In the case of the ocean, it still looks blue to us and unless we’re schooled otherwise, we have no idea about mercury poisoning and the imminent extinction of coral reefs.

Granmamare

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On the other hand, Ponyo’s mother is not only good but she is also beautiful. Her amazing beauty is conveyed mainly through her eyes. Whereas the other characters get simply drawn eyes, the Granmamare gets highly detailed, hyper-realistic eyes which not only serve to ‘other’ her — she is not of our world — but also serve to link goodness with beauty.I wonder if Miyazaki is conscious of this beauty of beauty in the very same story — beauty equals goodness when it comes to female characters, but when little girls aim for beauty, they are punished.

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This view of Granmamare reminds me of the classic painting of Ophelia. This relaxed pose is in juxtaposition to the wild and frantic Risa, Sousuke’s mother.

Ophelia is a painting by British artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed between 1851 and 1852. It is held in the Tate Britain in London. It depicts Ophelia, a character from William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, singing before she drowns in a river in Denmark.

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Sousuke’s Mother

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The mother in Ponyo is a bit of a departure for Miyazaki, whose fictional mothers tend to be devoted, 1950s housewife types. Perhaps we should be pleased that this mother is different — she is reckless to the point I would not get in a car with that woman. But the car is pink — is this a comment on woman drivers? Without the surrounding cultural trope I wouldn’t be thinking this at all, so let’s just put it aside.

There’s no doubt she’s gutsy — she ignores the special emergency services-type men who try to stop her driving the winding road back to her house on the cliff. She traverses a water-filled bridge while the tide is momentarily out and puts her own life and her son’s life at risk. For what?

The mother is like a human version of the wind that opens the movie. She is easily changeable, going from ecstatic that her husband will be coming home for the night to lolling about on the floor after drinking beer in a depression when he is required to work longer at sea. She’s not exactly your ‘strong, independent woman’ just because she works outside the house.

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Risa is very much a part of the human world, oblivious to anything that might be happening under the sea, and doesn’t even think too hard about the wizard with the fertiliser back pack who says he’s just keeping himself wet. Her carnal nature is symbolised by her holding the ham sandwich in her maw, in most unladylike fashion.

Yet Sousuke’s mother is still very caring and maternal. She works in the Himawari (sunflower)old-folks’ home caring for the elderly and she cooks nice food for Sousuke. Conveniently for the plot, she is somewhat childlike herself, and doesn’t wonder too much about the strange fish girl who her son has befriended and brings home with him to live.

The Old Ladies

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The old lady with the side shave didn’t know she was starting a trend, later emulated by Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. Sousuke has the same cut, which probably started as a good look for little boys to stop the headlice back in the day.

Significantly, the kindergarten is positioned right next to the old folks’ home: the young is juxtaposed with the old, or perhaps completes the ‘circle of life’ idea which is also conveyed via the earth/sea back and forth that happens throughout the plot. Old age is shown to be adjacent to childhood — in the scenes reminiscent of that 1985 movie Cocoon, the old women in wheelchairs can suddenly walk and run like they did as children when they are transported into the underwater playground.

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In their wheelchairs, however, they are at the same head level as the five-year-old boy.

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Fujimoto

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This guy from under the sea used to be a human so naturally he still has a human name.

Dani Cavallaro, in Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study comparesFujimoto to parental figures in other Miyazaki films:

A lurking sense of menace redolent of the atmosphere prevalent in Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle emanates from the character of Fujimoto, Ponyo’s father. However, the forest kami[gods] depicted in Princess Mononoke are surrounded by an alarming aura even when their actions are charitable. Spirited Away’s bathhouse spirits are invariably invested with sinister iconographic connotations despite their often comical traits, and the mutants deployed as military machinery in Howl’s Moving Castle are even more explicitly baleful, lacking any concessions to humor in their alternately repugnant and horrific constitutions. Ponyo’s father, by contrast, comes across more as a solipsistic patriarch with a peculiar sense of fashion than as a consummate villain. Nor is he utterly devoid of benevolent intentions. A sorcerer intent on the concoction of life-giving elixir that could purge the mess humanity has unleashed into the ocean, Fujimoto is determined to confine his daughter to his watery lair. There is every chance that the wizard’s objection to his daughter’s desires has a lot to do with its stark contravention of the role model he has set. He indeed describes himself as an “ex-human” — a type ostensibly issuing from some sea-change intervention — and, like most fresh converts, is driven by the manic fervor of a zealot. Thus, Ponyo only echoes the epic scope of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle insofar as Fujimoto’s efforts to restrain Ponyo evince the tone of a figurative mini-crusade.

While Fujimoto appears relatively harmless by comparison with either the malicious Yubaba or Howl’s warmongering despots, he is initially successful in tearing Ponyo away from her beloved Sousuke. If Sousuke, palpably heartbroken, is powerless to intervene, Miyazaki’s version of the Little Mermaid will stop at nothing to see her wish to be human and to live with her savior fulfilled. In the course of a fierce confrontation with Fujimoto, she rejects the name the sorcerer has imposed upon her, “Brunnhild,” and declares her name to be Ponyo (the allusion to Norse mythology is worth of notice).

With the help of her sisters, she then manages to flee the paternal prison once more and turns herself into a human by recourse to Fujimoto’s own magic. Regrettably, by releasing into the sea the wizard’s entire supply of elixir, Ponyo also triggers a massive environmental imbalance, which in turn causes the seas to boil, mammoth prehistoric fish from the Devonian era to invade the flooded land, the moon to stray outside its customary orbit and satellites to race across the sky like frantic shooting stars. In this respect, the movie stands out as a subtle parable about the precariousness of ecological equilibrium.

Magic as Metaphor in Anime: A Critical Study
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FURTHER READING

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Mificao is a picture book from the Ivory Coast, by Marie-Danielle Aka, illustrated by Les Studios Zohoré. This story shares similarities to Ponyo:

Underwater, a little carp watches the village children play, and wants to join them. A good genie fish changes her into a little girl and there she is, Mificao, with her new friends Yaro and Ziza who guide her in her discovery of the daily life of the village. She also discovers garbage heaps, the technique of scorched earth… and gives lessons for better hygiene and the protection of nature. But can Mificao stay forever far from her own people?The text is long; colourful illustrations give a good idea of life in the village.

The World Through Picture Books
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Cartoonist Liana Finck’s Let There Be Light” recasts the story of Genesis with a female God who is a neurotic artist. Finck has said in interview that she based the main character ‘a tiny bit on Ponyo’, a very powerful little girl who can work magic. At the beginning she exists in a void and just decides to make something. It’s all fun and games until she starts to feel self-doubt and realises she hasn’t done well enough. She’s well-intentioned, happy and hard on herself. She has a big ego, realises she has a big ego and then hates herself for it.

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READ AT MY OTHER BLOG

FAQs

What is the symbolism in Ponyo? ›

From that moment, they are living in the afterlife. This means that Ponyo, a creature that is half god, was guiding Sosuke across the water — which, in Japanese culture, is a symbol for crossing the river towards heaven. In other words, everyone has passed away.

What is the main theme of Ponyo? ›

"Gake no Ue no Ponyo" (崖の上のポニョ, "Ponyo on the Cliff") is the eponymous theme song to the Studio Ghibli film Ponyo, released on December 5, 2007 (though gaining popularity with the release of the film in August 2008).

Is Ponyo a girl or boy? ›

A five-year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a young goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him.

What is the summary of Ponyo? ›

What is Ponyo's real name? ›

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.

What is the moral of the story of Ponyo? ›

Ponyo represents the creatures in the sea. The message is that mankind will disrupt the balance of nature by using the sea and taking the bounty of the sea unless we love and care for it.

Who does Ponyo fall in love with? ›

Ponyo came back, and she's a little girl now! Sōsuke (さすけ, Sosuke) is one of the main protagonists of the film Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea directed by Hayao Miyazaki. He is the son of Koichi and Lisa, as well as Ponyo's lover.

What is the central conflict in Ponyo? ›

In Ponyo, the sea wizard Fujimoto struggles and contradicts himself over the idea of Ponyo's freedom from the ocean. He wants his child to stay with him while also wanting her to be happy. It's a classic conundrum, but it's rendered with weight and care even in what is, ostensibly, a children's film.

Is Ponyo a love story? ›

The movie “Ponyo” is about courage, friendship, willpower, love, and the bond between a boy and a fish. Love is true magic, a magic that makes the impossible possible!

What is the climax of Ponyo? ›

Riding the waves, Ponyo searches for Sosuke, and they eventually reunite. The tsunami scene is the climax of the film; dark waves with eyes leap over one another and eventually submerge the town.

Is Ponyo a dad? ›

Fujimoto (藤本, Fujimoto) is the father of Ponyo in Ponyo on a Cliff by the Sea. Fujimoto is voiced by Joji Tokoro in the Japanese and Liam Neeson in the English version.
...
Fujimoto
Kanjiフジモト (藤本)
RomajiFujimoto
Feature filmsPonyo
GenderMale
7 more rows

How old is Ponyo dad? ›

Fujimoto is slender and appears to be 40-years old, but he may have lived much longer.

Does Ponyo have a sad ending? ›

As always, there's a happy ending and Ponyo ends the movie as a human. The way Ponyo was animated really makes the story feel complete. The animators reach into the fun, playful energy that's set up through the movie to make some really cool looking movements.

What kind of creature is Ponyo? ›

The 2008 animated film “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea” features the friendship between a five-year-old boy, Sosuke and Ponyo, a goldfish princess who longs to be human.

What story is Ponyo based on? ›

Ponyo – Japan's Modern Day Little Mermaid.

Ponyo or Ponyo on the Cliff By the Sea to give the film it's full title, is a 2008 animated movie from Studio Ghibli and tells the story of a goldfish who is transformed into a human after meeting a little boy.

Why does Ponyo have human face? ›

Fujimoto takes Ponyo back to their home in the ocean and seals her in a magical bubble. With the help of her sisters, she breaks free and makes her way to her father's sealed potion room. She gets into it and finds a potion that turns her into a human. Ponyo and Sosuke shove their faces in the water.

Is Ponyo's mom a God? ›

Granmamare (グランママレ, Guranmamare) is the Goddess of Mercy and the Queen of the ocean, wife of Fujimoto and the mother of Ponyo and all her sisters.

How does Ponyo end? ›

In the end, Ponyo is set free by her father and allowed to live as a human with Lisa and Sosuke. We're joyful in knowing that she will be able to live as she wants, but, more than anything else, we wish could see her discover all the other small magic there is in the world.

How old is the boy in Ponyo? ›

A five-year-old boy develops a relationship with Ponyo, a young goldfish princess who longs to become a human after falling in love with him. The son of a sailor, 5-year-old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an oceanside cliff with his mother Lisa.

Why was there a flood in Ponyo? ›

The drop of blood that Ponyo licked gives her strong magical powers. These allow her to transform into a little girl and escape from her father. But Ponyo's use of magic causes an environmental imbalance, resulting in storms, tidal waves, floods and the appearance of prehistoric sea creatures.

Whats Ponyos dads name? ›

Meet Fujimoto, Ponyo's father.

Is Sosukes dad alive in Ponyo? ›

Here are a few points to support this claim: -Sōsuke's father never showed up on the shore when he was alive. Only long after the tsunami that he returned to his family. (Also taking into account the amount of shipwrecks that the tsunami had caused; there was no way anyone at sea could've survived that.)

Where is the setting of Ponyo? ›

Located in the south-east of Hiroshima prefecture, Tomonoura stands in a bay that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Part of Setonaikai National Park, it was classed as one of Japan's 100 most picturesque municipalities in 2007.

Is Ponyo OK for kids? ›

Parents need to know that Ponyo, a stunning adventure from anime master Hayao Miyazaki, is one of his most kid-friendly films to date, with memorable characters and positive messages.

Is Ponyo the oldest sister? ›

They seem to love their older sister, Ponyo, often schooling around her in the film, treating her like a leader.

Why is Ponyo a chicken? ›

Judging on what her dad says about her drinking blood it could be that Ponyo has been human before. The reason why Ponyo turns back into a fish is because she used up all of her magic. When Ponyo uses her magic she turns into her chicken form, but had enough magic to turn back to normal.

Is Ponyos mom a mermaid? ›

Appearance. Granmammare is a sea goddess, capable of changing her humanoid form at will.

Why is there no Ponyo 2? ›

Instead of making Ponyo 2, Suzuki proposed making a movie about Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter. Initially, Miyazaki wasn't keen, but eventually got behind the idea. And that's why Miyazaki's last feature film is The Wind Rises and not Ponyo 2.

What is Ponyo's personality? ›

Personality… bubbly, honest, and a bit naive. Unlike her father, Ponyo is more than willing to trust humans and is delighted by the world outside her submarine. Childlike, she sees her goals and heads straight for them without worrying about consequences, and somehow it seems like everything will turn out fine.

Is Ponyo half human? ›

Ponyo (Cyrus), half-human, half-fish, escapes from her father, marine lord Fujimoto (Neeson), and is adopted by young Sosuke (Jonas). But with the balance of the elements thrown askew, the natural world begins to go wonky.

Why did Ponyo's sisters turn into fish? ›

Appearance. Later in the film, due to Fujimoto's released potions, they too grow in size and number, fully transforming from girls resembling the size and hair length of Granmamare to immense fish made of ocean waves. They are reverted to their original forms after Granmamare appears to the women of the retirement home ...

Is Ponyos dad a fish? ›

Originally a human, Fujimoto serves as the Guardian of Sea Life. Being the husband of Granmamare, Fujimoto is the father of Ponyo and her sisters.

What fairytale is Ponyo based on? ›

Ponyo is the straightest example of a Western fairytale reinvented by Miyazaki as it is directly based on Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid.

Are Ponyo and Sosuke in love? ›

Ponyo had transformed into a little girl because of her love for Sosuke who promised to take care of her. He even gave her ham which became her favorite food!

What is Ponyo's age? ›

Ponyo is just like a real 5-year-old girl -- in awe of the world, adventurous, hilarious. Sosuke, on the other hand, is wise beyond his years, courageous, responsible, and loving.

Who is Ponyo's brother? ›

Frankie Jonas
Other namesThe Bonus Jonas
OccupationActor
Years active2008-2013 (Currently On Hiatus)
Known forYoungest sibling of the Jonas Brothers
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What happens to Ponyo in the end? ›

In the end, Ponyo is set free by her father and allowed to live as a human with Lisa and Sosuke. We're joyful in knowing that she will be able to live as she wants, but, more than anything else, we wish could see her discover all the other small magic there is in the world.

What is the conflict of Ponyo? ›

In Ponyo, the sea wizard Fujimoto struggles and contradicts himself over the idea of Ponyo's freedom from the ocean. He wants his child to stay with him while also wanting her to be happy. It's a classic conundrum, but it's rendered with weight and care even in what is, ostensibly, a children's film.

How did Ponyo turn into a human? ›

However, it is too late: when Sosuke cuts his finger on broken glass, Ponyo heals his wound by licking it, and the taste of human blood has made her yearn to be human. Back in the ocean, Ponyo defies her father, and she uses his magic to transform herself into a human and escape to the surface.

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