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Noah Cyrus, Yuria Nara, Frankie Jonas, Hiroki Doi, Tina Fey ... see more see more... , Tomoko Yamaguchi , Matt Damon , Kazushige Nagashima , Cate Blanchett , Yuki Amami , Liam Neeson , George Tokoro , Lily Tomlin , Betty White , Cloris Leachman , Kurt Knutsson , Jenessa Rose

Acclaimed anime master Hayao Miyazaki returns for his ninth animated feature with Ponyo, which deals with a friendship between a five-year-old boy and a goldfish princess who yearns to be human. The d... read more read more...aughter of the king of the ocean, Ponyo is no ordinary goldfish -- she has all the magic of the sea at her disposal. But when five-year-old Sosuke befriends the spunky little fish near the seaside home he shares with his mother and father, a special connection sparks between the two children, and Ponyo becomes determined to become human. Transforming into a little girl, Ponyo shows up at Sosuke's doorstep, delighted to make herself at home with her new land-dwelling family. But having a magical fish princess walking around on dry land begins setting the mystical balance of the world off kilter, and even though the innocent love Ponyo feels for her dear friend is strong, it will take some help from the greatest powers in the ocean to make things right again. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi

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83% liked it

94,871 ratings


92% liked it

159 critics

G, 1 hr. 41 min.

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Release Date: August 14, 2009

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DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010

Stats: 7,093 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (7,093)

  • April 1, 2014
    Welcome To A World Where Anything Is Possible.

    Great Animated Film! The film is simultaneously stunning in its beauty and endearing in its simplicity, unrestrained enthusiasm walking the edge between inspired brilliance and mind-addling delirium. At its core, its about love, tha... read moret between the family members of Koichi, Lisa and Sosuke, and especially between mother and son. More so, it's about the love between the boy and his new pet fish which he christened Ponyo, and I tell you Ponyo herself has enough cuteness in her to beat the likes of Bolt, WallE and Eve all hands down. Characterization here is top notch, and it's hard not to fall in love with Ponyo, in whichever form adopted, especially when she's such a playful being who doesn't hide her emotions - if she's upset with you, either she turns away or you could expect a jet stream come spewing from her mouth into your face! Like a modern day fairytale, the film tells a timeless story of friendship and love that will surely be cherished in years to come.

    The son of a sailor, 5-year old Sosuke lives a quiet life on an oceanside cliff with his mother Lisa. One fateful day, he finds a beautiful goldfish trapped in a bottle on the beach and upon rescuing her, names her Ponyo. But she is no ordinary goldfish. The daughter of a masterful wizard and a sea goddess, Ponyo uses her father's magic to transform herself into a young girl and quickly falls in love with Sosuke, but the use of such powerful sorcery causes a dangerous imbalance in the world. As the moon steadily draws nearer to the earth and Ponyo's father sends the ocean's mighty waves to find his daughter, the two children embark on an adventure of a lifetime to save the world and fulfill Ponyo's dreams of becoming human.
  • January 30, 2014
    A very adorable and visually beautiful hand-drawn animation by master Hayao Miyazaki, who goes for a more innocent and simpler approach for this story instead of delivering an epic of environmental message like some of his more memorable works.
  • August 3, 2013
    A cute, magical, and visually enthralling 'The Little Mermaid'-esque fairy tale from the master himself, Hayao Miyazaki. A sweet and invigorating ride for all ages.
  • March 10, 2012
    For American animated movies, the forefront of this genre is obviously Pixar. The studio manages to attract children and adults with its great storytelling, gorgeous and fluid animation, and memorable characters... Hayao Miyazaki is arguably on the same caliber as Pixar.

    If "Po... read morenyo" were a well of imagination, it would be shooting up water all over the place. It's overflowing with very diverse, strange, and unique imaginative settings, effects, and characters. See, the thing about Pixar is how they take stories that have occurred to adults and place them upon cute animals, children, or children-friendly protagonists. The journey these characters take are tweaked to appeal to children but "Ponyo"... wow, everything is created from the imaginative vision and mind of a child.
    There's creepy imagery and strange concepts going on, but "Ponyo" is entertaining throughout. The transition from the Japanese voice actors to the American? Almost flawless. Great move to get professional A-list actors to substitute for the original voice actors -- I wouldn't even know if the Japanese version or American is better. The only problem I had with this movie is that though it is visually spectacular, it could've been MORE entertaining but other then that, "Ponyo" is one of those animated movies that any child and adult will willingly invest their attention to.
  • March 3, 2012
    Beautiful, imaginative and utterly adorable.
  • September 22, 2011
    Sosuke: Mom! Ponyo came back, and she's a little girl now!

    "Welcome To A World Where Anything Is Possible."

    Ponyo, simply put, is one of the best animated films I have seen. It's a beautiful and overall delightful movie that is just a joy to watch. It kind of makes you fee... read morel like your five years old again. It sucks you in and you can't take your eyes off it. It is like watching another, better world. The film does what a lot of animated movies don't, in that it is as engrossing plot wise as it is visually. And that's saying a lot because visually this is a masterpiece.

    The story starts with a five year old boy, Sosuke, finding a gold fish in the ocean. He names it Ponyo and spends the say with it only to lose it at sea and that's when the real magic starts. The American version has a superb voice cast including Cate Blanchett, Liam Neeson, Matt Damon and Tina Fey. The film has enormous heart which is shown through the love of Sosuke and Ponyo.

    It isn't as confusing as I had expected, but it does have some elements of, "So what is going on?" I would expect kids to be infatuated with this movie though, purely because of the spectacle. Little kids don't need to understand every little detail of the plot, they just need something beautiful to look at and this is it. For adults, it has a lot of substance and makes for an extremely enjoyable hundred minutes. Family films don't come much better than this.
  • August 24, 2011
    I thought this movie was incredible and so did my two year old daughter. Original, heart felt and a little creepy at times as all good childrens films should be, Ponyo is a definite favourite in my house that is watched at least once a week. Even out goldfish bears her name.
  • August 16, 2011
    Ponyo is one of Hayao Miyazaki's more gentle and cute films. However it still somehow manages to find a way to engage a connection with adults also. Audiences who witness Ponyo will not leave feeling bored, it is brilliantly animated, it is absolutely adorable and is another piec... read moree of Miyazaki poetry. However, a lot goes on in this film and it might confuse younger viewers. It all depeneds on who your taking to see Ponyo.
  • April 23, 2011
    Japanese anime based on the little mermaid. A goldfish is rescued by a boy. The goldfish wants to become human to be with him. Voiced by Liam Neeson, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett.
  • March 16, 2011
    I"m a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's work, but this just didn't grab me like my favorite SPIRITED AWAY did. Not to say that it was bad -- not at all. The art was of course terrific, the characters were engaging, but the story was confusing, and Liam Neeson voice is way too familiar ... read moreto me to believe his character. A good but not great try.

Critic Reviews

Rafer Guzman
July 6, 2010
Rafer Guzman, Newsday

Even when the film feels murky, Miyazaki's painterly eye keeps things afloat Full Review

David Jenkins
February 16, 2010
David Jenkins, Time Out

We're drawn under the waves of the sea to a hidden enclave of neon-hued aqualife more vibrant, surreal and enchanting than any of the floating 3D whatsits in 'Avatar'. Full Review

Ruth Hessey
August 27, 2009
Ruth Hessey, MovieTime, ABC Radio National

Children will love this. It's classic Miyazaki. Full Review

Andrea Gronvall
August 20, 2009
Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader

One of the anime master's weaker efforts. Full Review

Stephanie Zacharek
August 19, 2009
Stephanie Zacharek,

Ponyo hasn't changed my mind about Miyazaki. But I'm willing to accept and enjoy this little window into the dream life of fish. Full Review

Ben Lyons
August 17, 2009
Ben Lyons, At the Movies

I liked that it wasn't bound by the conventions of normal storytelling and I loved seeing a film that is just hand drawn animation. Full Review

Ben Mankiewicz
August 17, 2009
Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies

I was, I'm afraid, a little lost at times. Full Review

Joe Neumaier
August 14, 2009
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

Trippy in the right way, and wholly enchanting. Full Review

Lou Lumenick
August 14, 2009
Lou Lumenick, New York Post

This exquisite pastel-colored, eye-popping example of hand-drawn animation is still very Japanese, aimed most specifically at children around the world -- but with a storytelling sophistication that a... Full Review

Stephen Whitty
August 14, 2009
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger

Miyazaki's artwork can be lovely -- and the delicate, watery colors of Ponyo are particularly well done -- but he's still a slave to the genre's peculiar traditions. Full Review

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    • Lisa (English Version): So, what's your mother like?
    • Ponyo (English Version): She's big and BEAUTIFUL!!! But, she can be very scary.
    • Sosuke (English Version): Just like my Mom!
    • Gran Mamare (English Version): [upon seeing Ponyo] Ugh! it has a real face on it! Throw it back into the sea before it causes a tsunami!
    • Ponyo (English Version): HAM!
    • Ponyo (English Version): [Holding out sandwiches to woman on boat] Here, take these!
    • Sosuke: She already ate all the ham out of those.
    • Lisa (English Version): [Looking over shoulder at tsunami] Wow, that wave is really after us.
    • Lisa (English Version): I say we start with dessert and go backwards. It's been a backwards kind of day!

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