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‘Ponyo’ for the US and Canada

August 6, 2009

I was happily surprised to hear that newest movie by Studio Ghibli (a Japanese animation film studio that has produced hits such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor Totoro, among many others), Gake no Ue no Ponyo is hitting select theaters in the US and Canada August 14th. The direct translation of the title for this movie is “Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea,” but it’s been simplified to “Ponyo” for English audiences.

Ponyo was written and directed by the big guy: Hayao Miyazaki (re: you can expect greatness). Quick summary of this movie? A juvenile fish named Ponyo wants to become a human girl. In pursuing her goal, she befriends a five-year-old human boy, Sosuke. And stuff happens.

Fans of these movies will know that Disney has video rights to most of Ghibli’s movies. They have dubbed many of these films in English with the voices of people such as Anna Paquin, Kirsten Dunst, Michael Keaton, Claire Danes, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal and so many others. These dubs are actually very well done, although nothing can compare to the original voice acting. What am I getting at? I’m very curious about how Ponyo‘s dub will turn out. For me, the voices can be hit or miss. Chihiro in Spirited Away was spot on (acted by Daveigh Chase), but Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle didn’t fit great (acted by Christian Bale).

Let’s explore some pros and cons of the voice casting for Ponyo.

Cons: The children voice actor choices are so stereotypical Disney that I find myself having a hard time getting over it. As most people know, the Jonas Brothers and Miley Cyrus are some of their biggest money makers right now. So who did they cast? Noah Cyrus (girl) and Frankie Jonas. Sigh. Wow, what a unique move, Disney. I just hope they picked the best kids for the job. I’ll try to give them the benefit of the doubt right now.

Pros: The adult castings are pretty starry: Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tiny Fey, Liam Neeson, Betty White, Cloris Leachman, and Lily Tomlin. WOW. I’m really happy with these people. Really. If these people are involved, I guess I should worry less about who the kids are… even though the kids will probably do most of the talking in the movie lol.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing this movie for the first time. Once again, Ponyo is being released in select theaters in the US and Canada on August 14th. Road trip time if you don’t live in one of those theaters!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 8, 2009 1:22 pm

    I can’t wait for this movie to be released! I want to watch it before it gets dubbed though. LOL ^^

  2. January 8, 2010 10:13 am

    Lol, echt gut. Komme nun

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