Animation master Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film, PONYO, has been picked up by Disney for a stateside distribution. August 14th will bring the movie that was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Little Mermaid to America. It is already a hit in Japan.
With Steve Alpert, Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall producing the English-language dub and Executive producers of John Lasseter and Miyazaki himself, the translation is in good hands.
The plot follows a young and overeager goldfish named Ponyo (voiced by Noah Cyrus) and her quest to become human. The English voice cast includes Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, and Frankie Jonas as Sosuke, a young boy who befriends Ponyo.
The only question now is how wide a distribution will the film get and will it attract the sort of audiences Miyazaki’s work deserves. Btw, Pixar’s UP will be a good lead in for US audiences as it is heavily influenced by the works of Master Miyazaki.