Toho will release director Hayao Miyazaki’s next animated film, Gake no ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on a Cliff), in summer 2008. Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli will produce.
The film is Miyazaki’s first since his 2004 megahit Howl’s Moving Castle, which scored $169 million off 15 million admissions in Japan. The new film concerns a goldfish princess named Ponyo who wants to become human and her relationship with a 5-year-old boy.
Miyazaki, who is writing the original script, is basing the boy on his grandson, the son of Tales From Earthsea helmer Goro Miyazaki.
The seaside setting is inspired by the director’s 2005 stay on Japan’s Inland Sea, renowned for its scenic views.
Instead of incorporating ever more CG cuts into 2-D animation, as Studio Ghibli has done in recent films, Miyazaki intends to make “Ponyo” with a pastel watercolor, hand-painted look.