The amazing Hiyao Miyazaki and his animation team at Studio Ghibli agreed to work with the Disney Animation Studios to create Miyazaki's re-telling of the traditional fairytale of the Little Mermaid.
It is the tale of a magical goldfish (voiced by Noah Cyrus) that wishes to break free from her overbearing, wizard of a father (voiced by Liam Neeson), and become human to maintain a friendship with a five-year-old boy (Frankie Jonas) in a nearby seaside village. Although he has loving parents (Tina Fey and Matt Damon) his father is rarely home so they have their own issues to work out.
Interview segment from AWN.COM's Bill Desowitz
AWN: How do come up with your worlds?
Hayao Miyazaki: I do all my work on storyboard, so as I draw my storyboard, the world gets more and more complex. And as a result, my north, south, east, west sense of direction kind of shift and go off base. But it seems like my staff as well as the audience don't quite realize that this is happening. Don't tell them about it.
AWN: How important is it to get elements [about preserving the environment] into your films?
HM: The most important thing is, I think, that even within such an environment, children grow up, they learn to love and they enjoy living in that environment.
AWN: What was the original inspiration for Ponyo?
HM: I think John Lasseter knows as well, but it's really hard to explain what becomes the motivation or the instigation to do a film. I feel like I'm searching in my subconscious with a fishing net and I happened upon catching a goldfish in that net and that was the inspiration for starting to make this movie.