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Ponyo film image

Written by Miyazaki himself and influenced by Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, this is a wonderfully strange fable about a curious fish-girl – the English adaptation calls her a goldfish, but she lives in salt water – who breaks away from her siblings and over-protective father and winds up stranded on the shore. There she’s rescued by a little boy, Sosuke, who names her Ponyo.

Angrily reclaimed by her father, Fujimoto, who summons the wave spirits to help him, Ponyo reaffirms her independence by releasing the magic he has carefully kept bottled up for years. Turning into a human, Ponyo returns to the little house on top of a cliff where Sosuke lives with his mother – but her escape comes at the expense of a mighty storm…

Made in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Christmas Day tsunami in Asia, Ponyo is a vivid illustration of the power, beauty and danger of the ocean. Yet in Miyazaki’s hands this devastation is in some ways a benevolent catharsis, a purifying event that reminds us to respect and reconnect with Nature.

Sunday matinee: English language version. Monday evening: Japanese with English subtitles.

You’ll be planning to see Ponyo twice before you’ve finished seeing it once…. It offers up unforgettable images […] images that use the logic of dreams to make the deepest possible connection to our emotions, and to our souls.

Kenneth Turan, NPR

Miyazaki knows the secret language of children; he dives deep into the pool of childhood dreams and fears and, through his animagic, takes children down to where they can breathe, and feel, and be free.

Richard Corliss, Time


Presenting Partner

Media Partner



Hayao Miyazaki

Country of Origin





Matinee: English

Evening: In Japanese with English subtitles


All ages welcome!

101 min

Book Tickets

Sunday June 25

3:00 pm
Hearing Assistance U18 May Attend
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Book Now

Monday June 26

8:30 pm
Hearing Assistance Subtitles U18 May Attend
VIFF Centre - Vancity Theatre
Book Now

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