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Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo Scheduled to Hit American Theaters

Logo handmade by Bannister Column by Scott Green
Animation World Network reports that Disney Pictures has announced that Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, Ponyo (on a Cliff by the Sea) will hit American theaters on August 14th, 2009. Noah Cyrus will voice the goldfish who wants to be a human and Frankie Jonas will be her human friend Sosuke while other cast members include Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White. Film Jerk recently reported that Ponyo would open on 750 plus locations in second quarter 2009. In January, Variety reported that John Pixar's Lasseter was working with Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy to make Hayao Miyazaki/Ghibli's Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea "the studio's biggest hit ever Stateside." According to the piece, Ghibli has been frustrated that their films have only found a niche audience about anime fans and arthouse goers. From the Variety piece: The goal is to boost both the number of screens and the box office take beyond Ghibli's record for a U.S. release set by "Spirited Away," the Miyazaki toon that earned a little more than $10 million on 714 screens in 2002 and 2003. For watchers of Miyazaki's home base, Ghibli, the studio is preparing to work on Isao Takahata's (Grave of the Fireflies, Pom Poko) first film since 1999's My Neighbors the Yamadas. Miyazaki is also preparing another animated film. See more anime news in the latest AICN Anime column.
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