[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ponyo.jpg]]

->''"Ponyo, Ponyo, Ponyo - fishy in the sea!\\
Tiny little fishy, who could you really be?\\
Ponyo, Ponyo, Ponyo - magic sets you free!\\
Oh she's a little girl with a round tummy!"''

''Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea'' (''Gake no Ue no Ponyo'') is a 2008 film by {{anime}} master Creator/HayaoMiyazaki and Creator/StudioGhibli. Loosely ('''''very''''' loosely) based on the Creator/HansChristianAndersen story ''Literature/TheLittleMermaid'', the movie follows the adventures of Ponyo, a sort of... [[BuffySpeak goldfishy thing]], and her quest [[PinocchioSyndrome to become human]] and be with [[InterspeciesRomance the boy she loves]].

In comparison with Miyazaki's other recent works, this is a return to his more whimsical, SliceOfLife movies such as ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'' and ''Anime/KikisDeliveryService''. The difference is, it's also his only movie that is directly aimed at the under-ten set. The result is that many long-time Miyazaki fans [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids didn't know what to make of it]]. It is also the studio's first film in years not to feature any CGI. ''It's all hand drawn'' (though the drawback is that it does look dated despite being made in the 2000's).

The {{Disney}} dub of ''Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea'' received a U.S. theatrical release in August 2009 under the abbreviated title ''Ponyo'' (after being initially marketed as ''Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea''). As of March 2, 2010 Disney has released it on DVD and Blu-Ray as well.

Oh, and -- [[DoingItForTheArt as usual]] for [[Creator/HayaoMiyazaki Miyazaki]] -- the animation is awesome, in the original sense of the word (i.e. awe-inspiring).
----
!!Tropes:

* AerithAndBob: We have Brunhilde (Ponyo), Fujimoto, Granmamare, Lisa and Sosuke.
* AnthropomorphicPersonification: Ponyo's mother Granmammare is apparently the personification of the sea. She is also an archetype, the Great Mother. Does that mean Fujimoto [[DidYouJustRomanceCthulhu scored with]] [[WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries the ocean? What a freaky fish guy!]]
* BadMoonRising: Way too large and drawing the tides way too high.
* BerserkButton: Don't insult Ponyo in fish form or threaten Sosuke or she'll spit water on you.
* BigEater: Ponyo, who managed (in ''fish'' form) to gobble down a piece of ham as big as she was.
* BloodMagic: Drinking human blood gives Ponyo the ability to become human too.
* BoyMeetsGhoul: But she [[spoiler:[[BecomeARealBoy becomes human]].]]
* BulletTime: Sosuke running from Fujimoto with Ponyo in the later half of the movie.
* CatchPhrase:
--> '''Fujimoto:''' This is bad. This is very bad.
* CheerfulChild: Sosuke. [[GenkiGirl Ponyo, even more so]].
* ChildrenAreInnocent: Her father wishes she could remain so forever, and later objects to testing Sosuke because he is so innocent.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}:
** Being completely alien to human life, Ponyo acts like an overexcited 5-year-old, which she pretty much is, when living with Sosuke. An overexcited five-year-old who [[TheFairFolk accidentally floods a heavily populated island just to see that cute boy she likes again...]]
* CosyCatastrophe: The dramatic rise of sea levels is mostly treated as a reason to [[YokohamaKaidashiKikou have an extended picnic]].
* CuteBruiser: Ponyo accidentally causes a ''tsunami''.
* DeclarationOfProtection
--> '''Sosuke:''' Don't worry Ponyo, I will always protect you. I promise..
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Ponyo goes barefoot for nearly the entire film. "Nearly" because the rest of the time she's a fish.
* DoNotCallMePaul
--> My name is not Brunhilde, it's Ponyo!
* DrivesLikeCrazy: Lisa. It certainly does not help that Sosuke is in the car for most of her road antics.
* FishOutOfWater: Literally with Ponyo, though she's not a typical example of this trope.
* FirstNameBasis: Sosuke with his own parents. (Not in the dub, though.)
* FisherKing: Ponyo sets the world out of order when she is neither magic nor human.
* FriendToAllLivingThings: Lisa. She accepts Ponyo pretty easily, works with the elderly, and even defends weeds from (suspected) pesticides.
* FunBagAirBag: Sosuke crashes into an old lady this way while carrying Ponyo.
* GenkiGirl: Ponyo. She is a 5-year-old, after all.
* TheGlomp: Once Lisa and Sosuke arrive back home, a large wave washes Ponyo a short distance away from it. Upon seeing Sosuke getting out of the car, she immediately runs toward him and does this.
* GratuitousJapanese: Amazingly, Disney didn't try to localize this movie [[FourKidsEntertainment unlike certain other dubbers]]. The English dub preserves a few JapaneseHonorifics that have "loanword" status ["-san," mostly, and "sensei"], possibly to help enforce the fact that this takes place in Japan.
* {{Gonk}}: The baby. Of all the places to avert GenericCuteness. (A very mild example.)
* GreenAesop: Although not entirely: the point seems to be that despite pollution, [[HumansAreBastards humans are NOT bastards]] -- at least not individually.
* GrumpyBear: Fujimoto, who (understandably) cannot get past the pollution thing enough to be optimistic about ''anything'' where humans are involved.
* HandyFeet: Ponyo's feet act like hands. One scene has her toes wiggle very much like fingers, while Sosuke attempts to do the same to no avail.
* HenpeckedHusband: Sosuke's dad, although not entirely unjustified (see MarriedToTheJob). Also, Ponyo's father with Granmammare -- in this case the reason is obvious.
* HeroesWantRedheads
* HugeGuyTinyGirl: Played straight with Ponyo and Sosuke at first.
* HumansAreBastards: Subverted and [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]]. Fujimoto is resentful towards humans for polluting the sea, yet when Ponyo falls in love with Sosuke he is forced to rethink. By the end he sees how, despite doing some messed up stuff as a whole, humans individually can be nice guys. Probably not incidentally, Ponyo's first encounter with humans is a trawling ship ''cleaning up'' junk and sludge from the ocean.
** Its a Miyazaki film, if you've seen the previous works you'll know this is a given. It just a more low key version this time.
* HypocriticalHumor:
-->'''Lisa:''' Well. That guy was a freak show. But don't ''you'' call people "freak show". We ''never judge people by their looks.'' \\
'''Sosuke:''' ...I know, Mom, I don't.
* InterspeciesRomance
* InvisibleToNormals: Only children can see that the waves have eyes... And only a single one of the elderly ladies seems at all confused at the fact that Sosuke's goldfish has a ''human head''.
* IrisOut
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Fujimoto. Toki becomes this near the end of the film.
* KickTheDog: Fujimoto mentions offhandedly that he plans to eradicate human civilization by using magic to create a new era of sea life. This is quickly derailed by Ponyo in her eagerness to return to the surface. As a result, prehistoric fish appear (specifically Devonian, even though he mentions the Cambrian Explosion) but humanity goes on.
* LargeHam: Ponyo, with emphasis on '''HAAAAAAAAAM!!!'''
** Ponyo ATE the large ham!
* LickedByTheDog: If the personification of the sea and all sea life liked you enough to marry you, you're probably not that bad a person. They have a LOT of kids too. Ponyo's got to have at least fifty sisters!
** Only fifty?
* LighterAndSofter: In America, fans were rather... ''surprised'' at how kid-friendly ''Ponyo'' is compared to the generally more all-ages/adult-skewing Studio Ghibli output.
* LighthousePoint
* LimitedWardrobe: In Fujimoto's room there hangs an identical blue and white striped jacket to the one he is already wearing. However, later in the film he changes to a red and white striped one.
* [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Mad Wizard's Adorable Daughter]]: Ponyo.
* MagicalGirlfriend: Ponyo is a toddler version.
* MamaBear: Lisa sure knows how to handle situations with danger, especially if her son's around. Although she's also the cause of a few dangerous situations herself (see DrivesLikeCrazy).
* MarriedToTheJob: Sosuke's dad, which is a ''real'' sore spot with Lisa, although it leads to a CrowningMomentOfFunny during the "signalling" sequence.
* MeaningfulName: Granmamare. Basically means "Great Mother of the Sea" ("Mare" is "sea" in Latin).
* MeaningfulRename: Ponyo insists on it.
* MeetCute: Very cute, at that.
* MobileFishbowl: Fujimoto is forced to take a back-mounted machine with him whenever he ventures onto dry land, as it carries a vat of salt water that he must spray around himself to keep himself humidified. Still, he is biologically human, which requires him to wear a bubble underwater.
* NoEndorHolocaust: Although Ponyo raised the water level high enough to drown almost all of Tomonoura, no harm seems to have been done to the town, its inhabitants, or any of the fishing ships nearby. The explanations are three-fold: 1. It's a kids' movie. 2. They're probably prepared for flooding, considering they live on an island. [[RuleOfThree 3.]] The goddess of the sea was in an extremely nice mood that day.
* NoIndoorVoice: Ponyo, more so in the Japanese version.
* NoSocialSkills: Ponyo doesn't "get" humans, and thus makes a lot of gaffes -- like carrying a bucket and towel to the table, referring to sandwiches as "milk" as the result of a conversation with a breastfeeding mother, and others. She also doesn't understand that when water comes from people's eyes, that means they're sad.
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Ponyo's real name is Brunhilde. "Ponyo" is just the name Sosuke gives her. Her father doesn't exactly roll with it, but her mother likes it.
* OverprotectiveDad: Fujimoto all the way
* OurMermaidsAreDifferent: Where to start with this one?
* ParentsAsPeople
* PartialTransformation: Ponyo has an intermediate, amphibian form between her fish- and humanlike forms. Except amphibians don't have chicken legs...
* PersonOfMassDestruction: Ponyo when trying to find Sosuke. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] since she'd been doused in a powerful magic potion designed to create another spontaneous burst of sea-life, Cambrian Explosion-style. Despite plunging the town into the ocean, [[NoEndorHolocaust she doesn't appear to cause any casualties or even property damage, though.]]
* PluckyGirl: Lisa can be considered a grown-up version of the ones who always appear in Miyazaki movies. Think an adult Kiki.
* PowerOfLove: The test Sosuke is put through, to see if Ponyo will be allowed to stay with him.
* ThePromise: Several are made. Some are broken.
* PuppyLove: Ponyo and Sosuke, although [[spoiler:the ending seems to imply they'll grow up as brother and sister]].
* RapunzelHair: Ponyo's mother has never-ending hair!
** Even Fujimoto's easily reaches his knees.
* RealityWarper: Ponyo (as implied by her dad), since she [[spoiler:can cause a tsunami, wipe out at least one whole town, gather up every ship in the sea, and bring the moon a couple thousand miles closer to earth with no ill effects.]] It's not quite clear whether that was her doing or a result of the magic from that well-thing that she accidentally set loose.
* RedHeadedHero: The titular character of course... although the shade is more of orange than red.
* ResetButton: The town looks as splendid as ever, considering [[spoiler:it has been fully submerged by the ocean]]. Then again, the goddess of the sea was involved.
* RidiculouslyCuteCritter: Ponyo when she's a fish; can even apply to when she's a human girl.
** Ponyo's sisters too.
* RuleOfSymbolism:
** Ponyo has three "stages" of transformation: fish, [[strike:[[TheWindInTheWillows Mr Toad]]]] frog/amphibian thing, and human. When put in context with Fujimoto's talk of evolution and pre-history, Ponyo's speed evolution is a nice touch.
** Ponyo's sisters breaking her out of her bubble look extremely similar to sperm cells having at an egg.
** It's not surprising that the movie is crowded with little girls, young mothers and elderly ''obaa-san'', because they're all women at different stages of the life Ponyo desires.
* RummageSaleReject: Fujimoto is rather fond of clown-like striped suits.
* RunningGag: "'''[[NoIndoorVoice HAM!!!]]'''"
* SavvyGuyEnergeticGirl: Sosuke is considerably more calm and reserved than [[GenkiGirl Ponyo]].
* SceneryPorn: [[CaptainObvious It's a]] [[StudioGhibli Ghibli]] [[CaptainObvious movie]]. Though it's a different flavor than usual.
* ShoutOut:
** Fujimoto's ship looks like a boat crossed with a [[Anime/CastleInTheSky flaptor]].
** The old ladies' knick-knack shelf has a mini-[[Anime/SpiritedAway bird god]] in it.
** When Sosuke puts his captain's hat on he looks a lot like [[Anime/MyNeighborTotoro Mei and Satsuki's friend Kanta]], or like [[Anime/GraveOfTheFireflies a young version of Seita]].
** There's a [[Anime/MyNeighborTotoro Totoro]] magnet on the refrigerator in Sosuke's house, Lisa briefly sings a line from the opening song of the same movie ("I'm happy as can be!"), and Ponyo flashes Totoro's signature smile the first time she grows teeth.
** When Sosuke and Ponyo traverse the flooded town, they come across a tunnel remarkably similar to the one in ''Anime/SpiritedAway''.
** The little girl, Kumiko, who Ponyo drenches with water, resembles a young [[Anime/KikisDeliveryService Kiki]].
** The family with the baby resemble Satsuki, Mei and their father from ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro''.
** Somewhat unexpectedly, the movie also references ''Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung''. Ponyo's original name is Brunhilde, and like the character of the same name from the opera, she's a supernatural being who defies her father and falls in love with a human. In case someone thought all this is coincidental, the connection is further emphasized when "Music/RideOfTheValkyries" plays during the climactic tsunami scene.
* ShownTheirWork: The underwater life is pretty much an animated paleontology textbook. The kids recognize and name [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dipnorhynchus Dipnorhynchus]], [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bothriolepis Bothriolepis]], and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gogonasus Gogonasus]]. Trilobites and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opabinia Opabinia]] can be seen in the opening, and just possibly a tardigrade
* SleepCute: Ponyo and Sosuke doze off on the sofa together.
* SoftWater: Huge waves fell all over the city, but little apparent damage was wrought.
* AStormIsComing
* SunkenCity
* TearsOfJoy: When Sosuke realizes that Ponyo hasn't died.
* TinyGuyHugeGirl: Normal-sized Fujimoto and ''HUGE'' Granmammare. She can shrink herself to almost-human size, but she's still head and shoulders taller than Lisa.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: "'''HAAAAAAAAM!!!'''"
* TrueLovesKiss: But it's not the big deal that it usually is, probably since the protagonists are young children around the age of five.
* {{Tsundere}}: Lisa is an interesting adult version of one. Just ask her husband.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: Ponyo is a fish with a face, but nobody finds that strange (save one elderly woman who is treated as being a tad paranoid anyway). There's also Ponyo's "chicken/frog legs" when she uses magic, [[spoiler:Sosuke's giant toy boat, the underwater jellyfish dome that covers the senior home...]] The people of this town seem to be pretty chill.
-->'''Sosuke''': (After seeing a wave with eyes.) That was weird.
* WeirdMoon
* WeirdnessCensor: Nobody seems overly amazed at any supernatural event that occurs. In fact most of the adults continue to believe that Ponyo is a 'goldfish'. See also UnusuallyUninterestingSight.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Fujimoto appears very similar to Jung Zorndyke of ''BlueSubmarineNo6''. In the beginning. He quickly becomes [[spoiler:a HarmlessVillain because Ponyo accidentally foils his plans to cover the world with a prehistoric ocean and at the end he is only genuinely worried for his daughter and for the planet]].
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Exceedingly brief: one shot during the credits shows Ponyo happily playing with the other kids at Sosuke's kindergarten and Fujimoto talking to humans on the surface.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Ponyo, while still possessed of her potion-boosted fair-folk sea powers blesses an infant child. While her parents help clean up the damage she caused at the end of the movie they never actually reverse it, and the child is never mentioned again. So there is a random kid in town with the blessings of a sea-goddess. Take that Aquaman!
* [[WidgetSeries Widget Film]]
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: Sosuke, sometimes UpToEleven. Beyond the heroic scenes he gets, it's impressive how he mans the signal light - he reads, writes and mediates between his parents who just had a fight because his father had to stay out at sea.
** He also knows an astounding amount about extinct sea life. He even recognizes that all of the fish he sees are from the Devonian. Possibly justified, as prehistoric fish are to the Japanese what dinosaurs are to large areas of the Western world, so a 7 year old could very well know a lot about those fish.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Sosuke is five years old, but looks like he can already be about seven or eight.
----