Penelope wants to be a live-action Hayao Miyazaki movie(The Film of the Book, anyway, I haven't read the book) The setting is very colorful and of an uncertain time/place while the main characters fit some of Miyazaki's archetypes to a tee:
- Penelope = Porco Rosso: Cursed with a pig's appearance until they feel better about themselves. Later becomes independent like Kiki.
- Reese Witherspoon's character = Ursula: Free-spirit type who helps the girl who's trying to be independent.
- Penelope's mom = Yubaba: Mama Bear who locks her odd-looking child in amazing room to protect them from the outside world.
- The "witch" who cursed Penelope = Zeniba: placed curses to teach a lesson.