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Arts & Culture

Behind the Scenes of Ponyo

Hayao Miyazaki's "Ponyo"
Hayao Miyazaki's "Ponyo"

Check Out Some Videos About the Making of Miyazaki's Latest Anime

Behind the scenes at Studio Ghibli
Ponyo Featurette

Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought some footage about how Hayao Miyazaki created the fabulous images for "Ponyo" (now in San Diego Theaters) might entice more people to see the film than anything I could say.

First of all I wanted to share some of the behind the scenes footage that Disney provided of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli. In the footage (which is just raw video giving us a look at what goes on at Studio Ghibli) you can see Miyazaki at work. He still draws himself and has always said that as soon as he can no longer do that, he will stop making films. Miyazaki is also visited by Pixar/Disney's chief creative officer and an animator himself, John Lasseter. Lasseter takes us through the Studio Ghibli museum -- a place I am dying to go to -- where you can buy your admission ticket from Totoro, see original drawings from the films, and even flip through animation cels to see how the drawings are turned into moving images. I just wanted to share this footage because I found it wonderful to see Miyazaki at work and to get a glimpse of the museum. Hope you enjoy it too.


But if you want something more produced and structured, next is a behind the scenes featurette from the electronic press kit about "Ponyo" and about the American dubbing of the Japanese film. Although I wish Disney would release Miyazaki's films in their original Japanese, I have to admit that Disney has been doing a remarkably good job with the English language versions. But "Ponyo" is the first dubbed film where they seem to be playing up the voice actors. Part of the reason may be that they have nabbed Noah Cyrus, Miley's sister, and Frankie Jonas, of the famous Jonas family, to voice the two young characters, and the studio seems to be hoping that those famous names will draw young fans into the theater. Both Cyrus and Jonas appear in the featurette as well as producer Kathleen Kennedy and Pixar/Disney' John Lasseter, who interviews Miyazaki. The featurette does reveal the reverence that the American team has for Miyazaki and that's nice to see.

So take a look at what goes on behind the scenes of a feature length Japanese anime and maybe an appreciation for that work -- and seeing the end results -- will inspire some of you who have written off anime or animation to at least sample something by Miyazaki -- his work is truly wondrous.