Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, the latest animated feature from celebrated filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, has crossed the Yen 10 billion ($93.2 million) mark at the Japanese box office, according to Daily Variety. The pic hit the magic number 31 days after its release, beating Miyazaki’s last movie, Howl’s Moving Castle, which took 33 days to get there. The 2001 Miyazaki pic Spirited Away is still the record holder. That film earned 10 billion Yen 25 days out of the gate and went on to gross nearly $280 million worldwide.
Ponyo centers on a five-year-old boy’s friendship with a ‘girl-fish’ who wants to be human and ventures out of her underwater world. The plot echoes elements from Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid fairy tale, as well as traditional Japanese folklore, and boy’s character is based on Miyazaki’s own son, Goro. Miyazaki was reportedly directly involved in many aspects of the animation himself, preferring to draw the sea and waves himself. The movie debuted in Japan on July 19 and reportedly earned around $17 million upon opening.
Disney hasn’t announced specific plans to release the latest Miyazaki masterpiece Stateside, but Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy (Persepolis) are listed as the film’s U.S. producers. Given the excellent nature of the relationship between Miyazaki and Disney’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter, chances are we won’t have to wait too long to see this latest offering from the 67-year-old anime master.