This is the story of Ponyo, a little fish who struggles to realize her dream of living with a boy named Sosuke. It also tells of how five-year-old Sosuke manages to keep a most solemn promise. PONYO ON THE CLIFF BY THE SEA places Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid” in a contemporary Japanese setting. It is a tale of childhood love and adventure. A little seaside town and a house at the top of a cliff. A small cast of characters. The ocean as a living presence. A world where magic and alchemy are accepted as part of the ordinary. The sea below, like our subconscious mind, intersects with the wave-tossed surface above. By distorting normal space and contorting normal shapes, the sea is animated not as a backdrop to the story, but as one of its principal characters. A little boy and a little girl, love and responsibility, the ocean and life – these things, and that which is most elemental to them, are depicted in the most basic way in PONYO ON THE CLIFF BY THE SEA. This is my response to the afflictions and uncertainty of our times.