The art of Ponyo Part I : Storyboards

Posted By yonghow on August 20th, 2008


I’ve been waiting eagerly for Ponyo’s artbooks to be released ever since watching it last month, and what a lovely surprise I was in for ! Ghibli Studios have been publishing their animation films’ storyboard books for many years now, but its the first time that they have released one in full color.

What absolute delight to see Miyazaki-san’s gorgeous watercolors…enjoy !


For Ponyo on the Cliff, Miyazaki-san decided to forgo all use of CG and revert back to the old, traditional hand drawn cell animation ( more than 160,000 cells in all ), giving the film a classic, timeless look.


The film uses a color palette that emulates the feel of pastel ( notably in the background plates, I will show more artwork from the official art book in part II ) and watercolor paintings, very much like these storyboards.


I always enjoy the scribbles and notes that accompany the boards, very often providing interesting insights into the director’s filmmaking process.


You can get a copy of the storyboard book here.



21 Responses to “The art of Ponyo Part I : Storyboards”


Sugoi! I loved Ponyo, and the storyboards look gorgeous!

tragic comedy

its really quite enchanting in full color…
guess will have to wait for both the film and the book to appear back home…


Thank you for posting about this, I’m definitely going to order it.

When you say that there’s more than 160,000 cells does that mean they’re actually drawing and painting on cells or is that just a term that’s still in use? I guess I’m a little confused about what that actually means.


Phil – I can’t agree more ! :]

tragic comedy – I’m sure Singapore will be screening it soon, considering they released Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle in the past.

Cameron – I guess cells is the term they stuck with, although most, if not all “cells” are digitally painted these days. That said, I think 160,000 drawings sound more accurate. :]


Awesome. I have some of Miyazaki movie books myself. Spirited Away, Earthsea. This book looks tempting. You’ve a cool blog, will be linking to it. My blog also sort of feature art books, more on 3D computer generated movies. You might want to check it out. Oh, Singaporean here also. heh.


Where do you buy all your Anime Art Books ?
I’m looking for some but couldn
‘t find a good Anime book store yet〜!
Do you know some good ones ? in Akihabara ?
Thanks 😉

Art Master

sweet! Thanks for sharing.

Bahi JD

The movie is coming to austrian cinemas on 22nd/Oct./2010.
The same with germany I think.

Even if I hav seen the film on Blu-Ray, I think it would be fun watching it on the big screen now.


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