I noticed that the poster doesn't actually have the film named as "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea" any longer, which I guess is great for those guys who put the titles up on the marquee at the cineplex and for people who found it clunky (like me). But the title was good for at least partly specifying what the film's setting is and what it's about (my assumption, of course). And the original title was more musical and fun to say, not that "Ponyo" on its own isn't fun to roll off the tongue. The poster is as effervescent and enchanting - though minimalist, as the others before it - as it was always expected to be, with or without the rest of the title, and in the end this is a Hayao Miyazaki film so it's all about the visual detail and simple themes. This, like Pixar's "UP," looks like it's to be dominated by beautiful pastels and primary colors. The poster doesn't disappoint. The cast doesn't seem like it will, either.
Miyazaki films are also, to me, all about their translation in the West, which includes the dubbing, so while I'm excited about this cast of talents (Cloris Leachman, Tina Fey and Lily Tomlin in animated form - yes!) I'm not entirely convinced just yet. I either absolutely adore the dubbing ("Howl's Moving Castle," "Princess Mononoke") or am irked by it (don't go crazy on me, "Spirited Away") and this seems to have not only more characters to voice, but more big-namers involved, likely at the hands of Disney and John Lasseter - who is Miyazaki's heir to the animated throne. This makes the film vulnerable to mediocre dubbing: most of these actors aren't known for their vocal expressiveness (Matt Damon, I'm looking at you) and most of them are well-known which means they might've just gotten the job for marketing purposes. Hopefully knowing how popular and acclaimed Miyazaki's previous films have been has pushed them all to really hit the limits to their acting skill - using only your voice is hard.
Has this film charmed its way 'onyo' anticipated list?
UPDATE: In Contention's Kris Tapley notes that the film was only retitled here in the U.S. It'll retain its original title in at least Japan, where it's likely to shoot to the top of the box office for the remainder of the year.
UPDATE: It's also worth mentioning that Ain't It Cool also has a shot of the film itself, link below.
POSTER from: Ain't It Cool via In Contention and Slashfilm