In What Ways Do Ponyo Mirrors The Little Mermaid?


Ponyo is a Studio Ghibli movie that you can watch right now on Netflix, showcases a unique relationship that simply develops between two kids belonging from two different worlds. The base of the movie might give the audience that Ponyo might be a loose adaptation of the epic tale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid.

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Yes, both the literary work somehow resembles each other (however, there are some solid differences too.) and we are here to take the high road and point out, in what ways do Ponyo is similar to The Little Mermaid.

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The Meet

Both the girls from the different worlds watch their prince at first, while the other party remains oblivious of the entire situation, isn’t it? Both Ponyo and the little mermaid watch the boys and their ship from a distance.

The Other Lady

In Sosuke’s life, there is Lisa, his mother who was very important to him. While in The Little Mermaid, the prince falls in love with the girl who saved him(he was unknown of the fact that the little mermaid was the girl who saved him) and agrees to marry the girl from the temple who was assumed to be the girl who saved him.

Still from Ponyo/ Source- Studio Ghibli
Still from Ponyo/ Source- Studio Ghibli

The Family

Both Ponyo and the little mermaid had divine blood. Yes, Ponyo was a mixed breed but she had divine blood. While on the other hand, the little mermaid was a princess herself. Additionally both the girls belonged to the deepwater world which is genuinely a secret and mystery to the human realm.

The Fascination

Both the girls had a strange fascination to explore what rests in the human world. Ponyo leaves without giving notice to her father. But little mermaid visits the human world when her time comes to explore the human realm.

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The Friendship

Sosuke learns the fact very quickly that having Ponyo as his pet fish is a great responsibility. So, when Ponyo appears before him in human form he just loves the idea and shows his genuine affection for his new friend.

Now, in The Little Mermaid, the prince and the little mermaid grow friends too, (however, it was much more from the little mermaid’s end).

The Siblings

Both the leading ladies had siblings, but Ponyo was the eldest while the little mermaid was the youngest.

Still from Ponyo/ Source- Studio Ghibli
Still from Ponyo/ Source- Studio Ghibli

The Supernatural Element

Both the narrative adds a supernatural element, dedicated solely to the advancement of the plot. In Ponyo, there is Ponyo’s mother who was a divine being. While in The Little Mermaid, there is the sea witch who helps the little mermaid in her mission to transform into a human.

The Return Policy

Once the leading ladies turn human, there is no going back. Yes, in both the plots we see this policy being repeated. And true love is the center of this policy. If the love and affection are not returned back by a certain time frame both the girls will turn to foam.

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So these were the distinguished similarities that make Ponyo a subtle and sweet version of The Little Mermaid. Now, what do you think of our argument? Do you agree with us? Do let us know in the comment section below.

But this is all for today, hope to meet you all very soon in our next publication, Bye-Bye…