"Ponyo" is a story inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Mermaid" in which a young and overeager goldfish named Ponyo seeks to become human.
The gist of the new Hayao Miyazaki movie sure sounds familiar. A 5-year-old boy named Sosuke makes a pet of a fish-like creature (she looks like a nightgown wearing a tadpole) that washes up on a cove near his house in a small fishing village. The creature, who Sosuke names Ponyo, tastes ham and human blood and decides that she would like nothing more than to be a little girl who spends all her time with Sosuke. Casually, you might hitch Miyazaki’s “Ponyo’’ to any iteration of “The Little Mermaid’’ tale, namely the musical one from Disney - which is also distributing “Ponyo.’’