How Ponyo was Born ~Hayao Miyazaki's Thought Process~ (ポニョはこうして生まれた。 〜宮崎駿の思考過程〜, 'Ponyo wa Koushite Umareta ~Miyazaki Hayao no Shikou Katei~) is a behind-the-scenes documentary directed by Kaku Arakawa, documenting the production of Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. It was released as a standalone feature on home video on December 8, 2009 by Walt Disney Japan.
Unlike How Princess Mononoke Was Born (2001) which documented Princess Mononoke's production, distribution and marketing, this documentary is entirely about Hayao Miyazaki's creative process in creating the character Ponyo. No other animation staff or dubbing scenes are included.
A truncated version of this film can be seen in the first episode Ponyo is Here in the NHK special, 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki.
A complete documentary about the secret of the birth of Ponyo. Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea was a cultural phenomenon that swept Japan in the summer of 2008. The film asks, 'How did Hayao Miyazaki, the creator of the character, come up with the character Ponyo?'
For about two and a half years from the preparation period of the work to the completion of the storyboard, a single camera remained in close contact with Hayao Miyazaki. The films follows Miyazaki's travels and extended periods of isolation in order to find inspiration. No moments is left undocumented, particularly as Miyazaki expresses frustration, cynicism and anger at the creative process. In the end, nearly 200 hours of video footage had been recorded. This documentary distills the entire process in roughly 12 hours and 30 minutes.
A five-disc DVD set was released by Walt Disney Japan on December 8, 2009. The suggested retail price was ¥9,680 (tax included).