Given that Hayao Miyazaki's latest film, Ponyo on a Cliff, was such a critical and commercial success in Japan, it was a no-brainer that Disney (who distributes Miyazaki's, and other Studio Ghibli, movies in North America) would bring the film over to this side of the Pacific.
According to GhibliWorld, the Mouse House has assembled a pretty fierce list of voice talent to perform the English dub of the film, which is either being called Ponyo on a Cliff (the literal translation of the Japanese title) or Ponyo on a Cliff By the Sea.
Tina Fey (30 Rock), Liam Neeson (Batman Begins), Cate Blanchett (Indiana Jones and the What the $%&@ was George Lucas Thinking?!)) and Matt Damon (The Bourne Supremacy) have all joined the voice cast for an English dub of the flick.
Lily Tomlin (I Heart Huckabees), Betty White (Golden Girls), Frankie Jonas (The Jonas Bros.), Madison Davenport (Kit Kittredge: An American Girl), musical spawn Noah Lindsey Cyrus (little sister of you-know-who) and Cloris Leachman (Frau Blücher from Young Frankenstein) have joined the supporting cast.
How Will Ponyo on a Cliff Do With North American Audiences?
Disney is apparently testing Ponyo in selected US theatres to see how the film will play to North American audiences. Anime has been a bit of a tough sell domestically outside of a coterie of hard-core devotees; despite twenty years of anime on this continent, many people still think animation is strictly for kids.
However, Hayao Miyazaki is probably the best-known anime director on these shores. His 2001 hit, Spirited Away, was a surprise win at the 2002 Oscars, taking Best Animated Feature Film award. His 2004 follow-up, Howl's Moving Castle, only managed to pull $4.7 million on the art house circuit.
There is as yet no set release date for Ponyo in North America, but it's likely to come out sometime in early 2009. The film is coming out in Europe during early-to-mid April, so count on a March 2009 release where it will likely go up against DreamWorks Animation's sole 2009 release, Monsters vs. Aliens.
Fun Fact: There still hasn't been a definite release set for that other Miyazaki film, Goro Miyazaki's Tales from Earthsea (Gedo Senki in Japan). It has been released everywhere in the world except for North America, where the Sci-Fi Channel had a copyright on the property. That copyright is due to expire in 2009, which made people wonder if Disney would give the film a theatrical release in North America.
However, it's likely that the Mouse House will just release a DVD of the English dub, which features the voices of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Matt Levin and Cheech Marin.
Link to article.... http://anime.suite101.com/article.cfm/fey_damon_neeson_in_ponyo_on_a_cliff