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Miyazaki plans painterly 'Ponyo'

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TOKYO -- Four years after scoring an international hit with "Howl's Moving Castle," Hayao Miyazaki has announced plans for his next animated project, "Gake No Ue No Ponyo" (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea).

Miyazaki, who won an Academy Award for "Spirited Away" in 2003, said he wants to avoid the use of CG animation with "Ponyo" and return to simpler images that appear more hand-painted.

"In contrast to the elaborate images in previous titles, we are working on a full-length feature with a different type of drawing style and not relying on computer graphics," Suzuki said. "Even the waves of the sea, which are the main setting for the story, will be drawn by hand, so I believe it will become a world that has never been seen before."

The story, which Miyazaki came up with during a beach holiday in western Japan, revolves around a 5-year-old boy named Sosuke and a goldfish named Ponyo that wants to become human.

Longtime collaborator Toshio Suzuki will produce the title for Studio Ghibli, according to studio spokeswoman Mikiko Takeda. The film is scheduled to be released in summer 2008.