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The Studio Ghibli Character Everyone Forgets Liam Neeson Played

It's hard to find someone who isn't at least vaguely aware of Studio Ghibli. The animation company, founded in 1985, is responsible for some of the most beautiful movies of the last few decades. In 2003, "Spirited Away" took home the Academy Award for best animated picture, the first foreign film to do so (via Time). After the win, Studio Ghibli has become even more popular, with even more films garnering critical acclaim and even receiving Oscar nominations.

Originally in Japanese, the films were quickly dubbed for English-speaking audiences. Disney, which has a partnership with the studio, cast well-known actors, much like they do with their own projects, in Ghibli features. Though many probably know that actors such as Christian Bale voiced main characters, it is sometimes hard to pinpoint who dubbed the ones who had side roles. It might surprise fans to know that Liam Neeson, probably best known for his performances in "Taken" and "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace," actually lent his voice to a Studio Ghibli production in 2009.

Liam Neeson was in Ponyo

Liam Neeson appears in "Ponyo," the ninth film directed by Studio Ghibli icon Hayao Miyazaki. The movie follows a young fish princess named Ponyo (Noah Cyrus) who is discovered by a boy named Sōsuke (Frankie Jonas). Ponyo, desiring to be human, uses magic to sprout arms and legs, though her efforts result in a large tsunami. In the end, the nature imbalance is restored, and though she loses her magic, Ponyo finally becomes human when she kisses Sōsuke.

Neeson portrays Ponyo's highly protective father, Fujimoto. He constantly frets over her, becoming angry when she goes to the surface and even forcing her to go back to her true form as a fish. To viewers, Fujimoto can be seen as a villain since he continues to keep Ponyo from the life she desires. As the film goes on, however, it is revealed that he cares deeply for her and is worried that if Sōsuke doesn't accept her, she will meet a horrible fate. When he finally realizes that Sōsuke will always love Ponyo, he respects her wishes and lets her go.