From Up on Poppy Hill

From Up on Poppy Hill

5.0 1
Director: Goro Miyazaki

Cast: Goro Miyazaki, Sarah Bolger, Masami Nagasawa, Junichi Okada


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Set in Tokyo a few months before the 1964 Olympic Games, From Up on Poppy Hill tells the story of Umi, a teenager whose father died during wartime, and who shoulders much of the responsibility for her family's business in addition to maintaining good grades at school. Her orphaned friend Shun lives in a mansion on the school grounds with dozens of other kids,See more details below

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Set in Tokyo a few months before the 1964 Olympic Games, From Up on Poppy Hill tells the story of Umi, a teenager whose father died during wartime, and who shoulders much of the responsibility for her family's business in addition to maintaining good grades at school. Her orphaned friend Shun lives in a mansion on the school grounds with dozens of other kids, and when their home is threatened with demolition, Umi and the others do their best to stop the dwelling from being destroyed. From Up on Poppy Hill is the second feature by Goro Miyazaki, the son of acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki. The film played at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The latest effort from Japan's Studio Ghibli (the team that brought us Spirited Away and Ponyo) is a heartfelt coming-of-age drama called From Up on Poppy Hill. A tender and often playful story with no fantasy elements at all, Poppy Hill isn't a movie for small kids, who wouldn't be able to follow its emotional narrative or subtle but sometimes complex ins and outs. But the film is perfect for the age group it depicts: older kids and teens -- and, of course, any adult who knows the kind of nuance and beauty that Studio Ghibli is capable of producing. The story concerns a 16-year-old girl named Umi, who lives in the port city of Yokohama in 1964 Japan. Umi works hard before and after school to help her grandmother run the boarding house she and her younger sister Sora share with her while their mother finishes her medical degree in America, and though they lost their father during the Korean War, the strong women who board at their modest house provide warmth and support as the girls navigate their teen years. However, still grieving in her own quiet way, Umi continues to raise the signal flags outside of their house every day, wishing her father "safe voyages" even though the message is, at this point, something of a spiritual gesture. One day, Umi reads an anonymous poem in the school newspaper describing a tremendous love and affection for a girl who raises signal flags every day. Could it be from a secret admirer? She soon finds herself drawn to a classmate named Shun, who is one of the many boys who enthusiastically run a wide variety of academic activities at the huge, run-down clubhouse next door to the school. Their connection is so strong that Umi suspects he wrote the poem. But just as their magical spark promises to heal the wound still left from the loss of her father, Shun sees a photo of Umi's dad and is shocked to discover that it's the same picture depicting his birth father that his adoptive parents showed him. Could they be brother and sister? Does this puzzling development explain their connection or negate it? This plot twist sounds a little tawdry, but it's not. It's made abundantly clear in the story that Japan, despite fostering a culture of such fierce integrity and accountability among its young people, has only recently recovered from being hobbled by nearly ten years of war. The conflicts devastated many families as children were orphaned and deprivation increased the rates of infant mortality. This lends the film a heartening undercurrent about the importance of honoring the good things from our past even when we wish to leave the bad things behind, and allows the story to play out without any threat of it feeling like a soap opera. The movie was co-written by Ghibli genius Hayao Miyazaki, but it was directed by his son Goro -- who cut his teeth directing an animated adaptation of the Earthsea fantasy novels as his first assignment for Ghibli. And rest assured, the younger Miyazaki has clearly earned his stars, as Poppy Hill offers just the same intimate, ultimately life-affirming kind of storytelling we've come to expect from the family name. The movie is also absolutely beautiful, depicting every scene with a gorgeous attention to light and texture that reminds you just how magical old-fashioned cell drawings can be -- particularly when they come from one of the most indisputably talented families in animation.

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Special Features

Feature-length storyboards; Celebrity cast recording featurette; Interview with Goro Miyazaki; Music video; Yokohama featurette; Original Japanese trailers and TV spots

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sarah Bolger Umi (English language version)
Masami Nagasawa Voice Only,Umi (Japanese language version)
Junichi Okada Voice Only,Shun (Japanese language version)
Isabelle Fuhrman Sora (English language version)
Keiko Takeshita Voice Only,Hana (Japanese language version)
Haruza Shiraishi Sora (Japanese language version)
Anton Yelchin Shun (English language version)
Christina Hendricks Saori (English language version)
Gillian Anderson Miki (English language version)
Yuriko Ishida Miki (Japanese language version)
Alex Wolff Riku (English language version)
Raymond Ochoa Riku (English language version)
Tsubasa Kobayashi Riku (Japanese language version)
Aubrey Plaza Sachiko (English language version)
Rumi Hiiragi Sachiko (Japanese language version)
Chris Noth Akio (English language version)
Nao Omori Akio (Japanese language version)
Jeff Dunham Gen (English language version)
Emily Osment Nobuko (English language version)
Jamie Lee Curtis Ryoko (English language version)
Jun Fubuki Ryoko (Japanese language version)
Bruce Dern Yoshio (English language version)
Takashi Naito Yoshio (Japanese language version)
Beau Bridges Mr. Tokumaru (English language version)
Teruyuki Kagawa Mr. Tokumaru (Japanese language version)
Charlie Saxton Mizunuma (English language version)
Shunsuke Kazama Mizunuma (Japanese language version)
Ron Howard Philosophy Club President (English language version)
Jake Steinfeld Fish Seller (English language version)
Emily Bridges Mr. Tokumaru's Assistant (English language version)

Technical Credits
Goro Miyazaki Director
Koji Kasamatsu Sound/Sound Designer
Kathleen Kennedy Executive Producer
Robyn Klein Co-producer
Frank Marshall Executive Producer
Hayao Miyazaki Screenwriter
Keiko Niwa Screenwriter
Kamon Oba Art Director
Atsushi Okui Cinematographer
Takashi Omori Art Director
Tetsuro Sayama Producer
Toshio Suzuki Producer
Chizuru Takahashi Producer
Yohei Takamatsu Art Director
Satoshi Takebe Score Composer
Geoffrey Wexler Producer
Noboru Yoshida Art Director

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- From Up on Poppy Hill
1. Raising Flags [3:04]
2. Thoughts To The Sky [3:04]
3. Old Clubhouse [4:10]
4. Hop On [6:32]
5. Big Debate [8:07]
6. My Father [4:21]
7. Cleaning Up [7:59]
8. Just Friends [7:50]
9. Emergency Meeting [9:06]
10. Tokyo [6:31]
11. Our Past [6:15]
12. Legacy [5:58]
13. Chapter 13 [7:40]
14. Chapter 14 [9:37]
15. Chapter 15 [4:09]
16. Chapter 16 [4:09]


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