Goro Miyazaki’s acclaimed 2D animated feature From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-Zaka Kara) will begin its New York run this Friday, thanks to indie studio GKIDS. The film was the top-earning animated feature in Japan in 2011, grossing almost $54 million and outdrawing two Pokémon features. It also won the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Feature.
Set in early 1960s Japan, Poppy Hill is more intimate than Miyazaki’s directoral debut, Gedo Senki or Tales From Earthsea (2006). Every morning before leaving for school, the industrious Umi Matsuzaki (voiced by Sarah Bolger) flies signal flags in the yard of her seaside home in Yokohama in honor of her father, who was lost at sea during the Korean War. When she meets Shun Kazama (Anton Yelchin), the editor of their high school newspaper, she gets involved in the efforts to preserve “the Latin Quarter:” Plans are afoot to demolish the beloved but dilapidated building that houses the school clubs. A believably awkward romance quickly develops between these likable teenagers.
The English-language dub of the film also features the voices of Jamie Lee Curtis, Gillian Anderson, Bruce Dern, Christina Hendricks, Aubrey Plaza and Beau Bridges. Karey Kirkpatrick (The Rescuers Down Under, Chicken Run, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) wrote the English translation and veteran sound guru Gary Rydstrom (Finding Nemo, Brave, Wreck-It Ralph), who also worked on The Secret World of Arrietty served as ADR director on the project.
You can read an interview with Miyazaki here:
Here is the film’s trailer: