poppy_hill2013 poppy_hill2013

“From Up On Poppy Hill” English trailer

Gkids is releasing Studio Ghilbi’s From Up On Poppy Hill to U.S. theaters on March 15th. The English dub of Goro Miyazaki’s film sounds pretty good…

From GKids press release:

Set in Yokohama in 1963, as Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics, the story centers on Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times. But a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart. With its rich color palette, stunning exteriors, sun-drenched gardens, bustling cityscapes and painterly detail, From Up on Poppy Hill provides a pure, sincere, and nuanced evocation of the past, and marks yet another creative triumph for Studio Ghibli.

  • philipwesley

    Well! This movie looks gorgeous and also a bit laid back. I prefer Studio Ghibli films like Whisper of the Heart (which has one of the best animated sequences out of Japan -ever- in my opinion) and this looks to be closer in style to that kind of movie. I do not expect it to do well in theaters. I do expect it to be used as an excuse to finally release Ocean Waves and Only Yesterday in the United States. GKids and Disney would be certainly foolish to not use the lower key nature of “From Up On Poppy Hill” to garner a quick release for “Ocean Waves” and the extremely wonderful “Only Yesterday.”

    That said, I feel that the “cultural” movies of Studio Ghibli are more important to Japan than the “fantasy” movies. I believe in the Central Park Media slogan: “World Peace Through Shared Popular Culture” and I believe that showing the various opinions, sides, and senses of Japanese culture are an excellent way to influence the next generation of opinion on the country. Ninjas, giant mechas, and magical girls are amusing but it’s the more reserved, almost nationalist products from a more transitional era of Japan that capture the true sentiment of the nation. Whereas I feel that works such as Persepolis go a long way in demonstrating the Iranian experience, movies like “From Up On Poppy Hill” go a long way in showing how life in Japan can be. Yes, it can be idyllic in nature, but it’s the best way to explain it to the largest possible audience.

    • Joseph Hudak

      Very true. It’s much of the reason Ashita no Joe is so popular today. Not only because it’s a good story with good characters, but because the series strongly resonated with the hopes of the Japanese public of the era in its depiction of growing up in the slums and similar lower class neighborhoods of the late 60s-70s and the struggles and adversity in rising above it.

    • Pinocchio

      I watched From Up On Poppy Hill a month ago and I cane tell you that it is one of the most unimpressive Ghibli films, but it is worth watching nonetheless. Whisper of the Heart and especially the beautiful Only Yesterday are much much better works by Studio Ghibli. :)

      • I certainly thought of those two films myself while watching this trailer.

  • I’ll watch anything by Studio Ghibli. I’m a Ghibli whore.

    • philipwesley

      If you love Studio Ghibli, may I recommend the following movies? They aren’t Studio Ghibli; but they will remind you of Studio Ghibli in very good ways.

      1. Children Who Chase Lost Voices by Makoto Shinkai
      2. Summer Wars by Mamoru Hosoda
      3. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Mamoru Hosoda
      4. Time of Eve by Yasuhiro Yoshiura

      Time of Eve is also licensed by GKids, who have yet to find a proper distribution for it in the USA.

      • Andrew Kieswetter

        Also include The Wolf Children by Mamoru Hosoda. It’s a wonderful movie.

      • Pinocchio

        A very good list. You have a great taste. I have only watched Children Who Chase Lost Voices and it is one of the best animated films of all time! What an epic film! I am going to watch the other three real soon. :)

      • Lady Viridis

        I love Summer Wars. Gorgeous animation and a really solid story. I have not seen ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’ yet but I keep hearing good things about it. I’ll have to check out the others too.

  • Moonie

    Knowing the plot of this one, definitely not surprised it’s not being distributed by Disney. :P

    Glad to hear that Goro’s stepping up, after Earthsea.

    • philipwesley

      GKids is the “license holder” in this regard. It’s Disney that produced the dub and is doing the marketing and distribution for it. Anime licenses are a weird thing in the United States. Take for example: Revolutionary Girl Utena. It was “licensed” by Enoki films who sent it to Central Park Media to develop and distribute. After CPM declared bankruptsy, Enoki worked with Nozomi to get the show back into availability.

    • Capital_7

      Earthsea was disappointing, but this looks charming.

  • Tavoman

    In Mexico the film was released direct to dvd a couple of weeks ago, hope to catch it in the following days

  • Nik

    The film looks good and I really enjoy Ghibli’s films that are oriented to Japan’s history/culture! My mother (who at age 85 is a big Miyazaki/Ghibli fan) will really enjoy this one. Her favorite Ghibli film is “Whispers of the Heart.” Mom actually went by herself to see “Ponyo on the Cliff” when it was in the theaters!

  • I know this is petty, but I’m really glad that these films will no longer be helmed by Disney Channel actors/actresses. : P

    • ara

      its not petty at all. while i don’t especially mind their actors/actresses doing the dubbing, im always left wondering how the movie would’ve sounded with a “proper” dubbing cast. animated movies tend to work out better (for me) when voice directors take the time to find/use talented voice actors to fit the characters, not some glimmery fops from disney’s bench.

  • Powell

    Man……this looks wonderful…..wonderful. so subtle and nuanced, dealing with human drama and emotion.

    I REALLY want American animation to get here….SERIOUSLY.

    • Haruna

      It got there a century ago.

  • Before anyone else says it…yes, the characters have too much inertia; yes, the characters move like molten lead; yes, they clearly still haven’t figured out how to use a dope sheet and pre-record voices. But, guess what? I love these films from this studio anyway. Call me a tasteless idiot, but I love Studio Ghibli even if they sometimes animate on the 3s. There must be something seriously wrong with me, that I’d rather watch Miyazaki and Takahata than Bluth or Williams!

  • Inkan1969

    Can someone please clarify Studio Ghibli’s current arrangements for U.S. distribution? Is the old deal Disney had with Ghibli to dub and distribute the movies completely dead, with Gkids taking over? Or does Disney still get first dibs on first run Ghibli movies, and then Gkids get them if Disney passes them over?
    Either way, I’m very glad to see “From Up on Poppy Hill” get a theatrical distribution. But I hope that Goro Miyazaki has improved his directorial skills.

    • GKIDS_Dave

      Disney continues to release the older films on home video, under an ongoing license. (i.e. Totoro is not going out of print). We made a strong case for Poppy Hill coming from our background doing the Studio Ghibli retrospectives over the last two years, and are happy to have it.

      • Inkan1969

        GKids has been a wonderful outlet for non-mainstream animated features. :-)

        So, will GKids be distributing new Ghibli films from now on, such as “The Wind is Rising” and “The Tale of Princess Kaguya”, or does Disney still have the first turn in choosing to distribute new films or not?

        • GKIDS_Dave

          Thanks! Neither company has long term agreements moving forward, so it will be decided film by film. Obviously we’d love to release all their future films, as would Disney, I imagine. A lot of it will come down to what happens with POPPY HILL, so all I can say is I’d appreciate it if everyone saw it in theaters :)

  • Carina

    Finally! I love this movie, but because of certain plot twists I’m not surprised Disney passed up on the opportunity to release it. Personally, I like it better than “Arietty”, “Ponyo” and “Tales of Earthsea” (Ghibli’s worst in my opinion). However, the consensus among young Japanese students when this film came out seemed to be that “On Poppy Hill” was boring since it didn’t have any magic AND is set in boring old Japan. It’s true this movie won’t exactly have you on the edge of your seat, but I thought it captured the “feeling” of its setting (and possibly its era, but I wouldn’t know) really, really well. Another big difference from other Ghibli films is that the heroine is much more traditionally Japanese and more of a “supporter” than a leader – she’s certainly no Nausicaa or Princess Mononoke. “On Poppy Hill” is by far the most “Japanese” feeling movie Ghibli has released – in both it’s aesthetic and it’s characters’ sensibilities – and that’s what I loved about it.

  • Dennis Sisterson

    Looks beautiful.
    I may be opening a can of worms here, but is it only us Brits (and I don’t claim to speak for all of us) who think American dubs invariably sound a bit jarring on Japanese films? Not that I have any better ideas, besides subtitles, which are less than ideal for kids. Japanese actors speaking English perhaps?

  • Lady Viridis

    Saw this recently. It wasn’t one of Ghibli’s best, but it was a solid little slice of life film. I’m glad to see this trailer matches the low-key feel of the movie, unlike the English trailers for Ponyo, which were all “a FANTASTIC EPIC like SPIRITED AWAY”… when in fact Ponyo was much closer to Totoro — that is, it was two hours of children running around having adventures with very little plot.

    I suspect this movie will not perform very well with US audiences, but the dub at least looks solid and well-done.

  • Andrew Kieswetter

    While I liked From Up On Poppy Hill,I think it may be too Japanese in subject matter to appeal to international audiences. Go and see it anyway.