Tuesday, January 29, 2013

By Liza Foreman

“From Up on Poppy Hill,” the latest production from Studio Ghibli, will be released in Los Angeles and New York on March 15, 2013, and will expand its run on March 29.

Written by the legendary studio's founder, Hayao Miyazaki, and directed by Goro Miyazaki, “From Up on Poppy Hill” marks the first creative collaboration between father and son.

The setting is Yokohama in 1963, and the filmmakers bring to life the bustling seaside town, with its misty harbor, sun-drenched gardens, shops and markets, and some of the most mouthwatering Japanese home-cooking set to film.

The story centers on an innocent romance beginning to bud between Umi and Shun, two high school kids caught up in the changing times.

Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the 1964 Olympics – and the mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. 

While the children work together to save a dilapidated Meiji era club house from demolition, their tentative relationship begins to blossom. But – in an unexpected twist that parallels what the country itself is facing – a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart.

The voice cast includes Gillian Anderson, Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Jeff Dunham, Isabelle Fuhrman, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Chris Noth, Emily Osment, Aubrey Plaza, Charlie Saxton, Alex Wolff and Anton Yelchin. 

Gary Rydstrom directed the English language version from a script adaptation by Karey Kirkpatrick. Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy executive produced.

Studio Ghibli’s past productions include “Spirited Away,” “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Princess Mononoke,” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” among others.

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