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From Up on Poppy Hill

Where to Watch From Up on Poppy Hill

PG
2011

Set in bustling Yokohama, Japan in the 1960s, From Up on Poppy Hill is a stunningly animated film rich in historical and cultural detail. Featuring the voices of Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, and Anton Yelchin, this 2011 release is guided by the masterly touch of legendary director Goro Miyazaki, the son of Studio Ghibli co-founder and renowned anime filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki.

The film introduces us to Umi Matsuzaki, voiced by Sarah Bolger, who is a high school student living in a boarding house. Every morning, as a tribute to her absent father, she raises signal flags for the ships that sail into the harbour. Umi lives with her younger siblings and her grandmother, who runs the boarding house in the wake of her parents’ separation following her father's presumed death in the Korean War. Her mother, a medical professor, is studying in the United States. Umi's mature, steady nature, paired with Bolger's assured voice work, makes her a compelling protagonist.

Meanwhile, in the same city, a charming and popular boy named Shun Kazama, voiced by Anton Yelchin, becomes a significant figure in Umi's life. He draws her attention during a daring, high-profile stunt protesting the demolition of a historic boys' club known as the "Quartier Latin." Yelchin's performance affords Shun a charismatic yet complex personality that captures the viewer’s interest.

The story takes us on a journey through Umi and Shun's budding relationship, which becomes far more complicated and engrossing than a regular high school romance. As Umi helps Shun protest the school administration's plan to tear down the beloved yet dilapidated building, they also confront issues within their own lives. The storyline is heavy at times, with characters dealing with subjects such as post-war trauma, familial separation, and self-identity, illuminating the harsh realities of life during this period.

On the other hand, the film presents an affectionate and nostalgic look at the post-war period of Japan’s history. The Quartier Latin represents a symbol of the past that the young generation is fighting to preserve against the rushing winds of modernization.

The backdrop of the story is gorgeously crafted with the Studio Ghibli signature touch of intricate detail and vibrant colours. From the waving of the flags that Umi raises every morning to the beautifully restored old boarding house she lives in, the animation truly brings the beauty of 1960s Japan to life.

Supporting the animation is a soundtrack composed by Satoshi Takebe that is fitting and distinctive, capturing the energy and rhythm of everyday life in Yokohama. The film has moments of soft, mellow tunes during emotionally poignant scenes and lively music during cheerful moments, shaping the scenes and intensifying the feelings they provoke.

Apart from Umi and Shun, the film is populated with an ensemble of engaging characters—ranging from the tenants residing in the boarding house to the high-spirited students protesting alongside Umi and Shun. The voice of Chris Noth, best known for his roles in Law & Order and Sex and the City, adds notable depth to the character of Akio Kazama.

From Up on Poppy Hill, unlike some of the more fantasy-based Ghibli films, falls into the category of their works which are firmly rooted in the realism of human relationships and societal changes. It beautifully preserves a slice of Japanese history while highlighting the timeless theme of young love.

In conclusion, From Up on Poppy Hill is a touching, vividly realised coming-of-age tale adorned with historical context and the Studio Ghibli's traditional animation. Bolger, Yelchin, and Noth's performances bring life to the richly drawn characters, making the film an unforgettable experience. The film’s gentle blend of nostalgia, emotion, youthful resilience, and the rhythms of everyday life are bound to resonate with both Studio Ghibli's dedicated fans and those newly discovering their work.

From Up on Poppy Hill is a Animation, Drama movie released in 2011. It has a runtime of 95 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.4. It also holds a MetaScore of 71.

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Where can I stream From Up on Poppy Hill movie online? From Up on Poppy Hill is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Max, Netflix, Apple TV, Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent From Up on Poppy Hill for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.4/10
71/100
Director
Gor Miyazaki
Stars
Masami Nagasawa, Junichi Okada, Keiko Takeshita, Yuriko Ishida, Jun Fubuki, Takashi Naito, Shunsuke Kazama, Nao Omori, Teruyuki Kagawa
Also starring Chris Noth
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