FROM UP ON POPPY HILL (2011 Toronto International Film Festival Toronto Canada)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Stars ìììì

From Up On Poppy Hill—another classic from Studio Ghibli, a real treat in animation and storyline—shows the talents of Director Gorô Miyazaki, Director Hayao Miyazaki’s son. It’s a sweet story about teen-aged Umi Matsuzaki (voice of Sarah Bolger), a young girl who manages a Japanese boarding house, takes care of younger siblings, does all the cooking and household chores, cares for her grandmother, and goes to school full time. Every morning, before school, she raises three flags in the manner her sea-faring father, Yūichirō Sawamura taught her. The colorful flags send the message, “I Pray for Safe Voyages.” Umi meets a boy named Shun Kazama (voice of Anton Yelchin) at school. He writes the school newspaper and she soon is involved not only with writing the newspaper but also in trying to save a study house that provides a place for many of the school clubs. Umi and Shun begin to care for each other romantically, but Shun finds that it is possible they are relatives. The film takes an unusual twist as the two seek the truth of their heritage that has been lost during World War II and the Korean War. The award winning Japanese movie pleasantly resolves itself into a happy ending, making it a very good choice for adult and child entertainment.


Additional Thanks

Thank you to Executive Producers Kathleen Kennedy, Nobuo Kawakami , and Frank Marshall for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Miku Matsuzaki (voice of Alex Wolff), Yuko (voice of Bridget Hoffman), Saori Makamuri (voice of Elisa Gabrielli), Gen (voice of Jeff Dunham), World History Teacher (voice of Ronan Farrow), and Chairman Tokumaru (voice of Beau Bridges).



Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes.

Ben Meyers

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