Last year I was very lucky to visit The Studio Ghibli Museum just as FROM UP ON POPPY HILL was gearing up for its release in its native Japan. FROM UP ON POPPY HILL was written by legendary animation and storytelling God, Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro Miyazaki. Goro previously directed TALES FROM EARTHSEA for Studio Ghibli, it would receive mixed reviews and even his father was honest about his disappointment in the film. FROM UP ON POPPY HILL has garnered better praise and focuses on a group of schoolchildren looking to save their school clubhouse from demolition.
The English vocal cast has just been announced and there are, as always, some fairly impressive names. Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, Anton Yelchin, Sarah Bolger, and Ron Howard among the names announced. Here is the full press release from GKIDS:
GKIDS, KENNEDY/MARSHALL AND STUDIO GHIBLI ANNOUNCE THE ENGLISH-LANGUAGE VOICE CAST FOR “FROM UP ON POPPY HILL”
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, ANTON YELCHIN
#1 GROSSING JAPANESE FILM OF 2011, NOVEMBER OSCAR® RUN – THEATRICAL RELEASE MARCH 2013
New York, New York – October 4, 2012 – GKIDS, a distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences, has announced the English voice cast for From Up on Poppy Hill, the highly anticipated new feature from Studio Ghibli. The film was directed by Goro Miyazaki from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and was the top-grossing Japanese film of 2011. Multiple Academy Award® winner Gary Rydstrom directed the English language version from a script adaptation by Karey Kirkpatrick. Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy executive produced. GKIDS is handling theatrical, home video, television and VOD rights and will qualify the film for the Academy Awards® in the Best Animated Feature category. Theatrical release is planned for March 15, 2013.
From the legendary and highly celebrated Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo, and The Secret World of Arrietty) comes From Up on Poppy Hill, the uniquely inspired and highly anticipated coming-of-age story from Goro Miyazaki and Hayao Miyazaki. Set in Yokohama in 1963, this lovingly hand-drawn film centers on Umi (voiced by Sarah Bolger) and Shun (voiced by Anton Yelchin) and the budding romance that develops as they join forces to save their high school’s ramshackle clubhouse from demolition. The top-grossing Japanese film of 2011 and winner of the Japan Academy Prize for Animation, From Up on Poppy Hillcaptures the innocence of new love as well as the beauty of Yokohama’s harbor and lush surroundings. 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.
No doubt this is going to be another worthwhile and possibly classic entry into Studio Ghibli’s strong family of releases.