Studio Ghibli’s ‘Poppy Hill’ trailer: Love, secrets in a bygone era

Feb. 05, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.

Studio Ghibli fans can get a glimpse of the Japanese animation studio’s latest film “From Up on Poppy Hill” in a new trailer released Monday.

“Poppy Hill” follows high school students Umi (voiced by “Once Upon a Time” actress Sarah Bolger in the English-language version) and Shun (“Star Trek Into Darkness” actor Anton Yelchin), who find love when they team up to save a historic building from demolition in 1963 Yokohama. The film deals with nostalgia for a bygone era and hope for a modern future, as the country heals after World War II and prepares to host the 1964 Olympics.

The film is based on a 1980s manga by Tetsuo Sayama and Chizuru Takahashi. Studio Ghibli’s co-founder Hayao Miyazaki wrote the screenplay and his son, Goro, directed. “Poppy Hill” was a box office hit in Japan and went on to win the 2012 Japan Academy Award for animation of the year.

The English-language version of the film is directed by Gary Rydstrom, the seven-time Oscar-winning sound wizard whose credits include such films as “Finding Nemo,” “Titanic” and “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” Rydstrom directed the American version of Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arrietty,” released last year.

“It’s nice when a studio has such an identifiable sensibility,” Rydstrom said at the time. “They make movies like no other animation studios make them. I love movies that feel like they are done by human beings, that have such a personal and sometimes quirky and unique style to them, and all their movies do. … There’s also a beauty in how they use animation to study the most minute moments of life.”

The English-language “Poppy Hill” features the voice talents of Jamie Lee Curtis, Gillian Anderson, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Bruce Dern, Chris Noth and Aubrey Plaza, among others.

The film is being released in the U.S. by GKids — whose “A Cat in Paris” and “Chico & Rita” earned Oscar nods last year — and is due out in Los Angeles and New York theaters March 15, before expanding to the rest of North America on March 29.

– Noelene Clark
Twitter.com/@NoeleneClark

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