Saturday, April 13, 2013

From Up On Poppy Hill by Studio Ghibli

We weren't sure about this Studio Ghibli movie because first of all, it is directed by Goro Miyazaki, and not the great master Hayao Miyazaki who directed My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, etc. Secondly, the movie was not being released widely in Los Angeles. The closest theatre showing the movie is in Westwood, but only once a day, smack in the middle of the day. It's hard to find the right time to go.

Luckily, our parents are die hard Miyazaki fans, so on Saturday night, we drove all the way out to the Laemmle theatre in North Hollywood to see the movie.

The movie doesn't have any white knuckle action like most American movies do. The storyline is slow paced: It's about this girl in 1960's Yokohama who waits for her sailor father to come back to her while she takes care of her family's boarding house. She falls in love with a schoolmate who is involved in trying to save an old school club house and she chips in to help.

The movie should be a classic. The background artwork is stunning, depicting the streets, sights, culture, and architecture of 1960s Yokohama and Tokyo: a time when the country was modernizing after World War II to meet the demands of hosting the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The story seems definitely a departure from Hayao Miyazaki the father, lacking his adventure and action style. However, we may just become Goro Miyazaki fans too with his nostalgic and sentimental story about treasuring the past while moving forward into the future.

We've visited Yokohama,Tokyo and the Miyazaki Museum in the past and it's fun to be reminded of those places while watching the movie. The movie should definitely be more widely released in the United States. It's recommended for all kids and adults alike.


  1. Looks so beautiful and gentle! Thanks for sharing, guys... might have to go see this after seeing that stunning trailer :)

    1. It's really a good movie. When I was watching it, I kept thinking that everything is unexpected. The movie doesn't follow the typical Hollywood formula. Also, sometimes I wonder why I like to draw and study art, and this movie made me realize why. Very inspirational!