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From Up on Poppy Hill (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack) (2011)

Sarah Bolger , Chris Noth , Goro Miyazaki  |  PG |  Blu-ray
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)

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Region 32908 encoding (This DVD will not play on most DVD players sold in the US or Canada [Region 1]. This item requires a region specific or multi-region DVD player and compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sarah Bolger, Chris Noth, Anton Yelchin, Christina Hendricks, Aubrey Plaza
  • Directors: Goro Miyazaki
  • Writers: Chizuru Takahashi, Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa, Tetsurô Sayama
  • Producers: Chizuru Takahashi, Frank Marshall, Geoffrey Wexler
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, Color, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Cinedigm
  • DVD Release Date: September 3, 2013
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,216 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "From Up on Poppy Hill (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack)" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, and The Secret World of Arrietty, comes another animated triumph. Yokohama, 1963. Japan is picking itself up from the devastation of World War II and preparing to host the Olympics. The mood is one of both optimism and conflict as the young generation struggles to throw off the shackles of a troubled past. Against this backdrop of hope and change, a friendship begins to blossom between high school students Umi (Sarah Bolger) and Shun (Anton Yelchin) – but a buried secret from their past emerges to cast a shadow on the future and pull them apart. From a screenplay by Academy Award-winner Hayao Miyazaki and featuring an all-star English voice cast!

Goro Miyazaki's From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-Zaka Kara) was the top-grossing animated film in Japan in 2011 (outdrawing two Pokémon movies), and won the Japanese Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The story unfolds in Yokohama during preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Each morning as she prepares for school, industrious Umi Matsuzaki (voiced by Sarah Bolger) flies signal flags from her family's boarding house in memory of her father, who was lost at sea during the Korean War. Shun Kazama (Anton Yelchin), the engaging editor of the high school newspaper, gets her involved in his campaign to preserve "the Latin Quarter," a beloved but dilapidated building that houses the school clubs. The effort to save the ramshackle structure sparks a believable romance between these likable teenagers. Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa adapted the story from a graphic novel by Chizuru Takahashi and Tetsuro Sayama. The filmmaking is more intimate and assured than Goro Miyazaki's Tales from Earthsea (2006). Many Japanese retain a nostalgia for the early '60s, when the Olympics proclaimed their country's reemergence from the destruction of World War II and the period of rebuilding that followed. Kyo Sakamoto's crossover pop hit "Ue o muite aruko," which Americans know as "Sukiyaki," sets the tone. The Ghibli artists outdid themselves creating the dust and junk decades of high school students left in the Latin Quarter: the audience can understand both the students' affection for their ratty headquarters and the administrators' desire to be rid of an eyesore. At a time when American animation is dominated by fast-paced, big-budget CG films, From Up on Poppy Hill reminds viewers of the singular warmth of hand-drawn animation. (Rated PG: some mature themes, minor tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
120 of 133 people found the following review helpful
(Note: this is a review of the movie, not of the DVD. Based on other reviews, I would advise potential buyers to be cautious about the quality of the specific DVD being sold.)

From Up on Poppy Hill (Kokuriko-zaka Kara) is nothing less than the best Studio Ghibli film since 2004's Howl's Moving Castle, possibly even since 2001's Spirited Away. Directed by Goro Miyazaki from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa, From Up on Poppy Hill is based on a 1980 serialized Japanese graphic novel of the same name, illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsuro Sayama. The animation is lush and lovingly detailed, and the story an engaging tale of two high school students dealing with first love and with the importance of the past, both on a cultural and institutional level, and, as it turns out, on an intimately personal level as well.

The story is set in 1963 in the port town of Yokahama in Japan in 1963 against the backdrop of the country getting ready to host the 1964 Olympic Games. Umi Matsuzaki is a sixteen-year-old high school girl living with her family and a couple of boarders in a house on top of a hill that overlooks the harbor. Her mother Ryoko, a medical professor, is currently away, studying abroad in the United States. In her mother's absence, Umi runs the house and looks after her younger siblings, Sora and Riku, and her grandmother, Hana. The boarders, both women, are an artistic college student named Sachiko Hirokouji and a doctor-in-training named Miki Hokuto. Umi's father, we learn, died many years ago when Umi was quite young, killed when his cargo ship hit a mine during the Korean War.
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69 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful film May 22, 2013
By Grace
This movie is very well done. Although it is not a Hayao Miyazaki movie, it is made by his son. You can feel how it is similar to Miyazaki's films. It just doesn't have the fantasy elements that most Miyazaki films have. Instead its more of a slice of life, laid back movie like Whisper of the Heart. Which I really enjoyed. So even though its not like watching something like Spirited away or Howl's moving castle, it is sweet and very well done. if you are a fan of Studio Ghibli's work, this is a great movie to watch. I highly suggest you check it out! It will surprise you in a good way!
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Studio Ghibli Film December 1, 2012
Set in the early 1960s in Yokohama, From Up on Poppy Hill details the story of 16yo Umi Matsuzaki. Umi's father is dead. Her mother, a doctor, is away in the United States. Living at home, Umi remains the dutiful young Japanese female teenager. She wakes early to set the rice cooking. She prepares lunches. She takes care of her grandmother (loved seeing her still in her traditional kimonos) and her younger sisters while her mother is away. She raises the signal flags outside her home, because that's what her father and she used to do together before he was killed in the Korean War. She goes to school and is a good student. One day at school she finds herself the subject of a poem. A poem that is romantic! Who could have written it? As if that were not enough trouble, Shun Kazama, the local heartthrob, jumps down from high up on a building. Right in front of her!! This causes the entire school to focus on her.

Suddenly Umi finds herself taken to Quartier Latin, a local club housed in an old worn-down building, by her younger Sora who wants an autograph from Umi. It is there that she encounters Shun again. This charming building is the subject of much fierce debate about its usefulness and its future. The governing body of the school wish it to be torn down and so do the majority of the students of the school. Umi finds herself caught between the battling philosophies waging war against Japan. As Japan throws itself headlong into the future while readying itself for the 1964 Olympics that will be held in Tokyo, people are everywhere tearing down old buildings, forgetting the past, and distancing themselves from the culture of their parents. Others resist this movement and try to preserve as much of the past as they can.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
The arrival of any animated feature from the esteemed Studio Ghibli is of note to movie lovers everywhere! With a screenplay by the venerable Hayao Miyazaki, "From Up On Poppy Hill" is no exception. As you would expect, the movie is beautifully drawn and its sweeping images look terrific in this Blu-ray presentation. Originally released in 2011, I've been awaiting an official North American debut and the GKIDS label has done a fine job with this introduction. One of my biggest complaints in recent years is when companies dub a foreign masterpiece with an American cast and present that English language version as the definitive DVD/Blu-ray release. While I understand that may broaden the appeal of the movie to a wider audience, it saddens me not to have access to the original vision in subtitles. Thankfully, GKIDS has taken this into consideration. So here, we get the dubbed version with an impressive array of vocal talent including Gillian Anderson, Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Christina Hendricks, Ron Howard, Chris Noth, Aubrey Plaza, and Anton Yelchin. But for purists, the original Japanese edition is presented intact as well. I never understand why that isn't just a standard!

As not much in the way of actual DVD/Blu-ray information is presented, let me just cover some of the impressive extras on the release.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great item.
Published 4 days ago by Tonya
5.0 out of 5 stars More human than many other great Studio Ghibli films
A great movie from Ghibli. As others have said, it lacks the fantasy elements of Totoro or Spirited Away... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Nate R
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Wonderful, warm movie with many funny moments as well as sad, profound ones. Our family loves this movie.
Published 7 days ago by Dot
3.0 out of 5 stars ... a 3 because I expected it to be as good as any of his Father's...
I suppose I gave this a 3 because I expected it to be as good as any of his Father's films. But definitely worth the watch.
Published 14 days ago by PROLOG
5.0 out of 5 stars From Up on Poppy Hill
Fun to watch.
Published 14 days ago by E.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thoughtful Movie
First of all, I am a fan of slow moving serious Japanese animation that I can watch with almost anyone and they not get offended. So there we go. Read more
Published 22 days ago by D. F.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghibli at its best
Now this is what I hope for from Ghibli. Every bit as good as Spirited Away or Ponyo, but even maybe a bit more emotional impact, almost as much as Grave of the Fireflies (though... Read more
Published 23 days ago by DoughBoy & EggGirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying
This is a review of the Region A/1 Blu-ray DVD. Others have posted about the plot, so I will omit that information. Read more
Published 29 days ago by Jan P.
5.0 out of 5 stars more Ghibli please!
fantastic film, with a great story line and character development. Studio Ghibli just keeps getting better and better with artwork that is breathtaking in its complexity and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Oregon
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Cute story, and it was shipped in a timely manner.
Published 1 month ago by Sarah Geddes
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In Japanese with English subtitles?
Yes, it will have the original Japanese language track with English subtitles, along with the English dub and English dubtitles.
Aug 28, 2013 by DisneyWildcat |  See all 4 posts
Why does Umi put a glass of water by her father's picture?
A glass of fresh water and a bunch of poppies, on a small table, in front of the father's portrait, taken care of daily by a daughter: Probably an abbreviated form of Japanese ancestor worship, resembling the offerings of flowers and water left on the tomb of a dead relative during the Higan... Read More
Jan 11, 2014 by Oscar L. Colombo |  See all 3 posts
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