- Cast: 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
- Director: Goro Miyazaki
- Writers: Karey Kirkpatrick, Patrick Mullen, Hayao Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa, Tetsurô Sayama
- Producers: Tetsuro Sayama, Toshio Suzuki, Chizuru Takahashi
- Co Producer: Robyn Klein
- Executive Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall
- Art Directions: Kamon Oba, Takashi Omori, Yohei Takamatsu, Noboru Yoshida
- Casting: Holly Dorff
- D.O.P.: Atsushi Okui
- Editor: Takeshi Seyama
- Music: Satoshi Takebe
Set in Japan of the 1960s, the film tells the story of Umi Matsuzaki, a high school girl living in Kokuriko Manor. When Umi meets Shun Kazama, a member of the school's newspaper club, they decide to clean up the Quartier Latin. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider.
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- MPAA Warning: Mild thematic elements and some incidental smoking images
- Production Companies: Studio Ghibli, Nippon Televi, Dentsu, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners, Walt Disney Company, Mitsubishi, Toho Company, KDDI, Yomiuri Shinbun, Lawson
2013 Guide Analysis: "Studio Ghibli's latest feature, and the highest-grossing Japanese film of 2011 with a $56 million haul, finally comes to the United States and other western territories in early 2013. Much like "Only Yesterday" or "Ocean Waves," this is a smaller and quieter work from Ghibli with a real world setting and a youth-oriented focus. While this year's 'Arrietty' lovingly wallowed in the rich details of its 'world in miniature,' this one is all about recreating a simpler period in time.
Set in 1963 Yokohama in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics the following year, the story follows a high school girl living in a boarding house. She and a boy who works for the newspaper club decide to clean up the school's dilapidated 'Latin Quarter' clubhouse. Unfortunately the school's chairman intends to demolish the building and they must try to persuade him to change his mind.
Based on a 1980s manga, the helmer is Goro Miyazaki who is the son of the legendary Hayao Miyazaki who co-founded the studio. Goro's first directorial effort, "Tales from Earthsea," is generally considered the worst film to have come out of the Japanese animation studio so far. Thankfully 'Poppy Hill' has received a more impressive reception, but the few early non-Japanese publication reviews from film festival screenings are still calling it mid-range Ghibli at best.
Pacing issues and awkwardly forced moments seem to be the most common criticisms, but all praise the film's atmosphere and historical period recreation. Also, a run-of-the-mill Ghibli film is still better than 90% of the other animated efforts on the market. The 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami almost stopped the film's production in its tracks, but Miyazaki and his animators pressed on, claiming it was their responsibility to do so. Despite the problems, they met their target date.
Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are producing this North American audio dub which includes such voice talents as Sarah Bolger, Anton Yelchin, Ron Howard, Jeff Dunham, Gillian Anderson, Chris Noth, Isabelle Fuhrman, Emily Osment, Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Christina Hendricks and Aubrey Plaza amongst others."