The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Upon being sent to live with relatives in the countryside, an emotionally distant adolescent girl becomes obsessed with an abandoned mansion and infatuated with a girl who lives there - a girl who may or may not be real.
When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
After her werewolf lover unexpectedly dies in an accident, a woman must find a way to raise the werewolf son and daughter that she had with him. But their inheritance of their father's traits proved to be a challenge for her.
From up on Poppy Hill is a deserving addition to the Ghibli library. It's sweet, small and relatable. The manga-based script is written by Hayao Miyazaki himself, while his son Goro is directing this time.
Poppy Hill is slightly different from the more known Ghibli films in the fact that it takes place completely in the real world and there's not even the slightest hint of anything supernatural. It makes it a different kind of film, so I would recommend placing your expectations outside the Totoro/Ponyo/Spirited Away territory.
Once you settle into the setting, the movie offers a good time: the characters are colourful (especially the philosophy guy, he was hilarious!) and relatable and the simplicity and down to earth feel of the story prevents the film from getting out of hand. The romance doesn't feel forced in any way and there are many heartwarming moments. By the end I was just smiling and left the theater with a warm feel inside.
The movie has some issues that keep it outside of greatness status. The animation isn't bad, but certainly not the level we've come to expect (this might be partly because the film was in production when the 2011 tsunami hit, so it's understandable). The story takes a while to get going, and also I found the music almost interrupting at times. I wonder how the sound mixing went because at times the music felt almost too loud.
But in the end Poppy Hill is a very enjoyable film. It takes a while to get going, but it gives it the advantage of getting better and better as it progresses.
Recommendation: For Ghibli fans and newcomers alike From up on Poppy Hill offers a heartwarming feel-good film that will bring a smile to your face. Definitely worth seeing
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