'From Up on Poppy Hill,' which follows the romance between a lonely teenager and her dashing classmate, is the exception in an industry where family entertainment is often bland.
Chizuru Takahashi/Tetsuro Sayama/GNDHDDT
“From Up on Poppy Hill” is a delicately beautiful hand-drawn animated movie directed by Goro Miyazaki and written by his father, Hayao, perhaps the world’s greatest movie imagineer. Set in Yokohama in 1963, it’s about Umi (voiced in the English version by Sarah Bolger), a lonely teenager who falls for Shun (Anton Yelchin), a dashing classmate whose family history proves an impediment to their romance.
Although simpler and less mysterious than the great Hayao Miyazaki movies, the gently melancholic “From Up on Poppy Hill” is still a must see at a time when family entertainment is too often synonymous with blandness. Grade: B+ (Rated PG for mild thematic elements and some incidental smoking images.)