Anyone who absolutely adores the beautifully hand drawn, colorful and emotional movies of Japanese animator and director Hayao Miyazaki will be pumped to learn that the English language voice cast of his Studio Ghibli’s upcoming From Up On Poppy Hill, written by Miyazaki and directed by his son Goro, includes X-Files star Gillian Anderson and Star Trek movie actor Anton Yelchin.
The original Japanese animated film, about the budding romance between sweet-faced Umi and Shun in 1963 Yokohama, became the No. 1 grossing movie in Japan last year, according to a press release from Studio Ghibli and distributor GKIDS. The movie will qualify for next year’s Academy Awards with a November run, with release in U.S. theaters set for March 15, 2013.
In the English language version, directed by Gary Rydstrom from a screenplay by Karey Kirkpatrick, Yelchin voices Shun, and Sarah Bolger, who plays Princess Aurora on TV’s Once Upon A Time, voices doe-eyed Umi. The duo try to save their clubhouse from demolition. A long list of distinct – both deep and twinkly – voices rounds out the cast, from Anderson to Beau Bridges, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Christina Hendricks (!), Aubrey Plaza, Chris Noth, and even Ron Howard.
Studio Ghibli, co-founded by Miyazaki, has released a stream of gorgeous animated films since its inception in 1985, including Miyazaki’s Spirited Away, which captured the best animated film Oscar in 2002, 1997’s Princess Mononoke, and 2004’s sweeping fantasy Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s safe to say that the revered animator is passing the torch to his son. From Up On Poppy Hills is Goro Miyazaki’s second full-length animated feature. Another Studio Ghibli release, The Secret World of Arrietty, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, came out in the U.S. earlier this year.
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