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'Up On Poppy Hill', 'Wolf Children', 'Space Show' Screening at New York International Children's Film Festival

By February 6, 2013

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The New York International Children's Film Festival is back once again this year, running from March 1 through March 24, with a roster full of top-notch animated productions that are not just for children but people of all ages.

This year's roster has two entries sure to be of major interest to anime fans: Studio Ghibli's Up on Poppy Hill and Mamoru Hosoda's Wolf Children.

Up on Poppy Hill, written by Studio Ghibli head Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son, Goro Miyazaki, is set in 1960s Yokohama, and involves a romance between two high schoolers against the backdrop of Japan's post-WWII recovery and preparation for the 1964 Olympics (a major source of local pride). But a secret buried in both childrens' pasts must be confronted before they can move forward together.

Wolf Children, from the director of The Girl who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars, involves a woman who mothers two children who turn out to be half-wolves, and takes them to the countryside so that they can grow up away from the scrutiny of an uncomprehending world.

More details about the festival from the website:

"NYICFF was founded in 1997 to promote intelligent, passionate, provocative cinematic works for ages 3-18 and to help define a more compelling film for kids. Since its launch, the event has grown to become the largest festival for children and teens in North America, with an audience of over 25,000 attending the most recent event. Since 2000, all screenings have sold out in advance."

Also screening at the festival is Welcome to the Space Show, which I screened at Otakon 2010, and which still doesn't have formal distribution outside of festival appearances. A gang of kids in the countryside rescue what they think is a dog, but which turns out to be an alien who whisks them away on a whirlwind tour of the universe.

Tickets are on sale now, and it's recommended that you purchase them early, as showings for the NYICFF sell out quickly and consistently!

Image: From Up On Poppy Hill © 2011 - Chizuru Takahashi - Tetsuro Sayama - GNDHDDT. Image courtesy NYICFF.


February 12, 2013 at 2:12 am
(1) Joseph Petek says:

I quite liked [i]From Up On Poppy Hill[/i]. While I’m a big fan of fantasy films in general, it’s nice to see another Ghibli film like this that’s a little more grounded, with a focus on the time period and the characters, and sans the fantasy trimmings (although the Latin Quarter seems nearly as fantastical as Howl’s castle, and it was certainly lavished with an equal amount of attention and detail by the animators). [i]Whisper of the Heart[/i] is an easy comparison, and while [i]Poppy Hill[/i] may not be quite that good, it’s plenty good enough to uphold Ghibli’s reputation as the reigning kings of their craft. Yes, the symbolism of the Latin Quarter as a microcosm of Japan’s preparation for the Olympics was a little obvious (and the ending, therefore, predictable), and the hitch in the love story was… weird… but those are probably the worst things you could say about it. [i]From Up On Poppy Hill[/i] is definitely one I’ll be watching again.

February 12, 2013 at 10:17 am
(2) anime.guide@about.com says:

I picked up tickets to see it at the festival myself, so I’ll be reporting back about it here. There’s very little of anything from Studio Ghibli that has been flat-out disappointing (okay, maybe “Tales of Earthsea”).

February 13, 2013 at 3:51 am
(3) Joseph Petek says:

Let’s not forget “Ocean Waves”… I think that one qualifies as disappointing (at the very least) if not flat-out bad. And “Only Yesterday” was kinda nowhere… not necessarily bad, just very bland from where I’m sitting.

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