After becoming the highest-grossing film in Japan last year, Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill is getting underway with the English language dubbing process, and now GKids, the specialty animation distributor in the US, has tapped a high-profile cast to do it.
Christina Hendricks, Aubrey Plaza, Ron Howard, Gillian Anderson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Bruce Dern, Chris Noth, and Anton Yelchin have all been set to join the voice cast, Variety report, alongside Sarah Bolger, Beau Bridges, Jeff Dunham, Isabelle Fuhrman, Emily Osment, Charles Saxton and Alex Wolff.
“Set in Yokohama, From Up On Poppy Hill is a high school love story that take place in the year before the 1964 Tokyo Summer Olympics. As the country begins to pick itself up from the devastation of the Second World War, the new generation struggles to move towards a prosperous future whilst trying not to lose the essence of their past. The film’s rich and vibrant animation captures the entrancing beauty of Yokohama’s harbour and lush surrounding hillsides and, with a soundtrack that draws inspiration from the finest music of the time, perfectly captures the thrills of young romance and the hope of a new dawn.”
We saw the first English-subbed trailer for the film back in the summer, when we heard that it was set to have an Oscar-qualifying run for critics in LA next month, which means the English language version should be moving forward very quickly.
The film sees Gorō Miyazaki return behind the camera for the first time since 2006’s Tales from Earthsea, directing from a script co-written by his father and Ghibli co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro), and Keiko Niwa (Tales from Earthsea, Arrietty), based on the original manga by Tetsurō Sayama and Chizuru Takahashi.
Seven-time Oscar-winning sound designer/re-recording mixer, Gary Rydstrom (Saving Private Ryan, Finding Nemo), has directed the English language version, from a script adapted by Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).
[UPDATE] Thanks to a heads up from a helpful reader, Kathy, the film’s official US Facebook has launched, revealing that leading roles of the young Umi and Shun will be voiced by Sarah Bolger and Anton Yelchin, respectively.
Ghibli are always at the top of the game, consistently bringing us some of the best animated films throughout their long career, and it’s always good to have their latest feature to look forward to.
Ordinarily, I’m very much one for subtitled films over dubbed films, but Ghibli are the rare exception to the rule that produce terrific dubbed versions alongside the Japanese originals.
From Up on Poppy Hill is set to get its Oscar-qualifying run in LA next month, with GKids intending to release it in NY and LA on 15th March, 2013, followed by a wider release in successive weeks. Still no word on a UK release yet, but hopefully we’ll be seeing it here in the spring, too. I can’t wait. More as we get it.