For decades, Studio Ghibli has been one of the best-loved and most well-known animation studios in the world, second only in recognition to Disney/Pixar.

Their latest feature, Kokuriko-zaka Kara (From Up On Poppy Hill), was released in Japan last summer and won the Best Animated Feature at the Japanese equivalent of the Oscars, and will be reaching our shores in the UK and US next year. Before then, however, the film is set to have a limited-engagement release in LA for an Academy Award-qualifying run this November, and now the first English language-subbed trailer has made its way online.

“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.”

The film sees Gor? 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 Tetsur? Sayama and Chizuru Takahashi.

Interestingly, its release will be the first Ghibli film not to be released by Disney in the US, who have done a brilliant job expanding the market for the films, reigning in impressive talent for the English language dubs, to make the studio’s output some of the only films worth watching in either the original or the dubbed versions.

Instead, GKIDS, a specialty animation distributor who released the Oscar-nomainted A Cat in Paris, will be releasing the film in the original language, as part of their new deal to release thirteen earlier Studio Ghibli films in the US in the original Japanese. And as you can imagine, we’re really rather jealous about that here in the UK.

From Up On Poppy Hill is yet to have a set release in the UK or US, but with an Oscar-qualifying run set for November, be sure to keep an eye out if you in the LA area. With a bit of luck, we’ll have seen it by the time the Oscars roll around, because this is looking like a very strong candidate for Best Animated Feature. For now, enjoy this absolutely brilliant trailer, and hopefully we’ll have news of a release date to bring you soon.

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Source: via The Playlist.