Monday, September 23, 2013

From Up on Poppy Hill (Brief Animation Review)

From Up on Poppy Hill

By: Gus Calvo
The beauty of a good animation movie relies on the story telling as well the innovation that is used on the cinematography; yet, it is not necessary for a studio to execute a piece as a high-tech, sometimes the key to remember a good piece of animation relies on the beauty that the cartoonist do the movie, from their characters up to the scenarios.
From Up on Poppy Hill is a Japanese movie made by Studio Ghibli, the creators of My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Ponyo among others. The studio was founded by animation veterans Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata and Toshio Suzuki after the success of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
As many other Studio Ghibli movies, the animation of the movie reflects the every-day life of the different Japanese settings from their period dramas as well to their more fantastical scenarios that are inspired on the creators daily livings.
The movie is set on the Port of Yokohama, on the eve of the 1964 Olympics. There is a realistic side that inspired the scenarios around; which gives an authenticity to the narrative of the movie as the viewers, no matter where they are from can see a little bit of Japan on a different era, where everything was far simpler.
The technique used to create the realistic approach is rotoscopy, but what is really interesting about the movie production process it is that the film had minor setbacks on the post-production stage due the 2011 earthquake-tsunami tragedy that stroke on the coast of Tohoku, generating blackouts making some of the artist to work during those periods in order to finish the movie on the release date on July 16 of 2011.


The exquisite details around the scenarios that show a typical image on the daily lives of the Yokohama citizens, up to the water around the ocean were the ships sails.    

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