If there were a list of the a cinematic equivalent of the eight wonders of the world, Studio Ghibli would have to be on it. The prolific Japanese animation studio simply does not make bad movies. But even beyond its track record, perhaps what makes Studio Ghibli so impressive is that it doesn't always stick to the same formula. The studio's biggest successes--Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle--all deal with fantasy worlds, but some of its titles are grounded in reality. Its latest, From Up on Poppy Hill, for example, doesn't have any fantasy in it.
Written by Hayao Miyazaki and directed by his son, From Up on Poppy Hill is a seemingly simple story about a girl who is trying to save her school's historic clubhouse from destruction. And even though it lives in the real world, that doesn't mean it's without any of the grand imagination that we associate with Miyazaki. It just trades forest creatures for city leaders and fantasy lands for a dreamy, dreary Tokyo.
From Up on Poppy Hill hits Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, September 3, and it is our great pleasure to have five copies of it to give away thanks to its distributor, Cinedigm. To win one, please just live in the continental U.S. and leave a comment with a valid e-mail address by midnight on Friday, September 6. We'll contact the randomly selected winners to get their mailing info, so please don't post that publicly.
Good luck. It's a good one!
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