Japanese cinema differs greatly from anything American. “From Up on Poppy Hill,” a cute — not cutesy — meditation on a young romance in 1960s Tokyo, is a reminder why. Brimming with heart and charm, “Poppy” will please the entire age spectrum.

“From Up on Poppy Hill”

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A24


“From Up on Poppy Hill”

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GKIDS


Father-son duo of director Goro Miyazaki (“Tales from Earthsea”) and world-renowned animation writer Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke”) fuses forces to remind Americans that “Pokémon” animation remains relevant — even in the all-digital filmic age of “What’s real and what’s not?” Despite the imminent anime feel of it, the sincere human sentiment entrenches itself. Coupled with a soft piano and Woody Allen-esque soundtrack, the story holds candlestick warmth.

Our protagonist Umi (voiced by Masami Nagasawa) is a gentle teenage girl whose deceased father hinders her from a normal life. As the 1964 Tokyo Olympics approach, Umi must wrangle up her classmates to defend their soon-to-be destroyed clubhouse. Along the way, Umi discovers solace and love in a boy. The two share passion for cause and synergize, letting hormonal gasoline fuel the script.

“Poppy” is part period piece, part love story and part scenic eye-candy, but together they conjoin in something much simpler: A feel-good movie.

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