For Animation Filmmakers:


  • Have an animation short to premiere/feature online, and need a comprehensive presentation (in the form of interview/review)? Zippy Frames is a trusted independent animation news website, which has featured a vast array of short animation films, from the more narrative to the outright experimental ones. Send us your film for consideration

⇒ Here's more info how to submit  


  • We address the story aspects of your animation film; we examine its theme, plot structure, characters, context, in accordance with your already stated idea and director's own intentions. We come up with solutions to story problems you face, and provide examples of fine practices for your project.

⇒ Here's more info


  • Animation festival submission seems both a laborious and a mindless process for independent animation filmmakers. We can make the process seem more structured, less laborious and more promising for your festival career of your film - handled by the same people who manage Zippy Frames (via Scheriaa Productions)

⇒ Here's more info

For Animation and Film Festivals & Events Professionals


  • Zippy Frames hosts an extended database of call for entries from animation festivals. A large part of its news roundup covers animation festivals and film festival news. However, not everything can be covered with the same depth and extent as it could (and should) have been. If you're interested in getting in talks and an offer for a festival promotion agreement, contact our Head Editor (vassilis AT zippyframes DOT com)


  • For festivals, conferences, film promotions, companies and products related to the animation industry, we offer reviews, interviews or video reports that promote your services or products in a creative and friendly way. For more info, email: info AT zippyframes DOT com



From Up on Poppy Hill is deeply rooted in Japanese traditions -in fact, so deeply that it almost suffocates.

Goro Miyazaki (Tales from Earthsea) directs a postcard film to the Japan of the 1964 Olympics (not difficult to spot in the film, even though it only plays a marginal role).

Unlike his earlier adventure effort, From Up on Poppy Hill is a teenager romance filled with the values of tradition (and restoration, whenever possible).

Umi is a 16-year old girl who lives in Kokuriko Manor, a house over Yokohama harbour. She is the only person to raise a signal flag every morning. Her father has been killed after his participation in the Korean War.

The theme of the absent father is common in anime films (see, for instance, Children Who Chase Lost Voices). Umi in From Up on Poppy Hill, though, has the whole household (her sisters and granny) to look after. Her mother, a university professor, is also absent for an educational trip to the United States, and Umi is a hard-working person -from breakfast to dawn. 

Shun is a boy whom we learn has also a turbulent parental story. He is the member of the Culture Club, housed in a old semi-derelict (but visually impressive) nonetheless, Quartier Latin. Like the tree of learning, Quartier Latin has departments for chemistry, archeaology, and even an existential student school of philosophy - its representatives are the ones to step outside of tact and 'proper' behavior.

Two narrative threads move the film. The first has Quartier Latin as the first building to be demolished by the school sponsor and businessman Tokumara. Students are able to refurbish it by their own means, and the outcome is easy to guess.

The second explores the chaste romance of Umi and Shun which is somehow hindered by a family revelation that concerns both. The nature of the secret is daring enough, but its narrative development is too hasty and easily resolved. You almost feel that Hayao Miyazaki (he co-scripted, along with Keiko Niwa From Up on Poppy Hill) blushed at the idea, and decided to shelve the only element that could cause genuine interest in the characters.

Leaving this aside, From Up on Poppy Hill feels like a well-designed, vintage but lifeless tribute to the 1964 Japan. Houses and manors are beautiful and reflect mild poverty, but they have nothing extraordinary that registers in the eye -let alone the unadorned sweaters and blouses Umi is forced to wear.

This is not to say that drawing is substandard; the wood in Quartier Latin is so well-designed that it almost leaves a smell. Even still, the nostalgic mandate of the film dictates single-handedly artistic direction.

From Up on Poppy Hill will entertain those (kids included) who want a serene, calm and neat representation of a culture who upholds its values. It never leaves space for anything else.

Vassilis Kroustallis


Support Zippy Frames

Keep this professional animation journalism effort relevant and updated. Become a Zippy Frames patron