Release Date: May 31, 2022
Poupelle in Chimney Town (映画 えんとつ町のプペル) will soon be available on home video, and if the bonus material is any indication, his adventures are far from over. This highly anticipated release is available to stream (Amazon Prime), but my money is on the physical release. It has everything for fans to fawn over and it comes with a nice mini booklet to introduce and explain what this story is all about–a young man daring to dream.
There might be plans for a 4K release down the road, but there’s no official news yet. I can see this film shine with a higher resolution release. There’s a lot of detail to appreciate, and when it’s been wholly animated in CGI, I like to know who those figures are in the background. In what’s offered in this blu-ray version is crisp. The original 5.1 sonic presentation is perfect.
I read more into this movie and expressed it in my article, “From Book to Film and Beyond Poupelle in Chimney Town!” and in what I understood, it’s also about not letting the past get the better of you. The tale is also comparable to the themes explored in the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from Wizard of Oz after I finished watching the bonus material.
We not only get a look into the production of this movie and the challenges director Yusuke Hirota faced, but also learn that Akihiro Nishino’s story is far from over. He has ambitious plans to take it to mythic levels, and personally, I’m excited. This featurette reveals a lot; this creator talks about all the characters, reveals who are also important to the narrative down the road, and speaks about his world-building process.
The third piece, a Q&A from a screening at the Malibu Film Society, doesn’t add much more. Here, this creator talks more about how he approached Studio 4°C to produce the film. The video editing, or rather, what the subjects are looking at seems odd, and I suspect that’s because Nishino was looking at a screen doing live translation of the questions in English to Japanese. It was placed at an odd spot, hence the unusual sense that the interviewer and interviewee aren’t always looking at each other.
My only hope is that this creator doesn’t take too long to pen the next two Poupelle of Chimney Town films. He might have more picture books to continue the story, and I’m okay with that too! And as for how long it’ll take, I suspect we’re in for a two or three year wait.
Next up is looking at how well sales of Shout! Factory and Eleven Arts home video release will help. Nishino admits that he’s not a household name just yet, but after what I’ve learned in his discourse, I think he’ll rank right up there with the Greek poet Hesoid in due time.
But with only one volume set in this universe out so far, this creator will have to work hard to get recognised. Older works he’s authoured include Honya no Poncho, Orugoru World and Tick-Tock (Amazon USA links). I’m waiting for an English translation before purchasing and as for whether they belong in a shared universe, it’s hard to tell. They might, because what he said about his vision for his overall arc and what he took from it to to form Poupelle of Chimney Town is one that I’m instantly in love with. He has ideas that’s even Joseph Campbell (Power of Myth) would approve of, and I can’t wait to see them materialise.