Review | Poupelle of Chimney Town
“Poupelle of Chimney Town dares you to dream big. This is an inspiring movie with mesmerizing and unique visuals.”
Poupelle of Chimney Town is an animated Japanese movie. It is adapted from Akihiro Nishino’s 2016 children book from the same name. For this adaptation, Nishino himself wrote the screenplay and Yusuke Hirota directed it. Released in December 2020 in Japan, countries around the world are finally getting the chance to see this movie.
Lubicchi is a lonely boy who lives with his sick mother in this Chimney Town covering the sky of smoke. After his father’s death, he has to work as a chimney sweep. It is a job he chooses to be closer to the sky in the hopes of seeing the stars. Until one day, he meets Poupelle, a man made of garbage. This thing is going to become his friend and change his world.
Although, Poupelle of Chimney Town may be a movie aimed at children, anyone can actually enjoy it. It has a universal appeal. Undoubtedly, this story is so many things. It is equally about a father-son relationship than it is about friendship. Indeed, the movie is filled with flashbacks of Lubicchi and his father. Their bond is so important. In fact, it is because of his father that Lubicchi dreams of seeing the stars. And Lubicchi’s relationship with Poupelle is what partly drives the story in the present. For Lubicchi, this friendship is more meaningful than it first appears to be.
Furthermore, this movie is uplifting. It encourages to believe in yourself and dream big. Nobody (except his mother) believes in Lubicchi’s dream. Because the people in this town do not know what a star is. So, they are afraid of the unknown. All the more since the government makes them believe there is nothing beyond their town. Despite everything all of this, this boy does not give up. He faces his fears and pushes himself to achieve his dream. More importantly, seeing a star is not only about fulfilling a dream. But, it is about opening up the world of this town, proving them that there is something beyond.
Undeniably, there is an ecological message with the smoke and Lubicchi’s sick mother. More than once in the movie, there are hints indicating the smoke is the reason Lola is in this state. Though, the main theme is really about expanding your world. There is so much to explore. Yes, it can be scary because it is the unknown but there is beauty in it. By not staying in our own little pockets, we learn more about the world that surrounds us. An adventure can take many forms.
Moreover, the animated style is perharps what makes this movie so unique. Indeed, while you can inherently tell it is a Japanese movie, the character designs are so different from what we usually see. They are really special. The animation uses a mix of CG and 2D in a beautiful way. It never feels off. The two always feel in symbiosis. Beyond the characters, the scenery is mesmerizing. The Chimney Town is halfway between a dystopian town and a town from the Industrial Revolution.
Furthermore, Youki Kojima and Yuta Bando’s score add to the visual wonders of this movie. Plus, there are a few scenes built around some songs. And these are masterfully crafted conveying a lot of emotions.
Poupelle of Chimney Town dares you to dream big. This is an inspiring movie with mesmerizing and unique visuals.
Poupelle of Chimney Town is now available on blu-ray and is currently in cinemas in some countries.
Collectables Editor at Future Of The Force.
Star Wars and Marvel specialist, anime expert