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Poupelle of Chimney Town

Yusuke Hirota’s adaptation, of Akihiro Nishino’s best selling book of the same name, is a delight. It will probably be hugely well received by the younger viewers and, the decision to also screen an English-language version of this one will no doubt go down exceedingly well.

A young boy, Lubicchi, is a chimney sweep. He works hard while his peers are playing. He was brought up by his Dad, Bruno, to believe in something more than the smoke-filled skies that surround Chimney town, to believe that there is something beyond what you can see and that this isn’t all that they have. But when, Bruno disappears it is left to Lubicchi to carry on the dreams and stories of stars.

A mysterious meteor crashes into a garbage pit and strangely collects parts together to make a human-shaped monster, given the name “Garbage Man”. Shunned by everyone else, Lubicchi takes Garbage Man in and looks after him and tells him all about his dreams. There is more going on in Chimney Town than just Lubicchi trying to see what is out there and this leads to confrontations between those in power and those who wish for more.

Poupelle covers themes of loss and following your dreams, no matter what, really well and with a great deal of perspective from a child’s point of view. There are moments of humour that hit the spot, whether you were following the subtitles or not, and also moments of threat that were pretty effective in creating tension. The computer-generated animation is a of a high standard and manages to bring a good amount of colour to the fore, even in the smokey-smoke filled world we find ourselves in. The character of Lubicchi is very likeable and, while Garbage Man was a little bit annoying at times his heart was in the right place in the end.

Poupelle of Chimney Town is well worth watching or taking the kids along to and will keep their attention throughout.

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