IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
As the human city development encroaches on the raccoon population's forest and meadow habitat, the raccoons find themselves faced with the very real possibility of extinction. In response, the raccoons engage in a desperate struggle to stop the construction and preserve their home.
A community of fantastical shapeshifting raccoons is threatened by human development, the living area is reduced as well as the food resources. Lack of sustenance leads to brutal internal wars, but the wisdom of the elders channels the energy and frustration of all raccons against a common enemy: Man.
Isao Takahata's Pom Poko is arguably the most divisive animation coming out of Studio Ghibli, it's a film that includes lots of Japanese folklore references, either by the raccoons and their relationship with the foxes or by the tales, ghost stories, parades, expressionless faces and everything else. The design of the raccoons was rather controversial, on one hand because of the anthropomorphism and transformations, which some consider excessive, and on the…
Part 10 of my Studio Ghibli retrospective.
With his first three films for Studio Ghibli, Isao Takahata seemed to be almost stubbornly resisting any stylistic trademarks. Grave of the Fireflies was a historical wartime melodrama, Only Yesterday a nostalgic romantic comedy, and Pom Poko a sort of war epic with liberal amounts of fantasy and satire. As an artist, Takahata can never be accused of resting on his laurels or revisiting what has worked before.
In Pom Poko, Takahata chooses to use a briskly-paced narration to provide exposition, especially filling in the gaps when the film jumps ahead in time. The Japanese language is not particularly poetic or aesthetically pleasing, but it excels at this kind of rhythmic, gradually unfolding…
If there is one thing in this world that I am sure of, it would be that 'Pom Poko' would hands down win the award for most bizarre use of testicles in film history!
It's all about balance. When the raccoons imagine their perfect past, it's a time when the humans peacefully coexisted with them, not absent of humans. Also, it's about having awesome parties for any reason whatsoever.
So eccentric and rambunctious. Instead of the ostentatious crescendos and moral algebra at play in something like Princess Mononoke (which I love), Pom Poko flows freely from vignette to vignette, only allowing its implications to surface in outbursts. At points, it felt like some political insurgent movie that just happened that star tanuki. At others, it felt like some kinda lost family melodrama (those final transformations one last hurrah for now gone way of life). It's bizarre and troubling and beautiful
This is one that has slipped my net for a while and I am so glad to have finally gotten round to watching it as it is just SO MUCH fun.
Although it is in many respects different from many other Ghibli films as it doesn't really have a main character, it's central theme of the importance of nature is a familiar one.
As you would expect with a Ghibli, the animation is beautiful, the characters are great and the detail in each scene which, like many other Ghibli films really helps you immerse yourself in the world - which is a really great thing considering how fun the story and world as a whole is.
What sets this apart…
I both love & hate it for being terrifying. Dude with his testicles better chill.
Raccoons wage countless psy-op campaigns against humans.
Raccoon Ghibli style. A not at all subtle tale of the dangers of man destroying the habitats of animals.
Pom Poko is an exceptionally odd film in Ghibli's back catalogue. This is my second viewing and I'm still not entirely sure what I think of it. The animation is, of course, spectacular with plenty of opportunities for wild, hallucinatory imagery as the starring raccoon dogs morph into whatever strikes their fancy. I also loved the general concept, which is sort of like Animals of Farthing Wood, only somewhat less depressing and much, much more mad and unpredictable. I also loved the use of giant shape-shifting testicles. The film's ending (if perhaps you shave off the awkward and unnecessary breaking of the fourth wall) is quite poignant, leaving me a little sad but satisfied. My biggest issue with Pom Poko…
Another Takahata film I knew little of going in aside from tanukis, their balls, and a sense the movie was a little too Japanese (which is probably right compared to the Yamadas.) I expected this straightforward mystical cartoon narrative because that's all I'd ever seen from the movie when people share anything about it. Structure was far more reminiscent of an old Disney nature documentary where narration would set the scene for a vignette that would play out. I really appreciated that approach but my favorite part of the movie wasn't the conservation message, the existential plight of the tanukis, or the encroachment of humanity, it was the lovely nature animation which was beautiful. Not to say I minded the more cartoony elements because I didn't but the juxtaposition of the tanukis at their most abstract compared to their more realistic incarnations only served to make the latter that much more impressive.
i can't believe the amount of times the word 'testicles' was said. good god, takahata, this is a children's movie.
Giant, furry, shape-shifting raccoon testicles that battle against the industrialization of suburban Japan...this movie's pretty bizarre.
Pompoko, pensé que iba a ser algo muy para niño, y chance lo es (¿?), no estoy seguro. Pompoko funcionaría como una historia a Wall-E, donde los mapaches tratan de advertirnos de nuestras formas de consumo y crecimiento, los mapaches son como los delfines de La Guía del Viajero Intergaláctico, donde no están diciendo, la están cagando, parece que este mundo no les importa y por lo mismo lo van a destruir ustedes, saben es imposible hacerlos entender, hasta luego y gracias por todo el pescado.
Pompoko tiene 22 años desde que se estreno y su historia y temática se siente vigente.
“Debajo de esta alfombra, están mis testículos”
This bizarre animated fantasy from the legendary Studio Ghibli involves a community of shape-shifting raccoon-dogs fighting the developers threatening their forest home. Funny, sometimes savage and sometimes dark, this is fantastic entertainment. The film drew heavily on Japanese folklore and culture, and is sure to reward repeated viewings.
Chances are the first movie you ever saw was animation. Exuberant, colorful and full of wonder, animation is the stuff…
The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts…