***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
Wow! I never would have expected that I'd get anywhere close to 100 likes on this…
Tanukis are doing the best they can too, y’know
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…
A group of raccoons fight a losing battle to save their home in the Tama hills of Tokyo. Silly, funny, touching and sad. If your dry eyed at the end of this one you just can't be human.
i honestly can't tell if this is the best or the worst ghibli film.
5/5 raccoon balls
Watched this with my kids. They didn't ask about the raccoon pouches (thank god). Surprisingly emotional in the last 30 minutes. An extremely unique film.
Continuing the month-long Studio Ghibli film festival in local theatres. Pom Poko is a film I am seeing for the first time thanks to this film festival. I don't often like to write reviews of films I've only seen once, so I'll keep this brief.
Like every other Ghibli film I've seen, Pom Poko is excellent. Unlike any other one I've seen, it's hysterically funny. Most of the others I have watched rely on some combination of charm, wonder, and poignance to get them through. This mostly asks that you laugh along, and occasionally stop laughing just long enough to appreciate the poignance of the story. The story of a way of life lost to the modern world.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Well that was nuts.
I'm not sure if I even enjoyed it. It's like whatever idea came to mind was thrown in there and it didn't give much sense that an overall plan was in place to tell a story. Kinda like the raccoons plan. Random and doomed to fail. The characters didn't leap out and make you care for them which made the film feel long. Well, it didn't need to feel long. It was long. Way too long. Despite my misgivings it still has the usual Ghibli message about living with nature and it's full of imagination and creativity. There's certainly some comical moments as the community of raccoons shows their common character traits. Parties after…
Is human life more valuable than the lives of animals? This film has a lot to say about that, and it is very creative!
***EDIT (March 30, 2014)***
IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER