Chances are the first movie you ever saw was animation. Exuberant, colorful and full of wonder, animation is the stuff…
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 fantastic 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 side by the anthropomorphism and transformations, which some consider excessive, and on the other…
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…
Shape-shifting, eco-terrorism, testicular tapestries... This film has it all.
A few too many magical tanuki balls for my taste.
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!
Definitely one of the more wacky studio ghibli movies I've seen. Nuff said.
Hilarious, adorable, beautiful, magical film about environmentalism and Japanese mythology. It nearly made me tear up. Personally I don't think it gets too preachy--all it does is tell its narrative from the perspective of animals losing their environment, how much they truly love their forests, and then at the end you get a mere plea with a broken fourth wall--think of the non-magical animals who lose their homes to human encroachment. I don't know how preachy it feels to someone who isn't an environmentalist... but if you like Miyazaki films and you haven't gotten the freaking huge clues about how he feels about our Earth, you're clueless.
Another entry in the rather small Tanooki sub genre.
This is Isao Takahata weakest Studio Ghibli-era flick but it's still a strong film and manages to wring a fair amount of emotion out of such inherently silly characters. The film also demonstrates Takahata's knack for endings as "Pom Poko's" is wonderfully bittersweet.
Too long and with a repetitive (and overused) Ghibli environmental message - however there are some lovely characters and visuals and the film is of course imbued with the Studio's usual wonder and charm.
The narration was overbearing at first, but the story took over a little beeter as the film progressed. I don't like being preached to about environmental matters, but the little bit there is forgiveable in light of the otherwise lighthearted drama. It's a bit more Japanese than what I'm used to from Ghibli, of course, I've seen mainly Miyazaki films, which have his distinct stamp on them. There is a bit that's truly lost in translation.
On a side note, it's too bad for us humans that our "pouches" aren't so multipurpose.
The story of Shape shifting raccoons who’s homes are being destroyed to make way for a suburban development. We see the daily lives of these raccoons as the young are taught how to 'transform' successfully so that they can go and sabotage the humans. A strange film (typical Ghibli), a film full of imagination and charm. A very relatable film as the same shit happens today to wildlife around the world, all be it NOT Transforming Raccoons mores the pity. It has funny moments, happy moments and sad moments. A film that kept me interested until the very end.
"They used their balls as weapons in a brave kamikaze attack."
"Testicles play an important role in tanuki mythology” writes Colin Odell and Michelle Le Blanc when discussing Pom Poko. Directed by Isao Takahata, this is a far call from the deeply serious war story of Grave of the Fireflies. Rather than humans, Pom Poko tackles morphing racoons. These creatures, along with foxes and cats, have a long history in Japan whereby they’re playful, mischievous transformations is merely one trick, alongside their ability to expand their balls into enormous parachutes or rugs to sit upon. Studio Ghibli always manages to inform us of the fascinating stories embedded in Japanese culture – but, until a tanuki (the accurate name for these magical racoons) reveals that his entire tanuki-class is sitting on an…
- Spirited Away
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Toy Story
- The Incredibles
- Spirited Away
- Whisper of the Heart
- From Up on Poppy Hill
- Howl's Moving Castle
Well since I don't think there is a comprehensive list of anime films in letterboxd and I love them so…
- 5 Centimeters Per Second
- Castle in the Sky
- The Cat Returns
- From Up on Poppy Hill
This is taken from the very broad "Asian Cinema recommendations" list along with my own selections - I figured it'd…