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 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…
Nemuri Kyoshiro's “Full Moon Cut” is lampooned in the first four minutes.
Really didn't get the appeal of this movie. It's way too long, and ridiculously repetitive. The mythology of the Tanookis is interesting, and their magical powers allow for some really creative and fun sequences. Some of the humor was funny, some of it was just strange. The ending was very nice, though. And of course the scene where the Tanookis attempt to beat people to death with their giant testicles was memorable. But I didn't find any of the characters charming, likable, or interesting, and the environmental plot was simple and cliched.
I dunno, maybe it's just not for me.
An entertaining and sweet Ghibli film that is a heavy commentary on environmental destruction, and the effect humans can have on animal life.
The animation was beautiful. I loved the look of the film. I could stare at those skies and landscapes all day. Even the industrial stuff is a wonderful eyesore.
Of course, it often dealt with the subject in a playful and child friendly manner. And it was very enjoyable when it had scenes of the animals tormenting the humans. I LOVED those scenes. They were perfect. It's a shame that the film could not live up to that standard at any other point.
You’d need a heart of stone to grow up in the ‘90s and come out without some environmentalist tendencies. You’d go to the movies and watch as cute rainforest animals had their home imperilled by oncoming bulldozers (in Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest) or cringe at the cruelty inflicted upon an innocent orca (in Free Willy). Then you’d get home from school and switch on the TV to see Captain Planet and the Planeteers; you could be one too! And, really, when it comes down to the unfeeling progress of industry or the suffering of poor little animals, why wouldn’t you be?
Much in the same vein is Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko, which executes roughly the same premise as Fern…
Pom Poko must, I imagine, be a lot richer and cleverer if you're armed with a knowledge of Japanese folklore. But, its broad gags and sitcom-ready characters are enough to hold over kids from anywhere. Animation is shapeshifting, so the premise of tribes of raccoons taking on various forms to scare off intruding human development is a particularly rich one. If the ecological message is a bit on-the-snout and the characters lacking a little in depth, well, the movie makes up for that with its child's sense of high adventure and its forest critters' derring-do. However, I must admit I was unprepared for how much of Studio Ghibli's uniformly gorgeous and inventive artwork would be devoted, here, to raccoon balls.
Possibly too crazy but has some striking scenes....at one point the shape shifting racoons morph into faceless humans to freak out the local construction workers.
Kind of like Water ship down but more charming and with less childhood trauma although there is a big emphasis on Raccoons scrotal sacks (referred to as 'pouches')
A strong environmental message in the same vain as princess mononoke that I think gets a little confused towards the end (even with the forth wall breaking section) never the less an unexpected surprise that I'm glad I watched and would watch again.
My house lives and dies by Ghibli, and so I thought we'd be inoculated from the movie's storied weirdness, appreciating what the philistines couldn't. But, no: This things is really baggy even before you consider all of the plot-critical raccoon scrota. It feels cheaply constructed.
The Ghibli filmmakers occasionally wear their influences on their sleeve, but POM POKO is the first I've seen that directly quotes from other movies -- those GHOSTBUSTERS and BEETLE JUICE rhymes cannot be coincidences. The various hallucinatory parades are given too much berth relative to their significance -- they're great technical showcases in which nothing emotionally involving happens -- and the complicated arguments about "we're raccoons but sometimes we're bipedal cartoon raccoons but sometimes we're also humans but also sometimes BALLS" halve rather than double the pleasure. The almost-infographic depictions of suburban rot were inventive and great, but even considering this as the Apatow branch of the Ghibli filmography, I'm unmoved.
fun, but doesn't create that sense of wonder
it's quite fascinating how it manages to produce so many personalities and character arcs
the animation is top notch
Well since I don't think there is a comprehensive list of anime films in letterboxd and I love them so…
'1000 Films to Change your Life' is a book with excerpts from many highly regarded critics, actors, directors and writers,…