Pom Poko

1994

Animation / Comedy / Drama / Family / Fantasy

66
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 24,405

Synopsis


Downloaded times
November 12, 2020

Director

Cast

Alyson Stoner as (voice)
Clancy Brown as Gonta
J.K. Simmons as Seizaemon
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.07 GB
1280*720
Japanese 2.0
PG
23.976 fps
119 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.99 GB
1920×1080
Japanese 2.0
PG
23.976 fps
119 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by freakus 9 / 10 / 10

One of my favorites from Ghibli

This a very different, more dynamic film than a lot of other Ghibli works. Although it bears some thematic resemblance to "Mononoke" and "Naussica" in its nature vs. man plot, it plays out much differently through its use of humorous protagonists. Though on the surface the tanuki may look like cuddly teddy bears, they are fierce in their war with the humans. The animation of the transformation scenes and the action shots make this a very appealing film and the characterization is first rate (especially the three old masters)! It may be helpful for non-japanese audiences to do a little reading on japanese folklore. I caught a lot of the references but much of it went over my head.

Reviewed by spectre316-1 10 / 10 / 10

an underrated masterpiece

I just had the opportunity to finally see "Pom Poko," thanks to Disney's stateside DVD release. Fortunately, the dub is fantastic -- any qualms about "confusing" Japanese folktales and such seem to have been taken care of with the quality translation. The voice actors (only one "name" actor, a very fine/unrecognizable Jonathan Taylor Thomas) acquit themselves quite nicely, and it might be one of the best dubs I've ever heard. The infamous enlarged scrotums, I'm happy to report, are such a small part of the entire experience that the fact that it was so dwelled on by dozens upon dozens of people for years prior to domestic DVD release is saddening. At first, yes, when a "pouch" is magically (and humorously) transformed into a red rug, it's amusing and a bit shocking. But that feeling wears off almost instantly. Even though they changed the references of "scrotum" to "pouch," I'm still surprised Disney had the balls (pun intended) to release it, given their standards for "family"-esque (safe and arguably predictable) entertainment. There are a couple glimpses of actual nudity (breasts) and some humans die in rather morbid ways. I'm not inferring that I wish they hadn't released it, for if they had not I would have never seen it. I'm just happy with their decision. For once, at least in recent times, I feel the need to thank Disney whole heartedly. The film itself is such a pleasure. It moves briskly, contains *beautiful* images and is endlessly entertaining. A large part of it's success is due to the constant narration; as others have noted, it almost seems like an exquisite documentary at times. The story is simple yet effective: humans are destroying a community of tanukis, and the tanukis do everything they can to help preserve their home in way of transformation. It's often funny and adorable, but what's somewhat unexpected is the amount you'll be moved by their struggle. The ending, criticized by some, almost moved me to tears. I won't explain what happens, but some wise things are said. As you probably know, the tanukis are somewhat distractingly called "raccoons" in the dub. I'm willing to forgive Disney for this obvious error, though, as they resemble the latter to a pretty high degree. And I'm sure it made it easier on the translators for lip synchronization (two syllables). Not so surprising: "Pom Poko" was the top box office smash in Japan the year it came out (and Japan's own submission for best foreign film Oscar). Regardless of the minor violence/nudity/inflated scrotums (ahem), this film will appeal to anyone with a heart and a brain. It's not some minor little piece about tanukis humorously fending off humans, even if it sometimes appears to be. It's a major statement about man vs. nature, and it's often beautiful and witty and intelligent, the sort of thing most non-animated films aspire to be. I know this might sound rash and pretentious, but I watched two films tonight: "Laputa" (Japanese with subtitles) and "Pom Poko" (English dub). Oddly, I liked this film more. Here's hoping that master director Takahata's underrated treasure will win over more viewers, thanks to Disney's recent bare-bones DVD release and the eventual airing on Turner Classic Movies this January.

Reviewed by dballred 10 / 10 / 10

Perfection

Unlike Miyazaki, who can leave us guessing sometimes, Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) has a knack of hitting us over the head with a sledgehammer message, leaving us only with the desire to be hit again and again. We are given a view from the Tanuki (a kind of badger) perspective of human encroachment on their environment. Takahata gives the Tanuki all the powers that Japanese folklore ascribe to them, including the power to change their appearance at a molecular level, a full awareness of Japanese political geography, the ability to speak and write Japanese, and apparently their own Emperor (as they refer to the years of Pompoko). He also gives them limitations, such as the inability to remain serious for any length of time and the general tendency toward sloth and partying. Many Japanese even today believe Tanuki can transform. In this story, the ability to transform is not universal nor is it a task they can undertake without stress. These capabilities and limitations work for and against the Tanuki throughout the film in humorous, touching, and tragic ways. The principle characters lived in the western outskirts of Tokyo in the late '60s, when a massive suburban bedtown, called "Tama New Town" was being built (This is a real place). They want to stop or reverse the progress of the construction, but are divided in how to accomplish this fact. One of the more extreme members favors killing the humans and driving them all out--until he is reminded that he won't be able to eat certain foods, such as hamburgers, potato chips, or Tempura. The story is focused on their efforts to stop the project and the events leading to the conclusion of the characters' situation. This film will have a bit of difficulty with US distribution for a number of reasons--the biggest being the fact that you can tell the genders of the Tanuki by looking at the males. The DVD of this film will be released shortly in Japan and will include English subtitles. Unfortunately, Japan uses Region 2 encoding and their DVDs won't play on American Region 1 sets. Unless you're willing to wait forever for Disney to figure out how to distribute this masterpiece, it's worth buying an all-region DVD player just to see it. I give this film a 10 out of 10 rating.

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