7.4/10
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50 user 63 critic

Pom Poko (1994)

Heisei tanuki gassen ponpoko (original title)
A community of magical shape-shifting raccoon dogs struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development.

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Shinchô Kokontei ...
Narrator (voice)
Makoto Nonomura ...
Shôkichi (voice)
Yuriko Ishida ...
Okiyo (voice)
Norihei Miki ...
Seizaemon (voice)
Nijiko Kiyokawa ...
Fireball Oroku (voice)
Shigeru Izumiya ...
Gonta (voice)
Gannosuke Ashiya ...
Inugami Gyobu (voice)
Takehiro Murata ...
Bunta (voice)
Beichô Katsura ...
Kinchô Daimyôjin the Sixth (voice) (as Beichou Katsura)
Bunshi Katsura Vi ...
Yashimano Hage (voice) (as Bunshi Katsura)
Kosan Yanagiya ...
Abbot Tsurugame (voice)
Akira Kamiya ...
Tamasaburô (voice)
Rei Sakuma ...
(voice)
Tomokazu Seki ...
Male Tanuki B (voice)
Minoru Yada ...
(voice)
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Storyline

As the human city development encroaches on the raccoon dog population's forest and meadow habitat, the raccoon dogs find themselves faced with the very real possibility of extinction. In response, the raccoon dogs engage in a desperate struggle to stop the construction and preserve their home. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for violence, scary images and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

16 July 1994 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Pom Poko  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As the tanuki fly off in a train of spirits and ghosts, immediately before beginning project "Poltergeist", images characters from other Ghibli works can be seen, including that of Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), Porco Roso's Seaplane from Porco Rosso (1992), Totoro on his top from My Neighbor Totoro (1988), and young Taeko from Only Yesterday (1991) can be seen flying just above the winged skeleton. See more »

Goofs

The English-dubbed version incorrectly refers to the tanuki as "raccoons". Tanuki are actually "raccoon dogs" - they are in the canid branch of mammals. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: They used their balls as weapons in a brave kamikaze attack.
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Connections

Featured in JesuOtaku Anime Reviews: Pom Poko (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Perfection
31 October 2002 | by (Oklahoma City) – See all my reviews

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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