50 user 59 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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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 ...
Tomokazu Seki ...
Male Tanuki B (voice)
Minoru Yada ...


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. 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:






Release Date:

16 July 1994 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Pom Poko  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Osho: [Osho is patiently teaching a class to the young raccoons] A raccoon fell out of the tree! Yes, that's right. Who can tell me *why* the raccoon fell out of the tree? Gonta?
Gonta: [grunts] He was a loser.
See more »


References My Neighbor Totoro (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Great ecological animation.
13 July 2008 | by (Peru) – See all my reviews

Most anime fans remember Isao Takahata best for his wonderful tearjerker, "Grave of the Fireflies", will find interesting this title as well. This lavishly animated tale about raccoons battling for their homeland isn't so dramatic as "Grave of the Fireflies" but is an interesting amalgam of humor, drama, and action delivered instead. At times, the viewer gets treated to scenes which recall the tragic elements , but even though the tone of the movie is somber, a handful of lighthearted moments elevate the overall production out of depression.

As this is a Studio Ghibli film, production values are spectacular. Backgrounds are painted with a tasteful mixture of simplicity and art, and the raccoons are as cuddle-some as you would expect. (If you're scratching your head while reading this, don't be alarmed--according to Japanese folklore, raccoons have the power to transform into anything--including human beings) The actual animation is as colorful and imaginative as you might expect from a Ghibli movie(and there is one scene where we are treated to cameo appearances by Porco Rosso, Kiki, and Totoro.)

While Pom Poko has a story to tell and a meaningful message for one to think about, its character and plot aspects may come across as a bit off-putting to viewers expecting a typical animated feature. Indeed, while some raccoons identify themselves with distinguishable names and/or personalities (for example, Gonta is a burly, rough-and-ready raccoon who is always looking for a fight, while Oroku is the "wise woman" of the tribe), the story offers little in the way of character development. In fact, most of the action in the story is narrated (by Maurice LaMarche in English, Kokondei Shinchou in Japanese), which elevates the overall effect of the movie to that of a semi-documentary. For the most part, this approach works to a very interesting degree and is a refreshing change of pace. However, there were some scenes in the movie where I wished the narration could have been reduced a little bit, as it sometimes gets in the way of appreciating the beauty of the visuals on screen.

Unfortunately, most of the attention that this movie received were some silly controversies about the fact that the movie shows the testicles of the male raccoons, but that was a minor detail if you compare with the charm and the originality of the story. Even when it is not perfect (Some consider this movie a inferior work of Ghibli )this movie was funny enough for me, and is one of the my favorite animes.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
Rated R! Orbzon
:-/ Why did they have to translate 'tanuki' as 'raccoon'? SilverMoonFox
Balls!!!!!!!!! jojopely
is this film any good? biker_brat
Gay Love? GAY PRIDE? (or 'What the hell's wrong with IMDB's keywords?') imnotinsane1
That NES like device emasterslake
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