7.4/10
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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)
Edit

Storyline

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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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:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Creatures shown in order of appearance during project poltergeist: - Shadows of hungry spirits. - Inari upon fox. - Foxes (Kitsune) performing Fox Wedding. - Lantern-spirit. - Skeleton. - Umbrella. - Fire breathing tiger. - Oni. - Shoki the Demon Slayer. - Agyo. - Tiny people performing funeral rights. - Raijin (God of Rain). - Fuujin (God of Wind). - Various squids and a fish. - Lantern. - Tengu. - Bulbs. - Bowing child-like samurai. - Maneki neko faced bowing samurai child. - Goblins. - Colorful beetles. - Wife spirit. - Spider. - Multi-headed woman. - Flame. - Skeleton. - Monkeys. - Rabbits. - Frogs. - Ryuu (dragon). - Train. - Dancing flames of white. - Man with reversible face. - Further indiscreet goblins. - Blue goblin. - Snake-like creature with man's face. - Purple spirit. - Camel-faced woman. - Four-legged cyclopic creature. - Mouth-creature. - Two oni. - Seven lucky gods (Benzaiten, Ebisu, Fukurakujo, Hotei, Daikoku). - Blue and flesh-colored goblins. - Walking stone legs. - Animated telephone poles. - Skeleton. - Fire & Firemen. - Tops. - Pill-like structures with eyes. - Flood. - Flying tanuki in flames. - Skeleton. - Seven lucky gods with goblins. - Amida Nyorai with Bodhisattva attendants. 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.
See more »

Connections

References My Neighbor Totoro (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
an underrated masterpiece
30 December 2005 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

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.


32 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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