Pom Poko (1994)

November 17, 2003 • Film, Reviews

Country: Japan

Director: Isao Takahata
Producer: Hayao Miazaki
Writer: Isao Takahata
Cast: Kokondei Shinchou, Makoto Nonomura, Yukiro Nonomura

Running Time: 119 Min

Plot: As the human city encroaches on the raccoon population’s forest and meadow habitat, the raccons find themselves faced with the very real possibility of extinction. In response, the racoons engage in a desperate struggle to stop the construction and preserve their home.

The environment is Isao Takahata’s concern in this animated comedy that follows the adventures of the raccoons in a province of Japan facing eviction with the imminent construction of an apartment building and a mall. The raccoons try to band together and form a coalition to get the humans out of there, but even their best-laid plans do nothing to help them push back the ugly hand of progress. Ostensibly a movie for parents and children, but the raccoons do some pretty raunchy things United States audiences might be a little shocked at (like inflating their testes and using them to hang-glide). It’s an interesting and entertaining movie, though not quite a masterpiece. If you’re yearning for an absolutely great film by Takahata, check out his Only Yesterday and Horus, Prince of the Sun.

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