Pom Poko

1994, Anime/Fantasy, 1h 52m

13 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Shape-shifting raccoons band together to save their forest homeland from the bulldozers of greedy land developers.

Cast & Crew

Makoto Nonomura
Shoukichi
Voice
Yuriko Ishida
Okiyo
Voice
Norihei Miki
Seizaemon
Voice
Nijiko Kiyokawa
Fireball Oroku
Voice
Gannosuke Ashiya
Inugami Gyobu
Voice
Beichou Katsura
Kincho Daimyoujin the Sixth
Voice
Bunshi Katsura
Yashimano Hage
Voice
Kosan Yanagiya
Abbot Tsurugame
Voice
Akira Kamiya
Tamasaburo
Voice
Hayao Miyazaki
Executive Producer
Kazuo Oga
Art Director
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Critic Reviews for Pom Poko

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Pom Poko

  • Aug 29, 2014
    Bizarre doesn't even begin to cover this movie. First of all, the animation is excellent, and how can you go wrong with Ghibli. The fact that this is animated allows for insurmountable masses of distracting, wacky, surreal, and hilariously disturbing imagery that the film exploits to no end. Perhaps if I were more familiar with Japanese folklore, or if I could watch the Japanese language version with direct translation in subtitles, I would understand better what the flippin' heck is going on. The English dub I feel has to change a lot to fit the character's mouths and to appeal to an audience of English speakers. There's definitely a story to follow, but the unprepared will constantly be scratching their heads and going "Whaaaaaaat" and "Why." It's just that bizarre to witness. Overall, it's an inspired art piece. I love the visuals, but I can't love it all the way through, although for the imagery, I'm up for multiple viewings. I've always believed that some things can only be experienced by watching movies, and no doubt, 'Pom Poko' is one of the most one-of-a-kind experiences I've ever seen.
    Diego T Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2012
    The most bizarre and "Japanese" Studio Ghibli effort. Ironically, despite featuring shape-shifting raccoon dogs straight from Japanese folklore and their giant testicles, the third Ghibli feature directed by Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies, Only Yesterday) feels oddly un-eventful. Through a coldly dethatched pseudo-documentary style, the story follows the exploits of the raccoon dogs in their efforts to thwart the construction workers and developers that threaten their forest homes through eco-terrorism. If you thought the eco-preservation themes in Miyazaki's 'Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind' were heavy-handed, then you've not seen this weird creation. Watching this film is almost the equivalent of being hit on the head with a tree branch while the person is yelling "Be kind to the environment!!". However, what's perplexing is that despite the overtly serious environmental themes, 'Pom Poko' is also riddled with goofy cute animal antics and surreal scenes involving gargantuan raccoon testicles (used as methods of transportation and weapons...this movie is weird). What tone is this movie going for? Made worse is the lack of a central protagonist or developed characters, which is shocking for a Studio Ghibli film. At times the raccoon dogs also come off as un-sympathetic. In one scene, the raccoon dogs go into a disturbing laughing frenzy after being told that humans died in one of their latest acts of eco-terrorism. Combine this with constant references to Japanese folklore and being a deep allegory to Japanese history (that requires a college degree in order to understand), plenty has been lost in translation. This entry in the Studio Ghibli catalogue may be a weak link but there are still some redeeming factors. The animation is once again great and the sequence involving the raccoon dogs transforming into different forms in order to scare the nearby townsfolk is a definite highlight. The production value is almost enough to make this flick watchable but even then it's hard to get past the film's weak narrative that never feels like it takes-off and jarring shifts in tone. I admire the film's originality and daringness but in the end it just has too much working against it.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Apr 30, 2011
    I love Studio Ghibli. This was a huge disappointment. From the moment it started I knew it was going to be a poor effort from an exceptional studio. It was headachingly preachy and condescending from the very beginning. Princess Mononoke was able to evaluate the relationship between man and nature without coming off as educational seminar. In Pom Poko, we are given facts and figures and diagrams and highly obvious visual "metaphors". The entire film is a mess of wrongfully judged tonal shifts. Yes, it was brave to have the raccoons kill the humans, but it's attempt at comedy and cuteness it severely misjudged. The whole film is narrated over in a very lazy fashion. The film is pretty much told to us, without any attempt at creativity or visual imagination. There are no lead characters to connect with, making these raccoons as bad as the humans they fight, if not worse. There are also a lot of awkward moments involving male raccoons forcing themselves upon the females, and testicles that can morph. These testicles are used as humor but are simply not funny. It's an awkward movie with an obvious message, handled with none of the charm, passion, nor humanity, that I've come to expect from Ghibli.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 23, 2010
    I have been brainwashed by Disney, or so to say I am so use to the Disney-fied films, in which everything goes according to plan. This film doesn't pull any punches and in fact it made me feel really sad, I almost cried. But I didn't find the film really fun and refreshing. I can't comment of the English dub because I watched it in subtitles.
    Marion R Super Reviewer

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