Pom Poko (subtitled)

Who can blame the magical shape-shifting raccoon dogs (aka tanuki) of Tama Hill for staging elaborate pranks to irritate humankind — especially when their homes haven been ravaged by industry, theme-park goons have taken credit for their mythic powers, and their minds have been clouded by an insatiable desire for leftover burgers? Studio co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies) directs this astonishing entry in the Ghibli canon, which quickly became the number-one 1994 box office smash in Japan (eat that, SpaceGodzilla!) Pom Poko pairs the sumptuous visual fantasies of traditional Japanese folklore with a modern ecological conscience, to become a sort of supernatural Watership Down. But, make no mistake: Pom Poko is the family film with a message that also features eye-popping ghost parades, and animals flying to earth on kamikaze missions using their testicles as parachutes. As outrageous as it is heartfelt, Pom Poko will either make you laugh, cry, or morph into a tanuki yourself. Just don’t forget to stock up on snacks! Our screening of Pom Poko is presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
Dir. Isao Takahata, 1994, 35mm, 119 min.

Watch excerpts from “Pom Poko”!
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