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Pom Poko [DVD]

Isao Takahata    Parental Guidance   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
Price: 8.25 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Pom Poko [DVD] + Porco Rosso [DVD] + Only Yesterday [DVD]
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Product details

  • Directors: Isao Takahata
  • Producers: Toshio Suzuki
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jan 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BW7I4S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,745 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

As civilization draws ever nearer to their idyllic forest home, a group of mischievous Japanese raccoons try to scare humans away. But they soon discover that man is not their only rival in their struggle for their age-old territory. Released in 1994 as the Japanese economy slumped, but looking back to the sixties construction boom in Tokyo’s Tama Hills, Pom Poko questions the money grabbing ethics of yuppie Japan, and mourns the loss of the countryside. Drawing on Japanese myths and legends, writer and director Isao Takahata presents a satirical view of woodland spirits using every available magical ruse to take on modern developers: including transformations sabotage and trickery. Pom Poko is a unique window into Japanese folklore, a comedy of modern failings, and an elegiac tale of unlikely heroes fighting insurmountable odds.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 42 people found the following review helpful
By Fantasy Lore TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
`Pom Poko' was one of those Studio Ghibli films I decided to leave to last in my purchase of the entire collection on DVD, mainly due to the majority of reviews here on Amazon, which generally consist of less enthusiastic comments in comparison to other more commercially succesful features released by this renowned Japanese studio. But having finally watched the film for myself I'm even more surprised by the uncomplimentary reviews, because in both style and story I found `Pom Poko' to be absolutely flawless.

The film has magic galore and an original ecological morality tale at its heart, which is in the same vein as `Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind' and `Princess Mononoke' with their man versus nature overtones, but `Pom Poko' is a very different animal in its own right- a raccoon in fact! There's also a real intelligence to the script, which is aided enormously by its boundlessly playful and at times poignant sense of humour.

The story is also extremely well plotted and has a sublime narration throughout that helps to make `Pom Poko' one of the most engaging Ghibli films I've yet seen. The narrator's voice and a couple of the other characters are recognisable as being provided by American actors, albeit lesser known ones than the customary band of A-list celebrities Studio Ghibli usually employs. But the characterization never suffers and being an ensemble piece I'd have to say that I think it's actually preferable, so that the audience sympathises with all of raccoon-kind, as they band together to thwart humanity's encroachment into their forest with increasingly inventive plans of attack.

Once again I'm moved to award five stars to this uniquely enjoyable Studio Ghibli release, not because it's as accomplished as the very best that Ghibli has to offer, but because in its own right `Pom Poko' succeeds and then some! Superb.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Pom poko pom poko pom! 28 Jan 2006
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This film is a commentary on the out of control suburbs swallowing the countryside round Tokyo. It uses popular Japanese folklore to put across an anti-development message.
Tanuki are Racoon Dogs, native to Japan and in the film they struggle to stop the destruction of their forest by using their powers of transformation to try to scare away the humans. "Pom poko" refers to the sound Tanuki make to frighten wayfarers by drumming on their stomachs.
The animation is very special, but the many cultural references and long length (just shy of 2 hrs) mean this film requires perseverence.
The film has a kind of "Babe the sheep-pig" narration, which is good, and some funny scenes where the Tanuki try to learn their art and blend in to human society. Imagine Watership Down, but with the rabbits up for a bit of sabotage rather than moving home.
Although it features fluffy forest creatures, they aint Yogi bear (though they look a bit like him when they get happy!). They are quite prepared to wipe out a few construction workers for their cause.
Past english dubs have tried to gloss over some of the more earthy details. Real-life Tanuki are well known in Japan for their large balls, which were translated for the original Disney release to "pouches". These feature quite heavily in the film, ahem, sometimes literally so - as they are used to crush opponents!

The film has quite a serious message, which means the fun side of the Tanuki, which comes out in many scenes, is eclipsed by the sadness that their habitat is being destroyed for ever.
Overall quite interesting if you want to learn about another culture, and great if you are into animation. Perhaps not so good if you want light family entertainment.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
It's not Spirited Away, but for likers of Ahime it's a good choice. Beautifully drawn with some absolutely breathtaking, wonderful scenes of glittering colour it's very watchable to any anime fan and many others too; children in particular will enjoy this. Moreover it's largely free of Disneyfication;it's cheesy but more original than most Hollywood cartoons and has a freshness about it that makes it accessible to more than just kids. The issues are often adult-I won't list them because such breakdown of this kind of film defies the entire point of it, and the characters are sympathetic and engaging, often humorous, while the plot is at times playful, at times sad and at times bleak and dark in a way that Hollywood just isn't. On the other hand, its greatest attribute is its ability to make one believe and hope that there is more to this world than meets the eye and that our lives may be touched by something outside our senses, by different experiences and by things beyond the realms of the physical.

All in all, a beautiful experience, albeit one that is full of gaping plot holes where the director's message about environmentalism isn't all that clear, and very worth watching, particularly if you can get it in Japanese with subtitles.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Ghibli Gem 31 Dec 2007
By MLA VINE VOICE
Format:DVD
This is not the sparkling standard Ghibli fare of Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke but it is a strong outing that brings in extra quantities of Japanese cultural references and plentiful simple messages on the encroachment of urbanisation in what is an exceptionally overcrowded nation.

Pom Poko features a playful and celebratory Tanuki (raccoon) society under threat from the extension of urbanisation on the outskirts of Tokyo. The Tanuki's response to this threat is initially that of the wild animal - to combat their own kind over access to the diminished resources. Eventually they take to combat with the human population who are building over the rural areas to meet the housing needs of their expanding and densely populated mega-city. The Tanuki fight back is built on their mystical ability fo shape-shift, harkening to pre-industrial beliefs and fears in their battle to persuade the humans to cease their destruction of Tanuki lands.

The Tanuki are an entertaining and joyful society who revel in song and dance, a cultural reference that could be applied anywhere and not just the Japanese context. That society is riven with indecision and the need for strong leadership, the subtle subtext of local politics and conflicting interests chuntering along throughout the film but never intruding on the main plot that sees the Tanuki deploy ever more colourful and imaginative demonstrations to oppose the human actions.

The characterisation within the film is simple and effective. The Tanuki are shown in raccoon, human, and comic form but their personality traits remain in place and they are a consistent and endearing presence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good
Good film, love studio ghibli and will continue to collect the collection. Good films and very imaginative. Good children's film.
Published 1 month ago by Emily Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars fast delivery
Bought as a present for my brother who's a bug anime and studio gible fan!. Perfect item with super fast delivery
Published 3 months ago by Charlotte
4.0 out of 5 stars Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (Pom Poko) review
Pom Poko or 'Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko (Heisei-era Raccoon Dog War Ponpoko)' is an early Miyazaki film which highlights the problems of modern developments onto natural beauty... Read more
Published 3 months ago by cercia
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing movie - not for kids
I love Pom Poko. It's not really famous, but I discovered it a couple of years ago. I thought it was for kids, but it's a very well done animation movie about the struggle between... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Felicia Raffaele
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent movie
I give this movie 5 stars as it is brilliant, one of ghiblis best. I know we all have different opinions but, I have read some of these reviews that they thought the movie was... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, strange and funny
For a non Japanese this is a rich source to Japanese folklore. It is also a movie full of humour ahile at the same time it leaves space for reflections - nothing is purely black... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Espen Smith Ore
5.0 out of 5 stars Studio ghibli
Another movie to add to my studio ghibli collection, all great films, each with a great story from the amazing hayao miyazaki
Published 15 months ago by Glen
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
We're big SG fans but this just went on and on and on and on...little one lost interest very quickly.
Published 16 months ago by Julianne Bastock
4.0 out of 5 stars awesome
what an awesome film

keeping the ghibli name strong as ever, this is a powerful little film that has a lot going for it- its startlingly original, i like the artwork and... Read more
Published 19 months ago by JB
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Studio Ghilbi Movie
I love the studio Ghilbi movies and will stand up and fight for them if someone dooesnt like them. Unfortuantly, i didnt enjoy this one as much as the others. Read more
Published 19 months ago by rebel01
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