as part of Studio Ghibli Fest 2023
Part of Summer of Ghibli Fest 2023: In POM POKO, the brilliant and often overlooked Studio Ghibli 1994 masterpiece from Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Isao Takahata, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object.
The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food – until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted, ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons and other magical creatures descending on the city – in an abundance of fantastical characters that would not be matched on screen by Studio Ghibli until SPIRITED AWAY.
PG, 1h 52m.
"The best film by Isao Takahata, who started the studio with Mr. Miyazaki, this is a comic allegory about battling packs of tanuki joining forces to fight human real estate developers. It’s earthy and rollicking in a way that his co-founder’s films aren’t." – New York Times
"There's an undoubted thrill and wonder to POM POKO, like the massive parade of phantoms the tanuki conjure up as one of their harebrained schemes." – The Austin Chronicle
"A striking and universally pleasurable experience." – TimeOut
"POM POKO might fly under the radar for most when it comes to the works of Studio Ghibli, but really should be considered one of their best works." – Filmotomy