Anime Meta-Review


Pom Poko


By Date




Title Info

  • alias: Pon Poko
  • type: movie
  • grade: watchable
  • people: Ghibli Takahata
  • made: 1994
  • Review created: A while ago, i'll revise it eventually.
  • mod: none

This is a tough one, a Ghibli film that is not in the exemplary category, shock and horror. It must be said that this is largely unfair and simply based on this movie requiring an appreciation of japanese mythology and manner that few western fans can manage. Of course this being a review page for western (weird calling myself western, Japan is directly north! anyway) fans this difficulty must be acknowledged. The story itself focuses on the Tanuki, intelligent squirrel like creatures capable of transformation and magic as they confront the expansion of modern man into their lives, not an unfamiliar theme for Ghibli. Thus at times this movie feels like a nature documentary into mythical creatures, and at other times a war history as the various individuals in the tribe, and the tribe itself, considers the options. Of course the Tanuki are essentially playful and good humored so this is also an element of the film, although western fans may also find the frequent group singing quite difficult to cope with. The writing, despite the magic of the Tanuki, is serious and the ending is believable rather than emotional or climactic. The animation is perhaps a bit lesser than the typical Ghibli but is still excellent and capable of great atmosphere. This is a very worthwhile watch with the criticism largely stemming from the exalted company (the rest of the Ghibli films) amongst which it rests.

The anime review has a positive review, mentions the cultural references but gives it a high rating. It also mentions that both Pon and Pom Poko are used as english names. It also rates this as more universal than `Omide PoroPoro' which suprises me. THEM are having none of this and bash the movie in one of the dodgiest reviews on their site. That said I can imagine people having similar reactions, so worth a read although they do blow the `tanuki testicle' issue out of all proportion. They also call this a Miyazaki film, which it isn't.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:23 WST 2009