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Japan, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Studio Ghibli Takahata and Other Classics)

Director: Takahata Isao

Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko) Japan

Japan's top box-office hit of 1994, the wonderfully inventive Pom Poko, saw Studio Ghibli introduce digital animation techniques to their films. Takahata Isao's second film for Ghibli is an allegorical tale starring a cast of rascally critters called Tanuki.

Little raccoon-like creatures, Tanuki appear in classical Japanese literature and possess legendary powers, such as the ability to transform themselves into statues or other beings. Pom Poko presents a new Tanuki legend, telling of their attempts to stop humans overdeveloping their forest home in Tama Hills. Celebrating the history of Japanese storytelling, this film pays homage to many old tales and adopts a traditional style of music throughout.

In depicting the desperate and at times tragic plight of the lovable Tanuki as their forest home is literally paved over and new housing built, director Takahata offers a reminder of what is at stake as a result of overcrowding in present-day Japan.

D/S Takahata Isao P Suzuki Toshio WS Studio Ghibli L Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/1994/119mins

Takahata Isao was born in Mie, Japan in 1935. Films include: Gauche the Cellist (1982), Grave of the Fireflies (1988).

See also...


Only Yesterday (Omoide Proporo) JapanStudio Ghibli co-founder Takahata Isao's second film as director for the animation company was the instant classic Only Yesterday. The biggest Japanese box-office ... More »


My Neighbors the Yamadas (Ho-hokekyo Tonari no Yamada Kun) JapanUtterly distinct from standard Studio Ghibli animation, My Neighbors the Yamadas consists of rough sketches in outline form, with soft ... More »


The Cat Returns (Neko no Ongaeshi) JapanThe latest film from Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli is The Cat Returns, an enchanting fantasy adventure tale following the fortunes of Haru, a ... More »


Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo Sumaseba) JapanWhisper of the Heart is an entrancing and heartfelt masterpiece written by Studio Ghibli co-founder Miyazaki Hayao, the creative genius behind Spirited ... More »


Dead End RunJapanAfter a blistering retrospective in 2001, Japanese iconoclast Ishii Sogo is back on the big screen delivering another hyperkinetic blast of sonic intensity and visual dynamism. For ... More »

Howl's moving castle

[Howl's Moving Castle] is the latest gem from animation genius Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame ([Spirited Away]). He set out to make an animation for old people, but the result is a brilliant ... More »

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