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POM POKO

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).

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