Pom Poko (1994)

The great people at Fathom Events have been sending a monthly cartoon feature from Japan’s Studio Ghibli to theaters nationwide, a mix of both dubbed and subtitled selections. Today, we went to see Pom Poko, a 1994 movie directed by Isao Takahata, who passed away earlier this year.

There’s a hint of Watership Down in this story about magical raccoons trying to defend their forest against real estate developers in Japan, but this is a very different, and much lighter experience! Many of the raccoons have the power to change their form, and they try lots of amusing tricks to drive families and construction crews off their land, but their successes are all short-lived, and they might need to look into the strategies suggested by some wily foxes. If you can’t beat ’em…

The dub of this film features some unmistakable voices. The movie is narrated by Maurice LaMarche, and Clancy Brown plays one of the short-tempered raccoons. That’s right, Lex Luthor and the Brain teamed up. Somebody should make a movie about that. The movie’s sweet, but very long at a full two hours. Our son said that he liked it, but he doesn’t know that he needs to see it again. I kind of agree, actually. A good experience, but not a great one.

Click the image above for more anime films and features coming to US theaters this year, including Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies in August and My Neighbor Totoro in September!

Image credit: All Your Anime

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