What do you feel like tonight? Romance? Action? Comedy? An environmental message movie with talking raccoons? Studio Ghibli has it all, and so much more, in Pom Poko.
Otherwise I simply cannot describe it to you, you just have to see it – and please remember that in Japan, animation does not mean ‘kid’s movie’.
The Tanuki boys are back in town
The critters are not strictly raccoons, they are called Tanuki, or ‘raccoon dogs’ in Japan, and they are steeped in folklore and legend and renowned for being very well endowed – at least the males are. So well endowed, in fact, that it is believed that they can perform magic with their anatomy, and shape shift into other forms – including humans. So when humans start encroaching on their territory to build those infernal land snatching condos and malls, the Tanuki call on their natural skills to declare war on the developers and their workers.
Raccoon romance – even cuter than muskrat love
It’s at times touching, horrifying, laugh out loud funny, puzzling, uplifting, scary, and, being Studio Ghibli – utterly beautiful. These raccoons are absolutely adorable. Led by the redoubtable Fireball Okoru, a grandma with attitude (you know I love her), the angry warrior Gonta, and a young hero called Shokichi, they set about routing the humans and scaring them away.
Gonto in warrior mode
It’s really long, it wanders all over the place at times, but it is such a rich and rewarding experience, don’t let that put you off.