Sunday, 1 February 2015

Blu-ray Review - Pom Poko

Pom Poko
Director: Isao Takahata
Voice Cast: Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Clancy Brown, J.K. Simmons, Tress MacNeille, Kevin Michael Richardson
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 3, 2015
Retail: $35.99
Running Time: 119
Rating: PG
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on Blu-ray for the first time in the United States is the 1994 Japanese anime Pom Poko. The film is directed by Isao Takahata and features the American voice cast of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Clancy Brown, J.K. Simmons, Tress MacNeille and Kevin Michael Richardson. Bonus Features include the Original Japanese Storyboards and the Original Japanese Trailers.

Pom Poko takes on the Japanese folklore - the tanuki, intelligent raccoon dogs that can transform into any almost anything imaginable. The film begins in 1960, a time when the raccoons are living in an area called the Tama Hills, but their land is being destroyed by the development of houses and shopping malls. The raccoons find it harder and harder to find food and shelter, so they decide to adapt to their changing environment. 

By the time the raccoons enter the 1990s, they have perfected the art of transformation, so they can appear as humans. Their original attempt was to scare off the humans, but they will eventually learn how to balance their lives with the modern world.

I only started watching Japanese anime film's last year, so I was unaware that Pom Poko even existed until Walt Disney Home Entertainment announced the 2015 Blu-ray releases of Studio Ghibli films. It is definitely a strange movie, relying heavily on the background of a Japanese folklore. While the animation looks great, the plot was a little boring for me, though I do understand the need to inform viewers about how the wildlife is being harm and what we can do to stop it. Overall, to me, Pom Poko is a weird animated movie that I neither liked or disliked.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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