This flick is cool! In Japanese folk lore, racoons
are shape shifters and can morph into other creatures and even humans,
walking amongst them unnoticed. When the Tama Hill racoons face their
homes being destroyed by developers, they have to do whatever it takes
to scare away the workers, taking advantage of the Japanese belief
structure in superstition and ghost stories.
The movie is a laugh fest the whole way through and
there is a clear opportunity to really get to know the racoons and
sympathise with their plight. As the movie moves on, the theatrics of
the racoons increases until the end.
Some may say that this does not really have the
feeling that is predominant in most Ghibli titles and I would have to
agree. Studio Ghibli generally tells a tale that hooks you in totally,
however Pom Poko at times leaves you wanting just a little bit more.
This doesnít mean that there isnít a good story there to tell, it just
means that you should not be expecting something like Grave of the
Fireflies, expect a very solid tale though that is highly entertaining.
As with previous Ghibli releases, once again we are
treated to a awesome video and audio presentation. Itís a testament to
how good these guys are and also how much care was taken with the
production of the disc.
The extras include storyboards, trailers and Ghibli
trailers. I wish there had been some more discussion about the racoonís
ability to shape shift but all in all a solid presentation. I think that
most viewers will enjoy this fun tale, that actually raises a few
questions and should prompt discussion afterward.