Pom Poko – Ghibli

Posted May 20th, 2010 in Ume's Interests 2 Comments »

It sounds like I’ve been watching Japanese cartoon at home almost everyday, as I’ve just wrote about Tales of Earthsea, but I do enjoy watching cartoon quite often.  I rented this Ghibli film “Pom Poko” (1994) just recently and I must say I did enjoyed the whole story.

Well, I’ve already watched this film few times in the past, but watching it again here in Perth reminded me of all the feelings about Japan and made me to rethink about the cohabitation of humans and animals.

The story is about tanuki, Japanese raccoon dogs, trying to survive the late 1960s.  A gigantic and ongoing suburban development near Tokyo, Japan, threatens a group of wild tanuki.  As the development is cutting into their forest habitat, tanuki had to think what they should do to protect their land from humans.

In this film, you can enjoy listening to lots of old Japanese songs including antagata-dokosa (a traditional warabe uta of Kumamoto prefecture) , and the appearance of famous Japanese monsters and mythological creatures.  In Japanese folklore tanuki has supernatural shape-shifting powers to trick humans. In this film tanuki transform themselves into Japanese monsters and mythological creatures to scare people: such as rokurokubi, noppera-bo and fujin raijin.

The film ends on something of a bittersweet note for the tanuki.  Throughout the film there is a lot of comedy as well as ecological messages.  The film reminds me of old Japan, especially the time I was a kid.  Japan has changed a lot, I think.  No one would believe that I was climbing on trees, catching zarigani (crawfish), fighting with wild monkeys and playing with beautiful medaka (killifish) just 10 years ago near my house!

(Pom Poko Characters )

2 Comments on “Pom Poko – Ghibli”

  1. 1 Megan said at 1:43 pm on May 21st, 2010:

    Hi Ume,

    Thanks to you, we went to a Civic Video and took out three Ghibli movies this week!! We watched Ponyo last night and it was so beautiful. I get so emotional when I watch Japanese movies. I just love everything about them. They’re so sweet.

    We also have ‘Tales of Earthsea’ and ‘My Neighbours the Yamadas’ to watch this weekend.

    Have you seen Ponyo? It was amazing and excellent!

  2. 2 umepontarou said at 6:12 pm on May 21st, 2010:

    Hi Megan,

    Actually, I haven’t!! I must watch it 😀

    I heard that the movie was so popular among young people in Japan that the word “ponyo” became a verb and won one of Japan’s National phrase of the year.
    People use the word as “ponyo-ru”, which means “I put on weight” because the character Ponyo in the movie is little chubby.

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