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Pom Poko is a tale of the clash between modern civilization and the natural world. The Raccoons of the Tama Hills are being forced from their homes by the rapid development of houses and shopping malls. As it becomes harder to find food and shelter, they decide to band together and fight back. The Raccoons practice and perfect the ancient art of transformation until they are even able to appear as humans. In often hilarious ways, the Raccoons use their powers to try to scare off the advancement of civilization. But will it be enough? Or will the Raccoons learn how to live in balance with the modern world? Celebrate the magic of the forest and the beauty of the creatures who live among us in Pom Poko on DVD for the first time ever.
Pom Poko is rated PG for violence, scary images and thematic elements.
As the movie progressed, an older male raccoon asked all the other male raccoons to sit on a large red carpet. The carpet then transformed and folded up between the male raccoons legs. Yes, he transformed his scrotum into a giant carpet. Again, I said, Was that what I thought it was?!? It got weirder from there. Later in the film, a bunch of raccoons start flying in formation to attack the humans. Their testicles then swell up to about 10 feet in diameter and they dropped out of the sky and flattened the humans with their massive balls. After landing, one of the warriors proceeded to swing his large scrotum around knocking over humans in a fight. I frankly couldnt believe what I was seeing. I was simultaneously amused, baffled, repulsed, and at a loss for words.
Admittedly, the whole scrotum thing is a small part of the movie so to speak. But there are other bits of the animation that were off. In several scenes we see raccoons flattened by trucks followed by shots of their bodies lying in pools of blood on the road. Its realistic, but not appropriate for every child to see. In another scene, a couple of kids are seen looking at a pornographic magazine. When they drop it, you get a full view of what they were looking at. I believe they are the first boobies intentionally shown in a Disney film. Theres a whole cultural thing going on here where these things are acceptable in Japan but not in all parts of America. Still, parents should be aware that they are there. Theres also a bit cultural gap in the story, too. Without knowing the mythology of raccoons in Japan or the history of urban development in Tokyo in the 1960s, a lot of the significance of the story wears off. Its hard to appreciate the message of conservation when youre scratching your head over how weird everything is. Instead it ends up being both bizarre and boring.
Its not all bad, though. Theres one hilarious scene where the raccoons try to scare the humans out of their forest. They do so by pretending to be spooks and monsters and the results are very funny. In another cool scene, the raccoons put on a parade of ghosts and goblins in the sky in one of the most imaginative scenes Ive seen in animation in a long time (not counting the scrotum battle). The animation is generally quite impressive. Some of the cooler scenes involve shots of the raccoons in their more realistic, natural form (without Volkswagen sized testicles .sorry, couldnt resist). Its impressive animation, but the content is a bit off.
The Disney dub of this film features a whos who of animation voice talent. Included in the cast are John Di Maggio (Futurama), Jess Harnell (Animaniacs), Tress MacNeille (The Simpsons), and Maurice LaMarche (Pinky and the Brain). Also included are actors like Clancy Brown, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and J.K. Simmons.
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