Pom Poko (1994)

Hey guys, thanks for tuning in!

One of my goals this year is to watch a new movie every week. By the end of 2021, I’ll have seen a total of at least 52 new movies! Film as a form of media consumption is a great way of encouraging cultural engagement in your free time – something that I am looking forward to enhancing in my own life.

My favourite new movie so far has been Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko (1994). As a seasoned Ghibli fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, with all its emotional value. Naturally, I highly recommend it (as with any Ghibli production) – you definitely won’t be disappointed!

First off, here’s a synopsis of the movie from Google:

Isao Takahata’s film uses the tanuki, creatures of myth, as his heroes. Beloved folk-tale characters, they are viewed as bringers of fortune with shape-changing abilities. In this film, their forest home is threatened by urban development and, to save it, they must use all their supernatural talents.

There are so many aspects that flourished in this movie, especially since I seriously didn’t expect it to be so impactful as (what I assumed to be) just a fun-loving kid’s animation.

Without further ado, let’s get straight into it…


  • Of course, the animation associated with Studio Ghibli is consistently excellent. I’ve mentioned it previously with their feature Ponyo (2008), but I truly admire how they bring the characters and story to life through their masterful artistry.
  • The comedy throughout the movie is both amusing for younger and more mature audiences – a versatility that seems to me to be especially skilled.
  • When analysing the narrative, a certain community perseverance and determination is portrayed in a way that emphasises the importance of such qualities during adversity. Within the context of a global pandemic, now more than ever, such values are vital to uphold and this view of mutual support through the dark times is profoundly relatable.
  • Whilst initially characterising itself as a light-hearted film, Pom Poko steadily advances its more hard-hitting themes, concerning the conservation of nature and its wildlife, a critique on politics and Capitalism, and the realities of colonisation. Genuine desperation to survive clashes with the catastrophic greed of humanity, as Pom Poko tackles these concepts head-on.

Holistically, Pom Poko is one of those movies that caught me completely off-guard – and I’m absolutely not mad about it. I finished the movie with a sincere feeling of compassion and sympathy for those (both animal and human) that have been or are currently being driven off from their homes for the sake of the damaging greed of a select few. Is the mere economic benefit worth the devastating carnage of demolishing cherished communities? Undoubtedly, not.


I hope that my review has got you thinking about giving Pom Poko a watch. Be sure to add this one to your list, it’s available on Netflix here.

Have you seen Pom Poko (1994)? Did you love it like I did or were you not a fan at all?

Be sure to check out my latest review of Ponyo (2008)!


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