Saturday, May 21, 2005

Pom Poko (1994)

This should be put in the Grave of the Fireflies, ick.

Genre: Comedy Drama Fantasy Animé (Japan)

Starring: Kokondei Shinchou, Makoto Nonomura

Directed By: Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies)

Overview: A community of shape-shifting raccoons try to save their forest by sabotaging the human construction project encroaching upon their habitat.

Acting: The delivery of the lines in this movie was well done. Nothing terribly melodramatic, but when the melodrama did come, it's wasn't way out there. Decent.
Rating: 7

Cinematography: The style of animation used in this is my least favorite of those used in Animé. It's that too cartooney, not rich enough detail kind of thing that gives Animé a bad name for me. Yes, amazing movies like Metropolis and Princess Mononoké have been made in this style, but Akira and Ghost in the Shell show us what can really be done with this sort of talent, and it takes us further, in my opinion. There were definitely some impressive moments here and there, like the parades of shapeshifting that took place from time to time, those were certainly interesting to watch.
Rating: 6

Script: The script did nothing to keep me. Something was lacking and the script could have salvaged this film, immersing us into a fantastical culture of shapeshifters with old Gods of Nature. Instead these animals seemed shallow, caring only for food, party, sex and war. This category had tremendous promise, but completely dropped the ball.
Rating: 4

Plot: The ending was appropriate and though not what I would have hoped, it takes a very realistic approach. There were also a few holes in the morality of this Tanuki tribe. One scene shows us that shapeshifting leaves into money is wrong because counterfeiting is wrong by human standards, whereas another scene shows us that after a successful sabotage killed two humans and injured another, they take pause to mourn them, tittering throughout the moment of silence, until finally all begin laughing hysterically and immediately going into celebration for the rest of the night. Downright weird.
Rating: 6

Mood: What's with the Tanuki showing their balls all over the place?! Ugh, disturbing. As for culture, they was little, as for deforestation themes and survival of the fittest, hardly any. The mood was best near the end, rife with the devastation by man, but too little too late.
Rating: 5

Want the definition of truly disturbing Animé? Seeing BALLS ALL THE TIME!

Overall Rating: 56% (It'll Pop Your Poko Too)

Aftertaste: This movie is one that you'll have a hell of a time finding. Ultimately though, I think the reason you'll have a rough time finding this is that it's not a very good film. It's a great concept and the underlying social commentary is loud and clear, but as I watched it, I found myself uninterested in the delivery of that plot, in those shallow, base characters and their wanton desires.