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Poster for Ghibli at GFC 2023: Pom Poko (1994)

Ghibli at GFC 2023: Pom Poko (1994)

Opens on May 12

Director: Isao Takahata Run Time: 119 min. Rating: PG Release Year: 1994

Starring: Andre Stojka, Clancy Brown, J.K. Simmons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Tress MacNeille

Country: Japan
Language: Japanese

Ghibli at GFC 2023

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About the film:

In this brilliant and often overlooked Studio Ghibli masterpiece from Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Isao Takahata, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon-like animals from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard raccoon form to practically any object.

The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food – until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted, ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons and other magical creatures descending on the city — in an abundance of fantastical characters that would not be matched on screen by Studio Ghibli until Spirited Away (2001).

About the filmmaker:

A key figure in Japanese animation, Isao Takahata co-founded the internationally renowned Studio Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki in 1985. Known for his sophisticated, character-driven animations and diverse range of themes and aesthetic styles, Takahata has crafted fantastical and imaginative worlds, including his feature directorial debut The Little Norse Prince (1968). He directed five films with Studio Ghibli: Grave of the Fireflies (1988), Only Yesterday (1991), Pom Poko (1994), My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999), and the universally acclaimed Academy Award-nominated The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013).

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