16.7 C
New York
Monday, November 30, 2020
Advertisement

Pom Poko Blu-ray Review

Pom-Poko-bluray-coverU.S. Release

– –

The Film

[Rating:4/5]

 Pom-Poko-BD_01

Director of the powerful animated film Grave of the Fireflies, Takahata Isao, went in a different direction for his 1994 Studio Ghibli outing with Pom Poko (平 成狸合戦ぽんぽこ). The fantastical story with its roots in Japanese mythology and hints of Orwell’s Animal Farm, is set in the booming suburbs of Tokyo in the 1960s. Following a group of magical, shapeshifting raccoons who come together to fight of the encroachment of human expansion into their habitat, the film is comedic, sentimental, and environmentally driven at the same time. The story, hitting at a time when Japan’s economy was in slump, the film used the 1960s urban boom to turn a mirror on he unabated greed and unrestricted environmental destruction of Japan’s corporate world.

Rival factions of raccoons who, when humans aren’t around, stand on two legs and becomes anthropomorphized, battle for dwindling food supplies until the elders decide that a truce is in their best interest. Other raccoons aren’t their enemy, but, rather, the increasing development of the humans taking away their habitat. Quickly honing their innate skills of shapeshifting, the raccoons begin to fight back, taking on the shapes of inanimate objects and even humans to try to scare the humans off. It begins to work, but the humans recollection of the old myths about troublemaking raccoons who could shapeshift could backfire on the wily raccoons, and old rivalries amongst the raccoons could prove their own undoing.

Pom Poko won the award for Best Animated Feature Film at the 1995 Annecy International Animated Film Festival.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Pom-Poko-BD_02

We see a lot more the natural grain present in this Disney release of Pom Poko on Blu-ray over the previously reviewed StudioCanal UK release, but that’s not to say that this hasn’t been cleaned up as well. The image is not grainy at all and looks as if it could have been filmed yesterday, only a bit more organic. Colors are also a bit more saturated in this Disney version.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Pom-Poko-BD_03

Stereo mixes of both the original Japanese and the English dub are included in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz/24-bit). A 5.1 version would have been welcome, especially for the more active scenes, but this stereo track is no slouch either with a good spread across the two channels, clean dialogue and good dynamics.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:2/5]

Pom-Poko-BD_04

  • DVD
  • Original Japanese Storyboards (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 01:59:08)
  • Original Japanese Trailers (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:07:45)


The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

Pom-Poko-BD_05

With its rather anatomically correct raccoons, powerful story with an underlying theme of environmentalism, and just a fun overall feeling with a typical mastery of the animation, Takahata Isao’s Pom Poko has become a cult favorite of Stufio Ghibli enthusiasts over the years, even if it doesn’t carry the same emotional weight as his masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B00PYAE2IM[/amazon-product]

Pom-Poko-BD_06

Pom-Poko-BD_07

Pom-Poko-BD_08

Pom-Poko-BD_09

Pom-Poko-BD_10

Pom-Poko-BD_11

Pom-Poko-BD_12

Pom-Poko-BD_13

Pom-Poko-BD_14

Pom-Poko-BD_15

[amazon-product]B00PYAE2IM[/amazon-product]

Advertisement

Related Articles

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Stay Connected

301FansLike
0FollowersFollow
724FollowersFollow
- Advertisement -

Notice of Compliance with FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION 16 CFR Part 255

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR part 255 guidelines, this website hereby states that it receives free discs and other theatrical or home entertainment “screeners” and access to screening links from studios and/or PR firms, and is provided with consumer electronics devices on loan from hardware manufacturers and/or PR firms respectively for the purposes of evaluating the products and its content for editorial reviews. We receive no compensation from these companies for our opinions or for the writing of reviews or editorials.
Permission is sometimes granted to companies to quote our work and editorial reviews free of charge. Our website may contain affiliate marketing links, which means we may get paid commission on sales of those products or the services we write about. Our editorial content is not influenced by advertisers or affiliate partnerships. This disclosure is provided in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR § 255.5: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Latest Articles

Popeye: 40th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent release on Blu-ray of this long maligned but still fun to watch film.

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy is arriving for the first time on 4K Ultra HD remastered in Dolby Vision and overseen by Peter...

TheaterByte’s Holiday Gift Guide for 2020

Let’s focus on the donut here: BEST Home Entertainment Holiday EVER.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

A stunning 4K Ultra HD restoration of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy arrives.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising (Blu-ray Review)

An excellent entry (or farewell?) for this beloved franchise with lots of action and great animation.
%d bloggers like this: