Program

Retrospective

Pom Poko

Japan

1994

Introduction

New town development races ahead in the Tama hills on the outskirts of Tokyo. The tanuki, who since ancestral times have lived peacefully in the hills, feel themselves threatened and decide to revive their ancient practise of bakegaku (shape-shifting) to resist the humans. They try to fight the humans with their own hands, but being tanuki, they did not achieve good results. Three tanuki elders arrived from Shikoku, and declared the Grand Goblin Strategy form of bakegaku. The tanuki are struggling hard, but some of the tanuki seem to have gone missing as they unfold the grand plan.

 

© 1994 畑事務所・Studio Ghibli・NH

Director

Isao Takahata

Born in 1935 in Mie Prefecture, Japan. After graduating from The University of Tokyo with a degree in French literature, he joined Toei Animation Company. He debuted as a director with the animated TV series KEN, THE WILD BOY (1963 – 1965), and directed his first animated feature film, THE LITTLE NORSE PRINCE VALIANT (1968). He left Toei in 1971 and worked at various studios and directed TV series including HEIDI A GIRL OF THE ALPS (1974), MARCO, FROM THE APENNINES TO THE ANDES (1976), and ANNE OF GREEN GABLES (1979), and feature films such as DOWNTOWN STORY (1981) and GAUCHE THE CELLIST (1981).

Takahata co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 with Hayao Miyazaki, and has directed five feature films since: GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES (1988), ONLY YESTERDAY (1991), POM POKO (1994), which received the Feature Film Prize at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 1995, MY NEIGHBORS THE YAMADAS (1999), which was chosen by The Museum of Modern Art in New York for its film collection, the first Japanese animated feature film to be so honored, and his latest film, THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA (2013), nominated for the 2014 Academy Award® for Best Animated Feature. He served as producer for Hayao Miyazaki’s films NAUSICAÄ OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (1984) and CASTLE IN THE SKY (1986), and artistic producer for Michael Dudok de Wit’s THE RED TURTLE (2016).

In 1998, Takahata received Japan’s Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon. He was awarded with the Honorific Leopard at the 2009 Locarno International Film Festival and the Special Cristal Award for lifetime achievement at the 2014 Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In April 2015, He received the “Officier” of the Order of Arts and Letters, France. He received the 2015 Winsor McCay Award of the Annie Awards. On April 5, 2018, Takahata passed away at the age of 82.