The Magical World of Miyazaki
By Geeky Gem
For this week’s look at a Studio Ghibli classic, in The Magical World of Miyazaki, I am going to tell you about a little film called Pom Poko. One of Ghilbi’s stranger films. It was released in 1994, and Hayo Miyazaki again wrote the story. Now when I say strange, I mean completely insane.
This film tells the tale of a community of magical, shape shifting, Raccoons, who are fighting to keep their home in the forest, from being destroyed and turned in an urban development. No I haven’t gone mad I said magical, shape shifting, Raccoons, and not the ones from the Evergreen Forest either, if any of you remember that 1980’s cartoon? Although why that was never made into a movie, I don’t know.
With Tokyo quickly expanding, it means there is less and less room available for nature. The Tanukis, the magical Raccoons of this tale, are the ones that suffer the consequences. With nowhere else to go, more and more territorial fights happen. The old Oroku understands that something must be done. Once the Tanukis unite, they decide on a five year plan. The ultimate goal: To sabotage the building projects and scare mankind away. However this was never going to be easy. In order for the Tanukis to pull of this plan, they must improve their metamorphic ability to transform into anything.
Almost every Tanuki can do it, but it is no longer a practiced art form. While Oroku trains the Tanukis, Gonta a fearsome warrior is not happy. He is completely shocked by the amount of forest that is gone already, and demands immediate action. He wants a war, and he will stop at nothing to make sure the humans back off.
The thing I like about this film, is the fact that humans are not main the character’s. Although they prove a formidable enemy, the Raccoons put up a awesome fight. One of my favorite scenes involves a certain part of the Raccoons anatomy getting bigger, and used as a weapon. Now this is funny and I know it shouldn’t, but I can’t help but crack up every time I see it.
I think the heart of this story, is that, if we keep taking the forest’s away there will be none left for future generations to enjoy. It’s exactly the same deeper meaning that is in Princess Mononoke. This seems to be what Miyazaki wants us to learn, his pet issue, if you will. Valuable lessons in life are to learnt, whether your 10 or 110 years old, you can’t deny the importance of the message. If you haven’t seen Pom Poko then I recommend you watch it as I do with every Studio Ghibli. It’s a very funny and entertaining film.