Parents' Guide to

Pom Poko

By Renee Longstreet, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Animated tale has environmental message; peril, sadness.

Movie PG 1994 112 minutes
Pom Poko Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 5 parent reviews

age 9+

Watch it over 2 or 3 viewings

I think if you watch this movie over 2 or 3 nights it is a 5 star movie, but as is it is long and dense and goes on many tangents. The tanuki (raccoon dogs) is based on Japanese folklore and that does include their magical testicles (you read that right). The environmental message is strong and it is quite sad, so I would recommend for older kids, although my 8 year old liked it. The ending made my 11 year old cry, and I’ve never seen him cry at a movie before.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 10+

Great message, but a bit long

We watched this with a 4 year old and a 10 year old, and we had to stretch it over 2 nights because it runs long. The 4 year old was a bit scared by some of the pranks of the raccoons, especially a particular scene when they turn into humans without faces. The messages throughout were interesting though, and the artwork was beautiful.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (5):
Kids say (3):

At nearly two hours long, with its sophisticated themes and the deaths of many tanuki (plus three human victims), this movie is best suited for older kids, tweens, and teens. The messages in Pom Poko are solid, as are the voice performances in the English dub, which features Clancy Brown, J.K. Simmons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Tres MacNeille. Especially entertaining is the narration by Maurice Lamarche. The animation is original and delightful, a Studio Ghibli trademark.

Still, the tanuki's antics are repetitive. They play tricks, they celebrate, they mourn, they give up, they try again. It's understandable that the filmmakers wanted to fully develop the environmental issues, provide in-depth characters, and offer an informative look at both the real animals and the Japanese legends that are attached to them. Although each element is successful, the sum of the captivating parts isn't entirely so. And, though true to nature, the extensive animal deaths may be upsetting, particularly for younger kids.

Movie Details

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