Pom Poko (Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pompoko) (Blu-ray) (1994)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 14-Apr-2014

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Anime Main Menu Audio
Theatrical Trailer
Storyboards-Alternative Angle Storyboards
Trailer-Howl's Moving Castle
Trailer-The Studio Ghibli Collection
Reversible Cover
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1994
Running Time 119:07
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Isao Takahata

Madman Entertainment
Starring Makoto Nonomura
Yuriko Ishida
Nijiko Kiyokawa
Shigeru Izumiya
Case Amaray-Opaque-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Koryu

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
Japanese Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures Yes
Subtitles English Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     Pom Poko (Heisei tanuki gassen ponpoko) is one of the latest Studio Ghibli titles to get a Blu-ray upgrade from Madman Entertainment. Our review of the original DVD release from 2006 can be found here. Adam gave a good explanation of the plot in that review and it is well worth reading.

     This film was conceived by Hayao Miyazaki, the master animator behind Studio Ghibli but directed by Isao Takahata. It includes the usual Miyazaki themes of the environment and magical fantasy. To my mind there is fun to be had with this film but it goes on too long being 2 hours in length. The story gets darker towards the end and some of the joy from the early scenes is lost. It certainly has an interesting combination of animation styles all of which are beautiful in their own way. The raccoon testicles that can be stretched into many shapes are certainly a highlight.

     This new release is very similar to the DVD in terms of extras, however the big benefit is the upgrade to high definition. For details read on...

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     The video quality is excellent, a huge step up on the DVD.

     The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The picture was very clear and sharp throughout. The original DVD was an NTSC-PAL conversion causing the usual interleaving and artefacts of that process. Obviously in this natively HD transfer this issue has been removed completely.

     The colour was wonderful and I am sure the best this film has looked, without being as vivid as the newest Ghibli films like Ponyo but considering its 1997 production this is to be expected.

     There were no artefacts to speak of.

     There are subtitles available in English. They are clear and easy to read, following the Japanese dialogue rather than the English version.

     There is no obvious layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is very good.

     This disc contains the original Japanese soundtrack in LPCM 2.0 48/16 and the English dub in LPCM 2.0 48/16. There does not seem to be a whole lot of difference between them from a quality perspective. The dialogue is quite different at times including changing the testicles to "raccoon pouches" for a prudish US audience. Both tracks are significantly clearer with better front separation and definition than the DVD.

     Dialogue was clear and easy to hear and understand.

     The music is mostly children's and Japanese folk songs, suiting the film well and sounding great on this Blu-ray.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


     The same extras as the DVD version are repeated here but in High Def.


     The menu included sounds and pictures from the film.


     The full Hayao Miyazaki designed storyboard reel is available as a picture-in-picture extra as you watch the film. These appeared on the DVD version.

Original Japanese Theatrical Trailer (7:26)

     A selection of Japanese trailers

Other Trailers

Reversible Slick


R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This Blu-ray is available in the same format in the UK but has not been released in Region A yet.


    A funny but thought provoking film from Studio Ghibli.

    The video quality is excellent.

    The audio quality is very good.

    The extras are the same as the DVD but in HD.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Thursday, August 07, 2014
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE