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‘Heisei Tanuki Gassen Pom Poko (Pom Poko)’

by Mark Schilling

Director: Isao Takahata

Language: Japanese (subtitled in English)

Isao Takahata has been overshadowed by Studio Ghibli cofounder Hayao Miyazaki, but this 1994 fantasy about tanuki (raccoon dogs) who fight a battle of survival with humans invading their forest haven was the studio’s biggest hit at the time. By turns goofily funny and wonderfully weird, with motifs borrowed from Japanese folk tales, the film is also an impassioned plea for environmental preservation. The new region-free Blu-ray offers trailers, storyboards and a dubbing script.