Japan, 1994, 119 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Isao Takahata, Rated PG, Japanese with English subtitles, GKIDS
"Even if the heroes are magic raccoon dogs, they are still wonderfully-etched people, whose tribulations form the backbone of an excellent contribution to Ghibli's legacy of pro-environment fables about the magic of the natural world and the emptiness of crowded cities." – Tim Brayton, Alternate Ending
In this brilliant and often overlooked film from Isao Takahata, the forests are filled with groups of magical tanuki, mischievous raccoon dogs from Japanese folklore that are capable of shape-shifting from their standard form to practically any object. The tanuki spend their days playing idly in the hillsides and squabbling over food – until the construction of a huge new Tokyo suburb clears the nearby forest and threatens their way of life. In an effort to defend their home, the tanuki learn to transform into humans and start playing tricks to make the workers think the construction site is haunted, ending in a spectacular night-time spirit parade, with thousands of ghosts, dragons and other magical creatures descending on the city — in an abundance of fantastical characters that would not be matched on screen by Studio Ghibli until Spirited Away.
For over three decades, Studio Ghibli has transported audiences across the globe to magical realms filled with fantastic creatures and awe-inspiring sights. Led by co-founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, the Japanese studio has garnered numerous awards, set box office records, and touched the hearts of children and adults alike. Join us for a two-week celebration as we present, in partnership with GKIDS, all 22 films (and one short!) in the Complete Studio Ghibli.