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Finally, a Disney movie with balls....

Literally!

I'm talking about Pom Poko, a Studio Ghibli film being released in the US by Disney. It's about a group of raccoons (actually tanuki, but both the Japanese and English dialogue refers to them as raccoons) who are trying to protect their homes against human encroachment.

The first half of the movie is absolutely hilarious, with scenes that had me laughing out loud, which seems to be rather atypical for a Studio Ghibli movie. It takes a sad turn in the second half, though, which I found a bit disappointing. Still it was a fun movie, and one I'd highly recommend for everyone, except...

The most notable thing in the film, and quite startling for a movie with the Disney name attached, is that the raccoons are drawn complete with testicles. The English dub tries to dismiss them as "raccoon pouches", but the subtitles for the original Japanese dialog reveal the truth. And just as the raccoons have the ability to shape-shift their bodies, they can also change the shape of their testicles, transforming them into carpets, bridges, boats, parachutes, and weapons. They even sing songs about them. There are also a couple very brief nipple shots.

If you're the prudish type, or can't handle raccoons with visible dangly bits, you might want to skip this movie. But if you're open minded, and don't mind your kids asking potentially uncomfortable questions, then this is a must see. I've never been keen on dubs, so I'd recommend watching it with the Japanese dialogue with English subtitles.

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