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Anime News Roundup: Pom Poko, Ghost Stories

Disney has released Studio Ghibli's POM POKO on DVD here in America. POM POKO is the story of tanuki fighting for their homes against developers intent on cutting down their forest. Tanuki are large Japanese raccoons, similar to dogs, with unusually prominent scrotums. They are frequently featured in Japanese folklore as mischievous and magical creatures and the tanuki in POM POKO are no exception, employing their shapeshifting scrotums against the developers to great effect.

Yes. Disney. Magical, shape-shifting nutsacks. I never thought they'd release this one. Nausicaa.net has a great interview with Disney's excellent Ghibli dub directors on how they handled this one:
Q: Since Pom Poko involves jokes about the tanuki's testicles, how is that being handled in the English dub and will that affect how Disney markets it?

A: Actually, their initial reaction was that they were not going to release it. So we looked up "scrotum" in the dictionary. (It's the scrotum, not the testicles that the raccoons are stretching.) The definition is, "the external pouch that contains the testes." So we suggested using the word "pouch," and both Disney and Studio Ghibli agreed to it.
I'd say it goes slightly beyond "involving jokes" - there is hardly a single frame in the movie involving tanuki balls! More importantly, it's a great movie. Definitely check it out.

ADV has tried something new with their dub of GHOST STORIES. Anime purists have long howled about their favorite anime being "butchered" during the American translation process. But what happens when a dubbing company purposely butchers anime that nobody cares about? AnimeNewsNetwork gives them high marks for their "creative" translation of GHOST STORIES.
Ghost Stories, an innocuous kid’s show about a ragtag team of elementary school kids who deal with a ghost-infested schoolhouse, was the epitome of a bottom-shelf, bargain bin title... until ADV dubbed it.

...In its original Japanese, it doesn’t get any more banal or uninteresting than Ghost Stories, to be frank. This show has zero fans in the states, primarily because it’s as run-of-the-mill a kids’ show as you can possibly imagine... Thank god for ADV Films. In a move to sell more than three copies of this series, they’ve done something very wise: completely screwed with the dub script and turned what was once a painfully uninteresting kids’ series into an absolutely hilarious show for adults that’s hard to stop watching.
That sounds like it could be amazing. I need to check that out.

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