My Neighbor Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro follows two young girls and their day-to-day lives in their new home. Mei and Satsuki have moved into a new home with their father to be closer to their mother, who is in the hospital. They are also much closer to their grandmother, Nanny, who cares for them quite often. Like any young children, the girls are fascinated by their new home and the surrounding forest. The magic doesn’t truly show its face until Mei follows a trail of acorns through a tunnel path at the base of the largest tree. The curious young child follows the trial until suddenly it ends and she falls onto the belly of a large being, Totoro!
My Neighbor Totoro follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, and Totoro, a creature made by Hayao Miyazaki. Satsuki is the older sister, who is caring and emotional. She becomes a motherly figure to her younger sister while their mother is in the hospital. Mei is young and carefree. She spends a lot of time playing and exploring, and she is the first to see Totoro. Totoro, a made-up creature composed of an owl, cat, and raccoon dog, is a carefree spirit. He spends most of his time sleeping or dancing. He has a caring heart, as demonstrated by his actions for the sisters.
My Neighbor Totoro is one of my favourite Studio Ghibli movies. From the stunning animation, to fun characters, to the feel good atmosphere, to the wonderful music selections, My Neighbor Totoro almost has it all. It has a few minor flaws, but it is still a wonderful movie.
I’ll address the quick flaw right now before I talk about the good stuff. The beginning of the movie is a bit slow. This might turn some viewers away but sticking through it rewards the viewer with a magical experience. The only other flaw is the dubbing of the movie. I watched this in Japanese, and it is definitely the way I recommend watching this movie. The dub isn’t bad, but there’s an authentic feel with the Japanese dub. So, the downside for some viewers is that it requires some reading. Those who aren’t used to reading while watching might have some difficulties.
With that out of the way, let’s dive into this movie. First thing’s first, being an older movie, the animation is still on par with some of the shows animated today. The screen is always filled with vibrant colours and the movements of the characters feel smooth. The other thing the animation benefits is that this isn’t an action show. This way, every scene gets essentially the same love. The other great thing about the movie are the characters. The protagonists are young girls, and they act their age. They’re crazy antics are fun to watch, and their carefree spirit is something to enjoy. For Totoro, Miyazaki was able to create such a cute and lovable character. Every time Totoro is on the screen, it brings a smile to my face. I think the best part of this movie is the musical tracks. Each song holds its own weight, and they all carry some magic and mystery in its tunes. It really adds a big part to the atmosphere. Finally, the plot is solid. This movie is a feel-good movie. It’s a fun movie. In a world surrounded by chaos, it’s nice to find some peace in this movie. You get to enjoy Satsuki and Mei exploring their new home. You get in on Totoro’s antics. It has a nice feel-good vibe, and I couldn’t ask for more.
Overall, this is a very good movie. From smooth animations, to fun characters, to amazing music, this movie is a nice break from our chaotic world. For those into animation or have seen other works from Studio Ghibli, this is a must watch, and one you should enjoy in its original language.
My Neighbour Totoro is a wonderful children’s movie full of deeper meaning and fun characters. While this movie has so, so many fan theories (go google a few), we are going to look at it at face value. At an hour and 27 minutes, My Neighbour Totoro is a quick watch that packs in a bunch of fun goofy moments into a short time frame.
The plot here is a lot better than I expected. It is riveting, funny, but also emotionally intense at times. The ups and downs are unlike something we see from a lot of G-rated movies. The myths and legends that are told and attributed to certain things also add to the atmosphere behind the many, many theories. I thought the characters do a lot for this plot, but it still manages to hold its own. The dialogue itself lacks at times, and I found the plot to be particularly slow near the beginning, but after that point, it picks back up.
Mei, Satsuki, and Totoro are all great characters. We actually see quite a few characters that get at least a few minutes worth of screen time, and for the most part, they are useful. Whether it is some comic relief, adding to the plot further on in the movie, or just a few conversational lines here and there, I thought the characters were really well written. I did make the mistake of watching the dubbed version of this movie, with the Netflix subtitles, so I’d probably stay away from that. Watch the original in Japanese, enjoy the proper subtitles and go from there.
The other thing I really enjoyed was the animation. For a movie that was released in 1988, it looks good. The movement looks and feels better than I expected, and the characters are all drawn really well. Obviously, animation has gotten better over the years, but for an almost 35-year-old movie, it passed the eye test with flying colours.
I really enjoyed this movie, short or not. It’s a cheery movie with a few more emotional scenes than I expected, but I thought that improved the movie. If you got an itch for an animated movie, this is going to be right up your alley. If you plan on consuming this as a happy-go-lucky movie, I would stay a good ways away from the fan theories on this one.
When I started this film, I had no idea what to expect in terms of this being my first Studio Ghibli film and my first real experience with anime properties. I would say that on the whole I was impressed and can see why so many people enjoy this type of media. This film definitely had this dream-like quality to it throughout with a constant wonder of whether everything is actually happening or if it is in fact imagination and either way it works. The story itself is pretty loose and honestly the weakest part of the film but it is sufficient enough for the characters and themes to really pull it into focus. This is definitely one of the most laid-back films I have ever seen where it feels pretty relaxing to watch it and it just has this vibe of calm. The characters really do make this work with Satsuki and Mei just getting to show their emotions at all times and we get to see their sisterly connection that keeps driving the story forward. Totoro and the rest of the mystical creatures are quite cute and I like the fact that they don’t talk but we still understand them to an extent from their expressions. The emotional moments and themes of family ring true and all the emotions hit especially in the climax. The animation in the film is really well done and I think the backgrounds especially stand out as being really great to look at.
All in all, I am glad that I have now seen this movie and would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet it will bring a smile to your face.
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