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My Neighbor Totoro

A 1988 movie by Japanese Director Miyazaki

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Delightful and fun for all ages

  • Jun 19, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
This is another anime, this one by Miyazaki, that has become a favorite.  It involves nature spirits, a catbus (yes, that's correct.  A ten legged, living cat bus), soot sprites (dirt and dust has to come from somewhere, doesn't it?), and two small children.  My 9 year old granddaughter still asks to see this one, and she has probably seen it a dozen times since that first time when she was 5.  Totoro is one of the very few movies that is really rated "G", and still is just so much fun to watch.  For children?  Yeah, but adults will be charmed by this movie as well. 

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June 20, 2009
There are very very few Japanese anime films that actually fit the American defintion of being suitiale for all ages, but this film is one of them,
June 20, 2009
I agree. This film is a great time for everyone. My granddaughter has loved it since she first saw it at age 4. She is 9 now and informs me that she is too old for Dora and Dragon Tales, but she is not too old for Totoro
June 20, 2009
Benji is nearly 9 and would still watch Bob the Builder if he couldn't get anything else. He's really hooked on the tube.
June 20, 2009
Boys don't seem to make the same demands that girls do. Katie tells me over and over that she is too old for Dora and Diego, in fact many of the kid's TV shows she used to watch. She now watches Discover Kids and the only show she still watches is Spongebob. (not my favorite). Still, I can usually get her to watch a Miyasaki anime although her favorite movie for the past few months has been "Yellow Submarine".
June 20, 2009
Benji is actually the reader of the twins. He's always got his nose in a book and reads waaay above his grade leve--he's in the gifted program, and my daughter just got Alex admitted for next year. He's also the resident expert on SAT WARS and knows far too much about all sorts of military weapons. He's not much of a movie fan though (other than STAR WARS) but is very non-discriminating when it comes to cartoons. We've never actually tried him on the best anime.
June 20, 2009
Katie reads, but would rather watch cartoons right now, although she read the graphic novel of Coraline and really enjoyed it. I try to find things for her to watch that are fun and perhaps even have some message, although the fun is the main thing
June 21, 2009
I don't have a lot of control over what the boys watch. Kris lets them se a lot of things that I never would. Thank god I kept her from taking them to see THE WATCHMEN! She thought that since it was a comic book adaptation it would be okay, but its not like anything else that's ever been done before and its definitely NOT for kids. Sure I took her to a lot of R-rated flix when she was a kid but at least I knew what they were about. What's worse is that she doesn't even know that these movies are scaring the boys, which is funny because she rides me endlessly about how much ALIEN scared her and she was about 10 or 11 when she saw that one. The boys don't even like scary movies I'm sad to say. I'm not going to have a movie buddy unless their tastes change an awful lot.
June 21, 2009
As you know, I love horror movies. My all time favorite, which I do plan to review soon, is the Phantasm series. I will not let Katie see that until she is much older. Fortunately, I do have friends I can see movies with who love the horror films. It's a shame we don't live closer. There are times when I really need a movie buddy for the latest horror film.
June 21, 2009
I know what you mean. I don't mind seeing movies alone but sometimes you just want to talk about what you've seen. sigh. Its funny but what my daughter says scared her about ALIEN is that she thought the monster looked like a giant cockroach. In Flrodia roaches can be pretty scary on their own.
June 21, 2009
Very true. I remember Panama. Roaches and prostitutes. The only difference was that the roaches wore more clothes. Especially if I like a movie, I want to talk about it with someone.
June 21, 2009
Most girls are into horses at a certain age. Has she seen THE BLACK STALLION? Its not a perfect adaptation of the book-- it bogs down after they're rescued from the island, but its some photography that is so beautiful that it will make any horse lover ache. The director also did NEVER CRY WOLF, FLY AWAY HOME, and DUMA all of which are beautiful movies involving animals.
June 21, 2009
She has seen The Black Stallion. I have not, however. She has that at home.
June 21, 2009
You should check it out too. Its beautifully photographed and its one of those movies that everybody can enjoy. She might like showing it to you too.
June 21, 2009
Thanks. I will.
 
June 19, 2009
You often see films that are said to be for all the family from 2 years to 90 or some such description, but Totoro is the only film I´ve seen that really fits that description. A friend of mine has a 2 year old who loves this Great Miyazaki Anime and so do we, it´s simply fantastic.
June 19, 2009
The only other movie I've seen that comes close is another Miyazaki, Kiki's Delivery Service. They are for real. Cute, fun, meaningful and actually for all ages. Thanks for your comment.
 
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More My Neighbor Totoro reviews
Quick Tip by . April 17, 2012
posted in ASIANatomy
Like many, I think My Neighbor Totoro is one of Miyazaki's masterworks, and I think this a fine example of how to make an animated family film.  What I think makes this anime film so great is its simplicity.  Despite the fact that it's about two girls following around spirits and creatures, it's almost like a snapshot of real-life because of how believable the characters are, and this is what makes the film so enjoyable.  The artwork and animation is top-notch to boot.   …
review by . September 03, 2009
My neighbor totoro
Lovingly crafted in 1988,"My neighbor Totoro" by Hayao Miyazaki, is an endearing  Japanese children's film. The Character "Totoro" is a large bear-like incarnation of a forest spirit, and is as widely recognized in Japan as Mickey Mouse is in America.  In fact, the film studio that produced it (Studio Ghibli) uses "Totoro" in it's logo.  Studio Ghibli itself has been referred to as the Japanese equivalent to the Walt Disney animation studio. With that …
review by . February 25, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
I decided to take a look at this before the grandkids watched it. Just wanted to be sure there wasn't anything objectionable in it.     There isn't.     It is, in fact, from the very first moment, utterly and completely enchanting.     The story of two young girls with their father in a rural "haunted" house grabs you from the very first moment. The girls exude the wonder of being children. As the story moves along and the girls make their …
review by . June 04, 2008
posted in ASIANatomy
My Neighbor Totoro is a film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, and it was released in Japan in 1988. There was a American release of this film in 1993 by Fox Video, but they lost the rights to the film in 2004. Disney acquired the rights and produced a new English dub with new voice actors. Disney released this DVD in 2006.    The film tells the story of two girls and their father, and their move into a new house in order to be closer to the girls' mother (who is sick and …
review by . July 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Everything.     Cons: Nothing.     The Bottom Line: Grab your kids, plop them down, and turn into one of them yourself.     Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot. Note: This review is of the Walt Disney updated 2004 version.      My fourth Hayao Miyazaki film and I’m not disappointed. I wasn’t expecting to be either. After recently seeing Howl’s Moving Castle (expect …
review by . September 27, 2002
posted in Movie Hype
My neighbor Totoro is not only one of the finest animated films I have ever seen, it is one of the best movies period. It has enough heart to spead across a hundred film's, and still have some to spare. I hate to call it "too cute for words" but it is. Hayao Miyazaki, the director, (also doing this years Spirited Away, released in America by Disney) has really outdone himself. My neighbor Totoro has many terrific qualities, such as the emaculate detail. There are dozens of instances in which object …
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John O'Connor ()
Ranked #87
I am retired military. I served 6 years of Navy, nearly 6 years of Air Force, and just over 22 years of Air National Guard. I also was a full time technician for the Air Guard for just over 21 years. … more
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Wiki

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a 1988 Japanese anime film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The film follows the two young daughters of a professor and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan. The movie won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1988. The movie was originally released in the U.S. in VHS format with the title, My Friend Totoro.

Plot:

In 1958, a university professor and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, move into an old house in rural Japan to be closer to the hospital where his wife is recovering from an illness. The daughters find that the house is inhabited by tiny animated dust creatures called soot sprites—small house spirits seen when moving from light to dark places. When the girls become comfortable in their new house and laugh with their father, the soot spirits leave.

While she is playing outside one day, the younger daughter, Mei, sees two white, rabbit-like ears in the grass. She follows the ears under the house where she discovers two small magical creatures, who lead her through a briar patch, and into the hollow of a large Camphor Laurel tree. She meets and befriends a larger version of the same kind of spirit, which identifies itself by a series of roars she interprets as "Totoro" (in the Japanese original dub it stems from Mei's mispronunciation of the word for "troll", tororu). Her father later tells her that this is the "keeper of the forest".

One rainy night ...

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Details

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Animation
Release Date: 1988
DVD Release Date: August 31, 2004
Runtime: 86 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment, 20th Century Fox
First to Review

"Mel and Satzuki"
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