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My Neighbor Totoro

A 1988 movie by Japanese Director Miyazaki

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A Warm & Fuzzy (literally and figuritively) endearing classic film

  • Sep 3, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
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 said, it's no surprise that Disney bought the distribution rights to all the Studio Ghibli movies, including "My Neighbor Totoro". The DVD is now available through Disney, and was re-dubbed with English voice-overs. 



Although it was originally created as a Children's Film, the movie can truly be enjoyed by anybody in any age group. It's really imaginative, fun, magical, and embodies the "pureness" and "heart" that many movies these days sorely lack. Some critics say that the pace is "too slow"... but I think that it adds to the movie by immersing the viewer into it's world and getting them lost in it. Another thing that makes this movie so great is that the characters within it are so lovable. These characters include the little girl "Mei", Totoro (and little totoro), and the "Cat Bus".

If you haven't yet seen this animated masterpiece, I highly recommend it. Or even better, watch it with your kids, nieces and nephews...etc. I'm really hoping that Disney releases this film on Blu-ray soon. Why they haven't yet, is a mystery to me!

Note: If you enjoyed this Film,  make sure you check out Miyazaki's newest movie "Ponyo".  It shares much of this film's style, sense of wonder, and childlike innocence.
My neighbor totoro

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September 03, 2009
Hey Devora, I just saw "Ponyo" the other day and loved it. I was going to write a review, but realized there were a whole bunch that "Lunched" it already. In fact, the movie prompted me to write this review because "Ponyo" really does remind me a lot of "Totoro". Miyazaki even based much of the personality of the "Ponyo" character on the "Mei" character from "Totoro". So I would definitely recommend that you watch "Totoro" first and if you like it... make sure you see "Ponyo" too! :)
 
September 03, 2009
I'm ashamed to admit that I've had this on DVD for a couple of years, yet have never watched it.  After reading your review though, I think it's time to break it out! 

Have you seen Ponyo yet?  I hear it's almost as good! :)
 
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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 . June 19, 2009
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 …
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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I'm a man with many hobbies. I work a full-time job in the field of 'Lyophilization' for a small Pharmacuetical company. It's a dream job because it gives me lots of days off to pursue … more
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Wiki

Flash Animation

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
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"Mel and Satzuki"
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