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My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) (1988)

  Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
Written by: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: Noriko Hidaka, Shigesato Itoi, Chika Sakamoto, Hitoshi Takagi
Links: My Neighbor Totoro on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Book
Genre: Cartoon/Animation

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro) (1988) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Grave of the Fireflies (1988), pearly's review of Spirited Away (2001) and pearly's review of Uptown Girls (2003).

"Just gorgeous" - a review by pearly

The character of Mei (Chika Sakamoto) in My Neighbor Totoro is the cutest little rascal of a thing you've ever seen. She's the youngest sibling in the Kusakabe family, and along with her bigger sister Satsuki (Noriko Hidaka), and her father (Shigesato Itoi), she has moved to a new home in the country so that they can be closer to their mother, who is in hospital.

It is whilst playing and discovering their surroundings in their new town that Mei and Satsuki come across the Totoros, strange little spirits who live in the forests near their home. At first shy, Mei's determination with the creatures she is so fascinated by brings them out of their shell, and she manages to make friends with them, although they are not as predictable as she would like them to be.

In My Neighbor Totoro, I can see the beginnings of the wonderful and magical world that Hayao Miyazaki has since developed in Princess Mononoke (1997) and Spirited Away (2001). The forest setting and nature themes seem to be a strong precursor to Mononoke, and the eeriness of the spirit world the same for Spirited Away.

My Neighbor Totoro is not simply a sign of better things to come, though. It stands on its own two feet as a wonderful film, with the focus perhaps erring on the side of the characters, rather than the surrounds or the spirits, as could be said of the latter films. And what characters! From the delightful Mei, who I have already discussed, to Satsuki, who is the perfect model of an older sister, and the loving but pre-occupied father. Another favourite is Kanta's grandmother, a neighbour of the girls who looks after them when their father is at work. She is an absolute classic.

My Neighbor Totoro is one of those rare treats that actually is wonderful for people of all ages. This is especially true for people like me: kids at heart. Ever since watching it, I have been craving watching it again. Hooray for Miyazaki!

pearly gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 8 Jun 2004

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. dfadsfadsgfatg

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Andrew Hwnag on Mon 25 Jul 2005 09:39 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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