Time to dip into the oversized box of films I have once again and this time I have 1988’s “My Neighbor Totoro”. Directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki, and Terry Gilliam’s favourite anime according to Time Out magazine, this Japanese animated family fantasy film is about two young daughters (Satsuki and Mei), their dad and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan. Well this certainly lightened up my day. Very joyful to watch. It feels weird not seeing anyone as a villain but I feel that if there was one in this film then, I feel, it would’ve ruined it. There isn’t really much to say about this film. Most of this film consists of the Satuski and Mei playing in the back garden with spirits until the end of the film where the added tension about Mei’s whereabouts. It’s really hard to think of what to talk about when there isn’t much to discuss. It’s an enjoyable film that I can highly recommend especially if you want something to watch when, for example, the weather is a bit wet. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1988’s “My Neighbor Totoro”
Film – My Neighbor Totoro
Year – 1988
Director – Hayao Miyazaki
Written By – Hayao Miyazaki
Starring – Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto
IMDb Rating – 8.2/10
My Rating – 8.5/10
Length – 86 mins (1h 26min)
Genre – Animation, Family, Fantasy
Well this opening music is very cheerful
We open with a family driving through a farm to get to their new home
Why is the dad making his kids sit cramped under a desk in the back of a car?
AH!!! GIRLS!!! Pretend they’re not there! Keep working! Pretend they’re not there
They are very excited about a bridge
Look! A giant tree!
Well I guess that’s one way to get around the house with your shoes on
There’s not really a whole lot to say… Just a family moving into a new home
Wait… What are those things?
Soot Gremlins – Or as the subtitles call then “Dustbuddies”
Someone stole the stairs to the upstairs?
Who keeps leaving all these acorns around?
Think Dad and the mover just dropped the wardrobe
Meanwhile Mei finally sees a Soot and squishes it
Nanny arrives to introduce herself and explains Soots
While moving in, Kanta arrives, gives everyone rice cakes and runs away
How to taunt like a youngster – Stick your tongue out
Damn wind took all my sticks!!!
Our house might fall down from the wind… Better have a bath first
So… Laughing loudly helps you when you’re scared
Pretty sure three people riding one bike isn’t safe
The family then head to the hospital to check on Mom who’s not well
25 minutes in and so far I’m enjoying what I’m seeing
IT’S MORNING!!! Leave me alone! I want 5 more minutes!
While the elder sister is at school, Mei plays in the garden while Dad does some studying
Are they tadpoles or are they leeches?
Those pesky acorns are back! And there’s a trail of them
Now to stalk this spirit… oh no it just disappeared
Aha! She’s distracted by a hole in the house! Now we can escape
Damn it! She’s seen us! RUN!
Mei then falls inside a tree to find Totoro asleep
I wouldn’t wake Totoro if I was you, Mei
Mei then falls asleep on Totoro allowing all the other spirits to see that she won’t hurt them
Satuski returns and begins looking for Mei who is asleep in the woods
Dad explains everything to Mei (and me) about the spirits
Thank you tree for looking after Mei
Satuski leaves Mei with Nanny this time while she’s at school…. With Kanta!!!
Wait… You have a sister…. HEY EVERYONE!!! SATUSKI HAS A SISTER!!!
Wait… You can just bring anyone to school?
Very nice looking drawn rain – I couldn’t find a better way to word that
Kanta sees the girls, gives them his umbrella and high tails it
Is Kanta just afraid of girls?
Hmm… Dad must’ve missed his bus
These buses are as bad as ours where I live! Just turn up then they want to
Who knew waiting for the bus could be so tiring – Then again Mei is young
Totoro then arrives to wait for a bus wearing a leaf for a hat
Hey! I’ve seen that shot somewhere before
Did this film just tell me how to use an umbrella?
Think Totoro likes the sound of rain hitting his umbrella
Finally a bus… Wait a minute…
Is that bus… a…. 10 legged cat?
Also, I think Totoro just stole Dad’s umbrella
Totoro’s present for the girls was acorns… lots of them
While everyone’s asleep, Totoro arrives to help the acorns Mei planted grow
Meanwhile, Dad’s busy studying while a massive tree grows in the back garden
Wait… The tree disappeared? TOTORO!!!!
Now to go farming for food
And now for a cucumber eating contest
Kanta arrives with a telegram from the hospital… Mom’s gotten sick again
And Mei is officially lost while Satuski calls Dad
Why does Kanta have a mud patch on his ass?
Meanwhile, Mei has a fight with a goat
So… Mom has a cold and that’s making her unwell…
Meanwhile, Mei, upset, runs off to the hospital with her corn
Is it me or some of these backdrops are watercolour paintings?
How did Kanta find Satuski?
A sandal in the pond? Mei wore sandals when she left? MEI!!!! NO!!!!!
Wait… Wrong type of sandal? It’s OK! It’s just some other girl who may have drowned in the pond
When in a state of panic, ask Totoro for help
Satuski finds Totoro asleep and calls for help… With his cat bus
Wait… Does that cat bus have mice for headlights?
We eventually find Mei at a cemetery shrine
Cat bus to the rescue again as he… or it… takes the girls to the hospital
Meanwhile, Dad visits Mom at the hospital as the girls, and cat bus, look on in a tree
HOORAY!!! A HAPPY ENDING!!!