My Neighbor Totoro #MovieReview

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



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