Sunday, November 4, 2001

My Neighbor Totoro (Tonari no Totoro)

Genre: Comedy / Fantasy
General Audience
1996. Hajime Kanzaka and Rei Araizumi (creators). SoftX. TV Tokyo.

My Neighbor Totoro DVDs
Totoro Art Books & Manga
Totoro Music
Totoro Apparel
Totoro Toys, Accessories
Totoro Posters Etc.
Everything Else

Cover Description:
A wonderful movie for children or adults. Truly one of the greatest animated movies ever.

Deep inside a tree trunk, two children discover a fascinating new world inhabited by Totoros, amazing, charming creatures who become their friends. Some are big, some are small, but all of them are furry, loveable and ready to do wondrous, magical fly over mountains and make giant trees grow in the middle of the night! Best of all, Totoros can't be seen by adults, only the children who love them.

Charming, intellegent, and frequently surrealistic. >>> by Status
If I had to pick one title to prove to someone that anime is more than violence, sex and robots, I would probably pick My Neighbor Totoro. Taking place roughly a decade after WWII, Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke) tells the story of two young girls whose mother is suffering from a severe illness. While in the process of settling in their new home, Mei and Satsuki meet three imaginary creatures called Totoros. Strangely, the more concerned the girls grow over their mother's health, the more commonplace (and magical) the meetings with the
Totoros seem to be.

The story surrounding the girls is perhaps one of the most non-linear I've ever witnessed. Totoro doesn't try to establish a deep, moving plot up front - rather, it simply shows the important events that take place in the girl's lives, which creates a deep plot in and of itself. The imagination sequences in which Mei and Satsuki encounter the Totoros are almost surreal, and brought back memories of my own childhood daydreams. But when the scenes end, you almost wonder if perhaps what the girls just experienced was real...?

It was a very refreshing change to see a film - any film - carry a moving story, while remaining gentle and kind family viewing. Totoro provided me with something I very rarely find in anime: something to share with my younger siblings. Audiences of virtually any age will enjoy it; children will wonder if perhaps they too will see magical creatures - adults will remember their childhood, when they wondered the same thing.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 7; Story 4; Characters 9; Sounds 8

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