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|Index||302 reviews in total|
There is no compulsory villain in this wonderfully animated film, no moral lessons, no standard blue print story, and the characters will definitely not break out in a song. Thank God! It's simply a great film for all ages. Don't mind if the soundtrack isn't dubbed to your native language, my kids (4 and 6 years old) could easily follow the story with just a few helpers. Japanese is a wonderful language. The film has great direction, beautiful backgrounds and a mystical, pleasant aura throughout. There's nothing like this, I promise you. It's idyllic, for the most part, but still with an exciting story that unfolds into something very unexpected.
Picture if you will, a 27 year old male, scanning through his dvd
collection, trying to figure out what to watch, on a boring night at home.
Suddenly, he stops at My Neighbor Totoro and smiles. Well, that's a
typical happenning around the house here.
Miyazaki created a true masterpiece with this film. It has everything a person, of any age, could want. There are points that it is hilarious, a few points where it makes one slightly nervous, the animation is outstanding (as with all Miyazaki films), and aside from lacking a little bit in plot (what movie doesn't nowadays?), the story is wonderful.
One of the things that makes this film shine, at least for me, is that there is absolutely no antagonist role. No bad guy whatsoever, and only a genius like Miyazaki could pull that off.
Is this a childrens movie? Yes, of course it is. Is it a movie only for children? Well... maybe for the inner child inside all of us. There's humour in this movie that the young will laugh at, and there's a bit of humour in the movie that only adults will fully catch and appreciate, without it being "adult humour".
I would reccommend, and have reccommended this film to anyone that would listen.
Thank you again Miyazaki Sensei.
My favorite Miyazaki's movie is "Princess Mononoke" on a graphical scale.
But on a "charming scale", this one is really the best.
Even the Disney movies are not so charming than this movie. Poetic, charming, cute, I can't find the words to describe the good this movie made to me. Miyazaki brings us into the wonderlands of the children, better than "Alice in wonderland" or "Peter pan".
In fact, Miyazaki makes us loving children. In the movie, the children run, shout all time, laugh, cry, and so on. In the real world, I hate this. In normal movies I hate this too. But, here, every actions of the two little girls touch us deep in our heart. We learn to love children's world.
Every one of us will have a smile on this face, from the beginning to the end of this movie.
My favorite scene is the first encounter between Mei and Totoro. It's fun, poetic, and charming. Miyazaki succeeds to make a movie enjoyable for the very little kids (4 y.o.) and for the adult audience. It's very rare to succeed doing that !
Really, a masterpiece !
From the brilliant "Walt Disney of Japan", Hayao Miyazaki, comes a
wonderful soothing film that everyone will simply embrace. Featuring
stunning animation, endearing personable characters, and a
heart-tugging storyline that's simple, enchanting, and even dramatic.
Sometimes you feel like you're not watching an animated children's movie, because the characters (particularly the children) and the storyline seem so realistic. There's no bad guy, no song numbers, and no references to pop-culture. Most cartoons (especially Disney) feature these and it gets old and routine. Here we have a break from all of that and get a real masterpiece.
Miraculously, Totoro doesn't talk, and yet you can still understand what the lovable furry creature is thinking with his endearing actions. And the six-legged CatBus is undeniably one of the most imaginative characters in animation history. And the human characters are also remarkable. Mei and Satsuki act like little girls, not like kids who are smarter than adults (a routine toons today are guilty of).
I loved Totoro when I was a small child and I always will. When I have children of my own someday, I will show them Totoro instead of toy commercials like Dora and Elmo's world.
BOTTOM LINE: A masterpiece... pure and simple.
I first saw "My Neighbor Totoro" when I was maybe seven.At the time, I
thought that it was really boring(that was still when I liked Disney
movies). Years later, when I discovered "Princess Mononoke" I learned
that MNT was by the same director and watched it again. And I find that
I appreciate this film a whole lot more now then I did when I was
The animation is absolutely stunning(as with all Miyazaki films)and the story is deceptively simple, told with patient, subtle attention to detail. The best example IMO is the scene where Mei falls asleep on Totoro's stomach.It's fruitless to try and describe it;you have to see it for yourself.
In closing, I would just like to say that I can't wait for a decent DVD to arrive so I can view this quiet masterpiece in widescreen in Japanese with subtitles.
I first watched this film in Japanese with a 12 year old translating for me and I still thought it was incredible. There are so many wonderful touches, like a tin can in the stream while the kids are fascinated by a fish, or the flying scenes (I'm convinced that Ang Lee thought of Miyazaki when he made The Hulk, just in terms of the jumping scenes) that show a curious mind at work throughout the picture. I also love the sense of magic and innocence (and the lack of violence) which pervades the movie. It is a real antidote from the Disney formula which always involves a villain being trashed at the end. This is a film about the wonder of being a child and experiencing something incredible which adults can't see but recognize nonetheless. It works for any age as well. Enjoy.
Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro is a film that should be able to put a
smile on any viewers face, and without a doubt, it'll take you on one
of the most whimsical and fantastic journey's ever.
My Neighbor Totoro is a story that definitely something children can relate with, as i watched this with someone, they immediately paused the film and asked if this reminded me of being 4 years old again. This film really connects with people. But it's far from a quality nostalgia piece, it's well animated, beautiful, avoids cliché stereotypes (from both typical of the Anime genre and Children's Fantasy films), and is beautifully filmed (see scenes such as the girls waiting for the bus with Totoro and the scene where the magic nuts and seeds grow with the help of Totoro).
Even the English dub done by Fox isn't as bad everyone states. I've seen the Japanese version, and i'd have to say it's a mixed-bag between having Mei's voice sounds a bit too bratty for the English version, or having the Father's voice sound a bit awkward and perhaps not as caring in the Japanese version. Disney is said to be releasing a re-dub in mid-to-late 2005, so perhaps that will even out the controversy.
This film may not reach the heights of other Anime classics (mainly it's double bill with Grave of the Fireflies, or Miyazaki's other masterpieces Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away), however this will definitely be high on any film lovers list, and is definitely a high water mark of it's genre.
A solid 9/10, This film is next to impossible to watch without it pushing a smile out of your face.
This movie, set in Japan in the early fifties, is director Miyazaki's
tribute to his mother (who suffered from tuberculosis, just like Satsuki and
Mei's mother), his childhood home, and childhood innocence. Although some
people who watch this movie wonder where the Americans are (this is
post-WWII Japan, after all) and why so little screen time is spent on the
girls' mother, but that may be partly due to the dubbing.
Americans: First of all, the house the girls move into is rather European in design (with doorknobs, and an attic, and a front porch) despite the Japanese style bath and occasional sliding door. Secondly, Mei and Satsuki are really into Western fairy tales (the are brief glimpses of Japanese translations of The Three Billy Goats Gruff and other stories, along with Mei inadvertently re-enacting scenes from Alice in Wonderland and Chronicles of Narnia). On top of that, according to Helen McCarthy and other Miyazaki experts, the name "Totoro" is little Mei's mispronunciation of the Japanese transliteration of the English word "troll" ("tororo," which the Japanese would pronounce like "tololo" because they do not distinguish between r's and l's). This is why an accurate dubbed version is nearly impossible (like any little girl, Mei mispronounces a lot of words).
The Mother: I think this movie is entirely about the mother. Throughout, you see them subtly (almost too subtly at times) change from completely carefree to terrified with each scene involving the mother. This parallels Satsuki's coming of age subplot (she's ten and like anyone that age she is self-conscious about believing in Santa, or in this case Totoro). There's a little bit of both in the culturally-shocking--though completely innocent--bath scene (both girls take a bath with their father during a wind storm).
Really, though, My Neighbor Totoro is less about story than it is about the imagination of children.
Although the animation is a little dated and a bit jerky at times, the direction is absolutely top notch. There is enough visual creativity to rival an average Hitchcock film (Miyazaki's a huge fan of Hitch: check out the long wait at the bus stop, which is reminiscent of North by Northwest). Highlights include a Mary Poppins-esque ride on an Oriental top, a beautifully animated storm, Mei's nap on the slowly rising and falling chest of the giant totoro, and a cat-bus complete with headlight eyes.
Like all Miyazaki films, this one is absolutely sacred. Some parts are
reminiscent of Laputa: Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away (and Alice
in Wonderland by extension), but Totoro stands out as probably the most
unique of them all.
The premise is nice and simple, which works brilliantly because the plot is established as a foundation without hindering the experience of the movie itself. The viewer is allowed unrestricted access and exploration of the messages offered by the film.
In addition, Totoro is not bound by any rules of traditional storytelling. Instead, it presents occurrences that touch on a fundamental human level that is so deep and profound that it will have you feeling a range of emotions. There are so many layers to this movie, each one meaningful and special. From community building to the love of a family to sibling relationships to facing the unknown; everyone can take away something personal from this movie.
Perhaps the most sacred aspect of the film, however, is that it reminds us that life is magical. Not all of us have a neighbor like Totoro, but we are all fortunate in different ways. Each of us has something to treasure, something that brings joy and comfort.
Totoro is special in that it frees the viewer to be a child again and to contemplate the world through a perspective that we have perhaps forgotten. Everything is new and interesting and beautiful, from a crumbling porch to an acorn seed. We live in a magical world, and it is definitely worth taking the time to appreciate this.
I'm a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki's work and was rather disappointed that this movie did not have the Japanese language/English subtitles option. But, I've finally seen it and must admit that it is incredibly cute. One does NOT have to be a child to enjoy this movie or any of Miyazaki's movies. The story line was good and and the characters were really touching. The totoros were so adorable that I want a plushie of one. I also loved the artwork. I finally know what some of the scenes are from in the AMVs that I've seen. I would definitely recommend this to families as well as to those who are Miyazaki fans. A definite thumbs up. Though I do wonder where Miyazaki gets some of the ideas for his characters such as that cat bus.
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