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.