Prayer Focus
Movie Review

My Neighbor Totoro

(TONARI NO TOTORO)

Reviewed by: Caleb Thiessen
CONTRIBUTOR

Better than Average
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
All Ages
Genre:
Animation/Fantasy
Length:
1 hr. 26 min.
Year of Release:
1988

Starring: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto | Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki | Produced by: Yasoyoshi Tokuma | Written by: Hayao Miyazaki | Distributor: Fiftieth St. Films, Div. of Troma Inc.

I’m very happy to be writing this review. Why? Because “My Neighbor Totoro” happens to be my all-time favorite cartoon. It was released by Fox here in North America in 1994 and is becoming a little hard to come by. Disney will be re-releasing it in October 2002 (from what I’ve heard anyway) along with two other Miyazaki films.

Created by legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki (“Princess Mononoke,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service”), “Totoro” is a delightful romp back through childhood. It is the story of two children, one named Satsuki (age 10) and the other named Mei (age 5) and their adventures with a creature called Totoro. It is a very happy movie and terribly cute too.

Satsuki, Mei and their father (mother is in the hospital with a disease of some sort) move to a small rural area near Tokyo, and one day while Satsuki is in school, Mei happens upon a small white creature which leads her to a giant sleeping Totoro. She proceeds to fall asleep on his stomach and when she awakes he’s gone! Needless to say, Satsuki is very excited for Mei and wants very much to see Totoro herself! She gets her chance and Totoro shows them all sorts of magical things!

As for offensive elements, this film is relatively clean. There is talk of spirits (the Totoro is a spirit that only young children see), and a Bathing scene (nothing is shown).

You should talk to your children about the content of this movie, although I tend to think that the creatures exist only in the children’s imagination.

Definitely one of the best cartoons ever, “My Neighbor Totoro” will entertain all ages,seriously! There was not one member in my family who didn’t fall in love with it.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—This is one of my favorite movies. I grew up with it as a child (I randomly picked it of the shelf in the movie store). I now own it on dvd and still enjoy it even as a teenager (it scares my friends). My Neighbor Totoro is an incredible movie. See it. You’ll love it.
My Ratings: [Better than Average/5]
—Adam, age 14