My Neighbor Totoro [WS] [Special Edition] [2 Discs] on DVD
This superbly animated children's tale is directed by Hayao Miyazaki, one of Japan's most beloved animators. The story follows Satsuke and Mei, two young girls who find that their new country home is in a mystical forest inhabited by a menagerie of mystical creatures called Totoros. They befriend O Totoro, the biggest and eldest Totoro, who is also the king of the forest. As their girls' mother lies sick in the hospital, O Totoro brings the sisters on a magical adventure but also helps them to understand the realities of life. Like most films released by Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli, this family-oriented feature has a powerful ecological theme. The English-language version of this film wasn't dubbed until many years later, explaining the presence of actors such as Dakota Fanning in the cast (who wasn't even born until 1994). ~ Jonathan E. Laxamana, Rovi
The World of Ghibli - Visit My Neighbor Totoro In This Imaginative Interactive Experience!
Enter The Lands - Meet the Characters and Hear the Story of the Movie
Behind The Studio - Discover the Film's Inspiration Through Documentaries, including new Interviews with Hayao Miyazaki
Storyboard Presentation of the Movie
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In the world of Hayao Miyazaki, the curiosity of two sisters drives the narrative for a story that seems created purely for the sake of whimsical pleasure. There are no villains, and the family actually cares for each other. What's more, the imagination of little girls in the natural and spiritual world is encouraged and celebrated. While unheard of in an American animated adventure, all these elements create a joyous family film that is lighthearted fun for children, yet full of enough nuance to please an adult audience. With Miyazaki's hand-drawn style of sweeping backgrounds and fuzzy creatures, the simple exploration of a backyard is transformed into a magical journey. Unlike typical Disney films, the children's antics never seem contrived or fall into a battle-against-adults storyline. My Neighbor Totoro embraces the creativity inherent in a little girl's play time, while honoring it with the subtle details of a dramatic work. The features of Totoro and the Cat Bus are rendered lovingly, and the family is portrayed as a positive and comforting presence. However, My Neighbor Totoro is not a sugar-coated fantasy; some scenes portray the very real-life fears of being alone at night at a bus stop and being separated from an ill loved one. There are also some humorous bits that reveal a careful observation of children, as well as some genuinely inspiring moments in keeping with the ecological themes Miyazaki frequently returns to. This film does not suffer from a lack of conflict; it succeeds as an adventure fueled by the innocence and wonder of a little girl. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi