Great Films Hunting

Will I find them or will I die trying?

My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)

totoro (2)

There’s nothing intelligent in this film, (it doesn’t need to be). It doesn’t make you dumb by watching it either. What you get from My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is a sheer exuberance of what life can offer in the person of two sisters, Satsuki and Mei, who getacquainted by forest spirits.

The film does not occupy a familiar structure, but still manages to connect to our hearts. Most commonly, when something extraordinary happens to a mundane life of the character, what happens next is series of adventurous and changing events in redefining the status quo of story. Take for instance Harry Potter when Hagrid visits him and tells him he is a wizard, or when Frodo is entrusted for the ring. Although we still get an adventure (a one of a kind too), this film does not rely on conflict to move the plot story forward. The film somehow manages to make the mundane magical, without being exaggerated, at least in terms of narrative.


The characters are lovable and life-like. We get the best of Mei’s curiosity and Satsuki’s caring personality. I am not saying this in disdain. The film is catered for children, but adults or any age bracket can easily enjoy this film. The major player in this story is the adorable Totoro. I have seen several Miyazaki films, and by far this I like most of his creative invention. He seldom talks, but his presence in screen makes you feel good. I bet no one can resist his charisma. Take for instance the bus stop scene. Droplets keep falling down to Totoro’s nose, and it makes a cutesy (I don’t what else to describe it) sound. That made my day.

We have also the Catbus, another cutesy character. (There was also a 13 minute sequel entitled Mei and the Kittenbus, but it was not release in home video. So, I doubt I can ever watch it, but mind you I’d forcefully have it if the chance shows itself.) Even though only few creatures or inventions are shown here compared to the other films of Miyazaki such as Laputa: Castle in the Sky and Spirited Away, they are more than enough to make your day.


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This entry was posted on May 13, 2013 by in Japan and tagged , , , , .
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