One of Studio Ghibli’s most well known films, My Neighbor Totoro has become so iconic that the titular giant, cuddly spirit, Totoro, has become synonymous with the studio.
So, with its fame, it was naturally the next Ghibli film I had to watch after the fantastic Castle in the Sky.
And, while I liked Castle in the Sky more, My Neighbor Totoro is still a good film for very different reasons.
Once again directed by Hayao Miyazaki, the film follows two of the probably most energetic kids ever animated, sisters Satsuki (Noriko Hidaka) and Mei (Chika Sakamoto), who move with their father (Tatsuo Kusakabe) to the countryside to be near their sick mother, who is in a hospital.
There, they come across many friendly spirits, most notable of which is, of course, Totoro (Hitoshi Takagi).
What follows is a slice of life film that is full of plenty of laughs and feel good moments.
This is much more tame and kid oriented compared to Castle in the Sky, not that there’s anything wrong with it because a lot of the child friendly humor had me chuckling.
Honestly, I found the kids reactions to the spirits to be the best part of the film.
The scene where Satsuki first meets Totoro at a bus stop in the rain is quite humorous in how she reacts to seeing the big guy.
The animation is also solid, although I did feel the story took a while to actually get going, even if I was entertained by the character interaction.
But, once Totoro is finally introduced, the film picks up with plenty of heart warming moments.
I have to ask though, did anyone else get a little creeped out by the giant cat bus, or was it just me?
Jokes aside, My Neighbor Totoro is another solid Studio Ghibli film, with the iconic character of Totoro bringing a lot of highlights.