I have an amazing Totoro hoodie and a badge but I had never seen the movie before. Of course I had seen images and gif’s and vines about it so I thought Totoro was adorable. However my curiosity ultimately won and I got comfy and finally watched Totoro. So without further delay let’s get down to it.
- Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy
- Length: 1 hour and 26 minutes
- Release Date: April, 1988
- Animation Studio: Studio Ghibli
- Japanese Title: Tonarinototoro となりのトトロ
Satsuki and her younger sister Mei have moved out to the country side with their father to an old house while their mother is in the Hospital recovering from a long term illness. It is said that their house is haunted after the sisters saw some Soot Sprites (susuwatari). One day Mei sees two bunny like creatures in her garden and follows them into a briar patch and into the hollow of a large camphor tree. Where upon she meets Totoro. Wanting to show Totoro to her sister and father, Mei tries to lead them to the entrance in the tree. Her father then explains that Totoro is probably a spirit guarding the forest and when he wants to he shall reveal himself again. This leads the girls on some fun adventures.
As I mentioned earlier I have never before seen Totoro so I had no idea what to expect since I did not know what this was about either. The opening song is really cute and catchy; I have it stuck on my brain now. The sisters were loud and Mei kinda bugged me but overall they were sweet. I love their father and how he is with them, #ParentingGoals. Although there are times where I watched and flinched as I thought about the reckless things the girls did and their father was either part of the recklessness or not aware of it at all. The end let me down a little as there are so many unanswered questions. I even asked ‘What was the point of this?’ I like it when a movie has a point or an aim that is clearly defined and not just a brief look into their lives. Why did they meet Totoro? Does their mother get better? Will Satsuki end up with Kanta? Will Mei ever learn restraint and what no means? Uhg, so many unanswered questions, but then I watched Totoro under the umbrella a few times and I no longer cared so much about the answers, although I would still like to get them.
The umbrella scene with Totoro is my favourite of the entire movie. I usually watch sub but this time around I went ahead and watched the dubbed version which I am glad to say was not bad at all. Watching this movie now, especially after all the more recent anime, the artwork is clearly dated which usually puts me off the older stuff. However this time around the older styled animation was charming and I was strangely glad. There was very little character development but you do get to see a deeper side of the girls. I really liked the chivalrous side to Kanta. When he tried to give Satsuki his umbrella, oh be still my beating heart. I suspect I also had a childish grin on my face at that moment too.
I enjoyed this movie, which surprised me. I would recommend it but only to those I know who are happy with slice of life type anime. I wouldn’t recommend it to someone who lives for action and anime fights unless I know that they also enjoy a calmer story.
Have you watched My Neighbour Totoro? If so, what did you think of it? If not, will you watch it? I would love to know your thoughts in the comments below!