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My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Japanese)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki (86 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (92%), IMDB (8.2), Wikipedia, Amazon, Roger Ebert.

Watch online: WatchAnimeMovie.

Similar movies: anime, childhood, joyful.

Summary: A lovely movie by Hayao Miyazaki! A father moves with his two young daughters (eight and four) into a house in the woods. The kids spend time with a granny, explore the forest, meet Totoro and eagerly await their mother who is sick in a hospital. Throughout the movie, they are playing around and laughing. There are moments of fear and anxiety too but they are part of routine life. I loved the fearsome looking but benign "Cat Bus". Overall, the more I think of the movie, the happier I feel :)

In both Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro, Miyazaki blends real life with fantasy very smoothly. They made me think: what is real and what is imaginary in the experience of a child? Everything is magic!

Roger Ebert's rave review is insightful. He contrasts American anime with Japanese anime. Worth reading.

My Neighbor Totoro is among the 50 Films You Should See By the Age of 14, a list made by British Film Institute in 2005 after consulting 70 experts.

 

1 Jan 2013
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