My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
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Critic Reviews for My Neighbor Totoro
Despite these limits, My Neighbor Totoro is a gentle and affirming film.
Miyazaki's appreciation of miraculous possibilities and childhood visions is what drives Totoro.
The world the characters inhabit is less expressionist than impressionist, blessed with a delicate evocation of natural light and color that subtly incorporates Miyazaki's environmentalism.
Obviously aimed at an international audience, the film evinces a disorienting combination of cultures that produces a nowhere land more confused than fascinating.
Audience Reviews for My Neighbor Totoro
The film that launched legendary animation director Hayao Miyazaki on the road to success and there's a reason why: it is simply a delightful masterpiece that demonstrates Miyazaki at his absolute best. In terms of plot this flick can be summed up in a single sentence (Two innocent little girls move into a rural town where they encounter the lovable forest spirit: Totoro) and there are zero conflicts or villains to speak of. This sounds off-putting at first but upon watching; the simplicity of the plot is what contributes to Totoro's charm. Instead of focusing on plot, the film follows the various life situations faced by the film's adorable and lifelike little girls in the form of Satsuki and Mei. Most of the situations involve the two sisters settling down into their new homes and meeting their neighbors (both human and spirit). Sometimes the film is funny, sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's wondrous, and quite sad a few times but it all is held together by how it stays true to the essence of life in general. Kazuo Oga's beautiful background art gives great nuance to the forest settings and emits a warm nostalgic feel of nature's beauty. Even though some zany fantasy elements persist in the film (one highlight is the crazy but awesome cat-bus), the film never loses its sense of realism or emotional center. The big, silent, and playful Totoro is immediately endearing and it is very clear how he became the Winnie the Pooh of Japan. The animation is absolutely exquisite and the music is simply wonderful. Sure to leave a smile and warm fuzzy feeling in anybody (If it didn't then you have no soul).
No plot and a little slow, but super cute and fun.
An enchanting movie for children, so beautiful in its wonderful simplicity, innocence and sweetness that it feels like almost impossible not to be touched by such an adorable story devoid of clichés and with no need to rely on villains or contrived conflicts.
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