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Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki made this gorgeous, delightful feature about two young sisters who move to rural Japan and start having magical advenures with a giant, friendly forest spirit called Totoro. The enchantment spreads as the girls are introduced to such wonders as a "cat bus" (a big bus that looks like a cat), but the film is also just as winning for the ordinary things Miyazaki captures: meeting neighbors, getting to know a new house from the perspective of excited children, etc. Little kids love this movie, and adults can easily appreciate it, too. Voices have been dubbed into English. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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If you're not familiar with Studio Ghibli, or Hayao Miyazaki, collectively, they are responsible for a large number of blockbuster Japanese animation films. Studio Ghibli's movies are only beginning to gain a presence in the North American market, in spite of the fact that they have been released years ago. Many have been influenced by these movies including John Lasseter, director of Pixar's A Bug's Life and the Toy Story series. He calls Miyazaki's works as being "the most inspirational films".
This movie is about a father and his two daughters who have moved into a new house located in a rural village. While the mother is in the hospital, the two girls begin to explore the surroundings of their new dwelling. In one unexpected chance, Mei discovers a Totoro. Without spoiling too much, the film explores the encounter and their subsequent meetings.
Although the plot does not seem overly complex, it needn't be. It takes a simple plot and still manages to capture your interest.
Intertwined with a great soundtrack, this movie is for anyone. I would greatly encourage anyone to delve into the Studio Ghibli world of animation.
The Japanese version contained a lot more: 1:85:1 anamorphic video, both Japanese (Dolby Surround 2.0) and English (Dolby 1.0) soundtracks and subtitles, 15 minutes featurette, storyboard-to-film comparison, opening and end sequence without the text, 20 minutes "Mitaka No Mori Ghibli Museum" featurette, 3 trailers of Totoro, and trailers for several other Ghibli films.
What makes this movie so good? Made by Studio Gibli and it's co-founder, Hayao Miyazaki (called the Walt Disney of Japan). It's a virtually perfect blend of family, detail and fantasy all rolled into one! It starts out with two sisters and their father moving into a run-down rural house that they've rented for the summer. Then slowly ups the ante that there may be more to this house than meets the eyes as the little sister starts to see little critters that no one else can see! She's absolutely adorable.
In fact this is one of the best parts of Ghibli movies; their characters are all so absolutely real. The little sister looks like, acts like, throws tantrums like, explores like just any little pre-schooler would. Then throw in the older sister who's trying to take care of her, the house and their father while their mother is away in the hospital fighting some unknown illness and you can just feel the realism and the family dynamics. Then when the older sister also starts to see things that shouldn't exist and discovers the guardian of the forest is a big gentle giant by the name of Totoro; it really gets to be both exciting and fun at the same time with magical cat buses, dust bunnies that can actually move and all sorts of magical adventures!Read more ›
One of Miyazaki's gifts is how he captures the mannerisms of children, especially little girls. The boisterous innocence of how the sisters laugh and play, however, does not mean they are not capable of deep sensitivity. Indeed, the serious part of this story is that their mother is sick in a hospital.
The new house and new neighbors provide many adventures for the girls, who soon discover the friendly and magical Shinto spirits who dwell in the nearby woods. Like an old-fashioned European fairy-tale, the spirits, who would normally be hidden, respond to the girl's kindness. One especially memorable scene happens when the girls are waiting at the rural bus stop for their father to come home from visiting his wife.
From a summer sky suddenly dark and about to burst with rain, to a slow setting of the sun, the animation in Totoro is amazing in it's simplicity. The quiet nature scenes are extremely relaxing for adults, who will become nostalgic for their childhood while viewing this classic.
One scene is deeply moving and speaks of the bonds that can form between people who aren't even related. It is of an old woman praying fervently for the little sister, who has become lost while trying to find her way to her mother. This scene, and the climactic ending, will touch your heart.
Most recent customer reviews
Product was in excellent condition. My Neighbor Totoro is my favourite family movie, I've watched it more then five times and had to buy it for myself. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Scarlett
Best anime that my family has seen so far! What a beautiful , gentle and spirited story for children and adults. Read morePublished 1 month ago by L.K.
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