A Childhood Favorite: Totoro!

Year: 1988
Rating: G
Duration: 88 minutes

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While reminiscing through baby photo books I came upon these tiny stickers of random and old cartoons and a vague memory of sticking on a particular set I got as a mystery prize from a noodles pack when I was about five years old caught my attention. I had to ask my mom about it and it surprised her how could I ever forget  THAT movie when I was practically watching it almost everyday at the toddling age of two! I guess mothers expect us to remember something like that. I definitely had to rewatch this again and boy did I not regret doing that. It has become one of the most beloved of all family films without ever having been much promoted or advertised.

To-to-ro? You’re Totoro!… I bet you’re Totoro…

My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ Tonari no Totoro) is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by the Oscar winning Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. This one is their classic plus you it’s on most SG movie introductions with the blue background and an outline of Totoro.

The story revolves around a family moving to the countryside during postwar rural Japan. Here we meet two siblings Satsuko (the eldest) and Mei (the plump kid). The adventurous one Mei,discovers creatures during her explorations from adorable black dust creatures to new friends (they’re not the only individuals in the story and finally Totoro itself (Is it a boy or a girl? I have no idea.)

totoro6It seems that the reason they moved so far away was because of their Mom undergoing some treatment for some mysterious illness. The sisters do their best to cope with the new surroundings while enjoying their childhood. Mei the younger of the two seems to be the outgoing and chases after uberly cute creatures and falls deeper into the woods where she encounters and gets to be friends with the big fluffy grey huggable monstrosity!

Trees and people used to be good friends.

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The sisters get to meet Totoro during several instances and the trio (along with its tiny comrades) magically grow large trees and soar to heights unknown to have a really good time! Overall it’s a fun movie to watch especially when you have little ones running around the house. It may seem a bit scary on some scenes but rest assured there are no heartstoppers.

Classics like these are drawn a frame at a time with the Miyazaki himself contributing to tens of thousands of the frames. The look and feel of the movie makes you reminisce of sunny childhood carefree days. The storyline is excellent without the use of violence and conflicts. It evokes the feeling of being family oriented and the simple life as already a safe haven for those too busy with the constantly moving world.

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