Rinema is the best way to share movies you love.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

aka Tonari no Totoro

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 86 mins · Japanese · G (USA)

Trailers:

From your network:

Signin to view reviews from people you are following.

From Everybody:

Loveable

I was already a fan of Miyazaki's before watching this movie. After watching it, I am in love with his storytelling and genius at telling beautiful and simple stories surrounding children with magical elements.
At times, it felt long watching it, but that seems to be normal with other films by Asian filmmakers such as In A Mood for Love and Rashomon. However, the pacing feels natural and it suits the director. The characters are loveable instantly and will fill you with childlike wonder you thought you could never get back. Miyazaki does not necessarily put much conflict into his movies. People seem to be happy and get along and instead he fills them with curiosity and personal empowerment. That is the same with this one. The conflict with the main character and the world around her could have been amplified. Their fear for their mother was something I did not personally feel. However, I still loved watching this movie and am glad it is a part of my DVD collection and remains to be a ...(more)

I was already a fan of Miyazaki's before watching this movie. After watching it, I am in love with his storytelling and genius at telling beautiful and simple stories surrounding children with magical elements.
At times, it felt long watching it, but that seems to be normal with other films by Asian filmmakers such as In A Mood for Love and Rashomon. However, the pacing feels natural and it suits the director. The characters are loveable instantly and will fill you with childlike wonder you thought you could never get back. Miyazaki does not necessarily put much conflict into his movies. People seem to be happy and get along and instead he fills them with curiosity and personal empowerment. That is the same with this one. The conflict with the main character and the world around her could have been amplified. Their fear for their mother was something I did not personally feel. However, I still loved watching this movie and am glad it is a part of my DVD collection and remains to be a staple in animated films and in any part of a film lover's life. (less)

1 like
  Comment
Gravatar
420 chars remaining..!!

A Creative, Cute Cartoon

My Neighbour Totoro is an odd specimen, for Totoro is not the mian character, nor does he show up all that often in the movie. Rather, this is very much a slice of life flick, one of Miyzaki's specialties, exploring the psychie of a pair of young girls as they learn to live in their new home while their mother is recovering in the hospital. Despite how stereotypical that set-up sounds, there really isn't a single train of thought or plot for most of the movie, beyond the plight that takes up the last 20 minutes or so of the film. Rather, we are shown the every day things, which is fresh and fun. In fact, that's really what this film is all about; fun. The art is colorful and playful, the scenario, while silly, is enjoyable enough, if only because of the upbeat attitude, and, ultimately, its a film that should be experienced. It does end suddenly, and the art style and lack of plot will scare away some, but, for an early Miyazaki film, it's an enjoyable time.

Strangely low rating for a generally positive review?

I appreciate what it stands for and what it is, but I simply don't enjoy it. I feel like Howl's Moving Castle and other such films capture this theme in a more creative and interesting manner.

Gravatar
420 chars remaining..!!
gave

(Review written in 2010)

It’s my firm belief that Hayao Miyazaki can do no wrong. I don’t know how I went so long without seeing this perfect, perfect movie. With a lot of the movies I’ve called “perfect” throughout my reviews, I was kidding (even just a tiny bit), but this movie really is perfect, and not only in my eyes. You become so involved with the characters, and so wrapped up in the story, that you forget your own troubles for a while. And that’s the definition of a perfect movie.

Gravatar
420 chars remaining..!!

Cast:

No_movie_poster Postal messenger
No_movie_poster Totoro
No_movie_poster Mei Kusakabe
No_movie_poster Tatsuo Kusakabe
No_movie_poster Yasuko Kusakabe
No_movie_poster Kanta no obâsan
No_movie_poster Woman on tractor
No_movie_poster Catbus
No_movie_poster
No_movie_poster Mowing man
No_movie_poster Elementary school teacher
No_movie_poster Man on tractor
No_movie_poster Nanny
No_movie_poster Satsuki Kusakabe

Crew:

Small Hayao Miyazaki Director
No_movie_poster Mark Henley Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Joe Hisaishi Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Takeshi Seyama Editor
No_movie_poster Yasuyoshi Tokuma Executive Producer
No_movie_poster Tohru Hara Producer
No_movie_poster Ned Lott Production
Small Hayao Miyazaki Writer
No_movie_poster Takeshi Seyama Editing

Plot:



In 1958 Japan, university professor Tatsuo Kusukabe and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, move into an old house to be closer to the hospital where their mother Yasuko is recovering from a long-term illness. Satsuki and Mei find that the house is inhabited by tiny animated dust creatures called susuwatari—small, dark, dust-like house spirits seen when moving from light to dark places. When the girls become comfortable in their new house and laugh with their father, the soot spirits (called "black soots" in early subtitles and "soot sprites" in the later English dubbed version) leave the house to drift away on the wind. It is implied that they are going to find another empty house--their natural habitat.


One day, Mei sees two white, rabbit-like ears in the grass and follows the ears under the house. She discovers two small magical creatures (chibi or "dwarf" totoro and chu or "medium" totoro), who lead her through a briar patch and into the hollow of a large camphor tree. She meets and befriends a larger version of the same kind of spirit (? or "large" totoro), which identifies itself by a series of roars that she interprets as "Totoro" (in the original version, this stems from Mei's mispronunciation of the word for "troll"). She falls asleep atop the large totoro, but when Satsuki finds her, she is on the ground in a dense briar clearing. Despite her many attempts, Mei is unable to show her family Totoro's tree. Her father comforts her by telling her that this is the "keeper of the forest," and that Totoro will reveal himself when he wants to.


One rainy night, the girls are waiting for their father's bus and grow worried when he does not arrive on the bus they expect him on. As they wait, Mei eventually falls asleep on Satsuki's back and Totoro appears beside them, allowing Satsuki to see him for the first time. He only has a leaf on his head for protection against the rain, so Satsuki offers him the umbrella she had taken along for her father. Totoro is delighted at both the shelter and the sounds made upon it by falling raindrops. In return, he gives her a bundle of nuts and seeds. A bus-shaped giant cat halts at the stop, and Totoro boards it, taking the umbrella. Shortly after, their father’s bus arrives.


The girls plant the seeds. A few days later, they awaken at midnight to find Totoro and his two miniature colleagues engaged in a ceremonial dance around the planted nuts and seeds. The girls join in, whereupon the seeds sprout, and then grow and combine into an enormous tree. Totoro takes his colleagues and the girls for a ride on a magical flying top. In the morning, the tree is gone, but the seeds have indeed sprouted.


The girls find out that a planned visit by Yasuko has to be postponed because of a setback in her treatment. Satsuki, disappointed and worried, angrily yells at Mei and stomps off. Mei decides to walk to the hospital to bring some fresh corn to her mother.


Mei's disappearance prompts Satsuki and the neighbors to search for her. Eventually, Satsuki returns in desperation to the camphor tree and pleads for Totoro's help. Delighted to be of assistance, he summons the Catbus, which carries her to where the lost Mei sits. Having rescued her, the Catbus then whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in the hospital. The girls perch in a tree outside of the hospital, overhearing a conversation between their parents and discovering that she has been kept in hospital by a minor cold and is otherwise doing well. They secretly leave the ear of corn on the windowsill, where it is discovered by the parents, and return home on the Catbus. When the Catbus departs, it disappears from the girls' sight.


In the end credits, Mei and Satsuki's mother return home, and the sisters play with other children, with Totoro and his friends as unseen observers.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1988-04-16 : Japan

Theatrical : 1993-05-07 : United States of America

DVD : 2010-05-15 : Mexico

DVD : 2006-03-27 : United Kingdom

DVD : 2007-11-14 : Poland

2005-10-23 : United States of America