My Neighbor Totoro,1988,Japan
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Film #24 of The December Project
'My Neighbor Totoro' is the beloved brainchild of acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. After finally seeing this film is easy to see why Miyazaki and 'My Neighbor Totoro' is so wildly popular.
A young family moves to the country in order to be closer to their ill mother, The two young girls discover the spirits of the Forrest, in particular a large animal like spirit named Totoro.
I have never really watched any Japanese animation, it kind of intimidates me with its inhumane looking characters and terrifying stares, but after seeing this film, I definitely have to go back and explore Miyazaki's filmography. What a magical experience this was.
'My Neighbor Totoro' personifies everything I believe an animated child's film should be, It completely embodies fantasy and imagination, It also subtly features heartbreak and the pain of life by the use of the children's sick mother. It never paints over its issues but it is always hopeful and always portrays the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, if at times its only slim. There is also a beautiful portrayal of the bond between siblings.
I was just blown away by the power and emotional involved in this 82 minutes of film. Its a real testament to Miyazaki's storytelling abilities and his incredible imagination. The films animation is stunning for a film released in 1988, the imagery is usually stunning and powerful. Totoro is a very cute and adorable character and hes presence is always welcome. The dad in the film is the very definition of a troll dad! Before watching I had also heard of catbus, I honestly wasn't completely sure what that meant, then I saw it, A bus that was a cat,A cat that was a bus, A CAT BUS!! The literal version of the Pussy wagon in 'Kill Bill'.
'My Neighbor Totoro' is a glorious film, so beautifully imaginative and hopeful, a truly unique and heartwarming experience. I look forward to watching Miyazaki's other films because if this film is any indication, I think I will love them.