Tonari no Totoro

Title:Tonari no Totoro
My Neighbor Totoro
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio Ghibli
HIROSE Masashi
R1 License - GKIDS
TAKAGI Hitoshi
WASHIO Machiko
Two sisters (Satsuki and Mei) and their father move into a new house in the country while their mother is in the hospital. Near their house, they discover a colony of Totoros -- benevolent, magical, furry creatures that come in all sizes.
[Movie, 1988, 86 min]
1:58min Movie Trailer - YouTube Video
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 9 8 8 8 Ggultra2764 [series:391#1552]
My Neighbor Totoro is a fun, simple movie that children will surely enjoy. It has a decent amount of charm and the plot is perhaps the least complex and lightest plot I've come across in a Ghibli movie. There are no antagonists, life-bound decisions, or coming-of-age trials in this film. Just a simple look into the lives of Satsuki and Mei as they spend time with their father, interact with the Totoros, and have some drama with their mother's hospital stay. While I don't have any issues with the movie per say, I did feel a little alienated watching it considering the film felt geared for kids.

Totoro's visuals are as colorful and full of detail as you expect from a Ghibli film. The soundtrack of the movie felt whimsical and carefree which fit the essence of childhood you would get out of this movie quite well.

This is a decent and wholesome title from Studio Ghibli that is bound to please children for it's cute and whimsical moments.

Last updated Thursday, August 28 2008. Created Thursday, August 28 2008.
Buy 9 9 10 8 8 DillonSOB [series:391#1352]
I've seen many Miyazaki films, and surprisingly I enjoyerd this one the most. This realization is somewhat out of character, since my favorite animes are GITS series, Ninja Scroll, VHD, Texhnolyze, and Berserk. I guess to keep it simple, it is the 'cutest' movie I've ever seen. Amazingly, i was able to stomach it all without finding it corny. Very few films embrace and embody the nuanced, genuine nature of 'family love', but this film soars where so many idealized, unrealistic American sitcoms and family classics have failed. Totoro did have some magical 'Disney moments' (both artistically and emotionally moving), like when Belle dances with the Beast, or Aladdin goes on the magic carpet ride. In tradition with other Miyazaki flicks you may have seen, the scenes are so zany & impossible to describe that I'll just let you see it for yourself. :) But when Totoro and the girls help the giant tree sprout in their garden, my heart skipped a beat.
This film is a nostalgic masterpiece, and anyone of any culture can relate some aspects of the film to their own childhood. The granny reminded me so much of my own gentle grandmother, and I could almost feel her presence a decade after her passing. If your family has ever had to care for an infirmed loved one, you well know that the girls' latent tension that eventually erupts into frustrated sorrow, and the forced, uncomfortable optimism (like pretending everything is ok and they had to keep living normally waiting for mommy to get better) is very real.
The two girls display such a zest for life, enthusiasm for the simplest excitement, active imagination, and a tender affection for the other characters. We all remember feeling that way during moments of our youth. I sometimes wonder when those sentiments disappeared and the realities of modern life turned me into a mundane adult! Now I know why other reviewers admitted that they cried during this film, probably from the memory of a carefree, simpler time. I'm happy that Miyazaki's work was able to touch us so genuinely, and we are all very grateful to feel the splendor of childhood again, if only for a couple hours.
And hands-down, Totoro is the cutest, warmest animated character of all time. He puts Mickey, Barney, and Pokemon to shame.

Last updated Wednesday, October 06 2004. Created Wednesday, October 06 2004.
Rent 8 8 7 7 8 Devil Doll [series:391#752]
[Score: 75%]
  • Drama: Med (much higher than you'd expect from the first impression)
  • Comedy: Low (cutesy but very few actual laughs, and it gets depressing at times)
  • Action: Low (but Ghibli's movement scenes are a blast)
  • SciFi: Med (Totoro may be a monster but he's no main character)
  • Ecchi: None (unless you count a scene of a father bathing together with his children)
One of the earlier Miyazaki Hayao works, this one already contains all the elements that can be found in his later works like Mimi wo Sumaseba or Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi. I am referencing these two because Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi might be closest to the story level while Shizuku from Sumaseba might well be a twin sister of Sasuki, the older girl of this story (Ghibli doesn't just have his own drawing style, they are somehow reusing their character designs as well...). But actually this story contains fairy tale elements as well as real-life problems...

One thing that's so special about Miyazaki movies is that they can contain long sections where actually nothing "happens", yet the audience is kept watching at all the nice little details that are shown. In Mimi wo Sumaseba this is the cat scene, in this movie it is basically all Totoro scenes (including the long closing scene with the cat bus).

Compared to the other Ghibli stories I've watched so far I am lacking the story development a little, which is probably caused by the short time span shown in this movie. But the time span we are shown about, say, Chihiro isn't any longer yet there's much more happening and the characters aren't as static as they are shown here.

All in all another nice fairy tale story for the younger audience, as well as a heartwarming story about a family holding together in not so easy times. Watch this one together with your kids.
As a side note, this movie seems to be immensely successful in Japan, ranking 3rd on Asahi TV's all time most success full anime productions - beaten only by Doraemon and Dragonball.

Last updated Thursday, August 28 2008. Created Thursday, September 02 2004.
Buy 10 10 10 10 10 10 Devious [series:391#579]
That is a beautiful story, sipmly i love all anime from ghibli studio, or atleast those i have seen (Tonari..., Spirited away, princess mononoke, grave of the fireflies) still when i see i get a tears in my eyes (even though this is not a sad story) when i see Totoro, when i see the cat bus, when i see these sisters laugh, when i see them play, and most when i see them at the bus stop with Totoro and they give the umbrella to him/her. Maybe it reminds me of my childhood that i so deeply miss.
also i think the artwork i lovely to this anime. I come from Denmark, and in Denmark Anime is not shown very often in the TV (which i miss a lot) but this was shown on TV.
The story is great, the father is a dream father. The way he convince Mei that Totoro exsists, and he may not even belive her, that is sooo great.
Every tiny piece of this film is really great.
This is surely a must (and i can recommend the Ghibli studio Archive DVD set, even though i dont have it, you get 11 animes from Ghibli studio and a music video, all on 6 DVD's)

Last updated Thursday, March 13 2003. Created Thursday, March 13 2003.
Buy 9 9 9 10 10 9 Sesen Kelader [series:391#471]
What's great about Miyakaki Hayao's Animes is that most of them are suitable for all ages, yet at different ages one would receive thoughts and feelings from his animes. The first time I watched Tonari no Totoro was 10 years ago (1992). At that time all I thought about Totoro is that it's so fun! And totoro's are cute. Right now I'm also 20. When I watch totoro now, I find it's idea of family bond, human kindness, and the warmness of the nature. The interaction between Totoro and the main characters are so touching and humurous. It's the ideal connection between humans and nature. And each character's traditional, shy, but lovely personality gives me great enjoyment. Miyazaki's animes are ones that can bear tremendous amount of thoughts into 1 or two hour-long stories that would release different feelings when one watches it at different ages.

Last updated Thursday, January 02 2003. Created Thursday, January 02 2003.
Buy Anonymous #434 [series:391#434]
Tonari no Totoro , Japanese Animation movie, is very pretty and so heartwarming written by Hayao Miyazaki.The main character is wonder animal.

His name is Totoro. He looks like a big cat and he has a big mouth. He looks very soft because he has fur. Also he looks very cute when he smiles. He is really wonderful and everyone can see he is so sweet. He lives in a mountain. A family moved to the country. A father, and two daughters. Their mother is in the hospital. They started to live in an old house. When daughters, Satsuki & Mei , were cleaning rooms, they saw many black small curious animals. One day, younger sister, Mei was playing by herself, she saw small Totoros. Then she followed them. Then she reached to Totoro. One rainy day, Satsuki & Mei went to bus stop to wait for their father, because he did not bring an umbrella. While they were waiting, Satsuki met Totoro. (Mei was sleeping.)Totoro did not have an umbrella, he just put a leaf on his head. So Satsuki lent him her fathers umbrella. One day, their mothers hospital sent a letter. Satsuki read the letter, because her father was working. They worried about her mother so much. Then younger sister, Mei tried to go to hospital by herself. But she lost her way. Then everyone in the village was looking for her, but nobody could find her. Then Satsuki tried to meet TotoroThey are not always meet Totoro. Could she meet? Could she find her sister, Mei?

The movie lets us think a feeling what we felt when we were children. Then we start to think if Totoro is real or not. When the movie finished, I think that almost people hope that there is Totoro somewhere in the earth.I love this movie because the movie gives me fresh feeling. Also the movie let me think about relationship between animal and nature. But my biggest reason is the movie lets me remember when I was little child. People who want to remember when they were children should watch. Also people who want to dream time should watch.

Last updated Tuesday, November 26 2002. Created Tuesday, November 26 2002.

Buy 8 7 8 8 Kaitou Juliet [series:391#137]

This is a charming movie, although the artwork suffers a bit compared with Kiki's Delivery Service, which I watched right before Totoro. However, the magical atmosphere makes up for it. Remember when you were little, and it seemed that figures from your favorite stories really might be hiding behind the bushes in your yard, just waiting for you to find them? This movie effortlessly captures that feeling, and it has the leisurely pace of a summer day. It's amazing how it manages to be so entertaining without having any evil or antagonistic characters.

This movie is appropriate for all ages. I could imagine really little kids being scared by the Totoros, since the biggest one has big teeth and roars a lot. But they're cuddly, really! About the only other thing that might raise some eyebrows is a short scene where the two girls take a bath together with their father. But this is a common practice in Japan and it's a totally innocent scene.

Last updated Friday, August 16 2002. Created Monday, March 11 2002.

Other Sites
Totoro page at
A great site! Synopsis, translations, FAQ, and tons of links.

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