Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro Was Fun

My Neighbor Totoro PosterHey all…

Lately it seems we’ve been catching up on all these classic Hiyao Miyazaki films, so My Neighbor Totoro was right up our alley.

You can see its page at IMDB here.

This film is about two girls who move to the country with their father so that they can be nearer the hospital where their mother is recouperating. While in the country, they meet some of the forest spirits, including the giant, cuddly Totoro.


My girls absolutely loved this movie. They watched it four times before we returned it to Netflix.

And I have to say it was fun. It wasn’t one of my favorite Miyazaki films (I think Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle are my two faves), but it was fun. And my 3-year old daughter really enjoyed it.

This Americanized version of this movie had Tim Daly (Wings) as the voice of the father and Dakota Fanning as the older daughter and Elle Fanning as the younger. I thought they did a great job. Evidently Disney edited and dubbed it in English in 2005, so it’s actually a fairly recent transplant to the U.S. (It was released in Japan in 1988).

The animation style was classic Miyazaki. And the characters (including the Cat Bus) were fun. Amazing how little the spirits of the forest actually say. 🙂

My Neighbor Totoro

So if you’re in the mood for some light Miyazaki entertainment, this is a great movie for the kids. A little excitement and you get to meet some very cute denizens of the forest (including the Soot Sprites, which leave a sooty mess everywhere!).

We’ll give this a solid 3/4.

Until next time, go see a movie!


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  1. This was one of my favorites when it came out. First, this is great for learning Japanese. The Japanese is very simple (compared to a lot of other Japanese movies, etc) and made for children. Second, it is a nice story and gives a good view of how country life in Japan is (other than the creatures, magic, etc… oh you get the point ;))

  2. @trench, @film-book, @andrew: It’s good to know I hit a good nerve with this movie. 🙂 We really enjoyed it and will now have to purchase it, as my daughters keep asking to watch it again!

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