Written and Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
Produced by Toru Hara and Ned Lott (Disney version)
Plot Summary: Two girls discover a mysterious spirit named Totoro, who lives near their new home.
Significance: Often cited as Miyazaki's greatest film, it was featured in the latest Sight and Sound Poll (#154 in the critics poll and #224 in the directors one). It also won several Japanese film awards, including Best Film at the Kinema Junpo Awards and the Mainichi Film Concours.
Thoughts: Miyazaki's charming film is one for viewers of all ages. Like other Miyazaki movies, its lead characters are young, wide-eyed and innocent, and their adventures with Totoro are mystical and endearing. Actually, this might be Miyazaki's most family-oriented film, as it avoids some of the darker themes explored in films like Howl's Moving Castle, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. Frequent Miyazaki collaborator Joe Hisaishi's beautiful score provides more emotion to this moving fantasy, and the film never ceases to delight and captivate the viewer. I prefer Spirited Away, but this movie would be a great starting point for anyone who hasn't seen a Miyazaki film.
This is the eighth film in my 2014 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.
While I agree this is lighter film than something like Howl, if you look closely, you might find some darker themes referenced in Totoro as well.ReplyDelete
Their mother is always away and might even not come back home again. So there is loss, alienation. They have just moved to a new house and their father is usually busy with attending their mother. So loneliness as well. There is a good chance that Totoro is a fruit of Satsuki and Mei(How cute is she?)'s imagination to cope with all this.
But yes, it is on much lighter side and can serve as a great starting point for Ghibliverse in general.
Oh, I completely agree about the darker themes in Totoro. I just meant that it's not as dark as some of Miyazaki's other films. ;)Delete
I really need to finish off Miyazaki's filmography!
I love this movie! It is a toss up whether this or Spirited Away is my favorite Miyazaki film.ReplyDelete
Yay! Spirited Away was my first Miyazaki film, and it blew me away. I need to see the rest of his work, but I can't see anything topping Spirited Away for me.Delete
YAY!!! I love this movie SOOOOOO much, and I really didn't expect that. Such a beautiful movie. I really do need to see the rest of Miyazaki's films.ReplyDelete
It's wonderful! Not sure where it would appear on my '88 ballot, which I still need to update. It's probably my #6 film that year. Have you seen Spirited Away yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.Delete
I haven't :-(Delete
I really need to. Maybe I'll blindspot it next year!
88 is such a tremendous year for film. I still can't believe I have 2 animated films in my top 5!
Yeah, that'd be a great choice for a blindspot film.Delete
It really is. I'd put Grave of the Fireflies, which is in my top 5, ahead of Totoro, but I love both of them.
Hey, this is on my Blind Spot list too! I'm glad you liked it, I look forward to it.ReplyDelete
Ooh, hope you like it!Delete
Definitely one of Miyazaki's best films (though I prefer Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away). The way he captures youth and rural Japan is mesmerizing, and the fantasy elements are excellent as well. Glad you liked it!ReplyDelete
There's a certain feel to Miyazaki's films that's enchanting. I like Princess Mononoke a lot, but I'd put it below Totoro.Delete