My Neighbour Totoro View large image

Film Details

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Produced: 1988

Countries & Regions: Japan

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Length: 90 mins

Format: DVD

Region: Region 2

Released: 27 March 2006

Cat No: OPTD0290

Anamorphic (16:9)
Languages(s): Japanese, English
Subtitles: English
Interactive Menu
Dolby Digital 2.0

Moviemail Details

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My Neighbour Totoro

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Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. When their mother is taken ill, two young girls move to the... Read More




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Japanese animated feature from Studio Ghibli, directed by Hayao Miyazaki. When their mother is taken ill, two young girls move to the country with their father to spend more time with her while she recuperates. As they explore their surroundings, young Mei (voice of Chika Sakamoto) starts to believe that the nearby forest is inhabited by magical creatures. At first her sister Satsuki (Noriko Hidaka) refuses to believe her, but before long the two girls are having magical adventures with the Totoros, the magical protectors of the forest.

Miyazaki's small but perfectly formed film eschews the wide, dark canvases of Nausicca and Princess Mononoke for a much lighter world. It's a delight to watch, with little overt drama but much to hold your interest.

One summer, a university professor moves his two young daughters, Mei and Satsuki, to a new home in the Japanese countryside so that they can be near their hospital-bound mother. In time, they make friends with the titular Totoro, a huge furry troll with a demented, wide-mouthed grin. He doesn't say much (only growls), and we only meet him a few times - such is the scope of the film.

The pleasures of the film are many. The animation and soundtrack perfectly evoke the rural Japanese setting. The spirits and creatures we meet are strange, otherworldly yet impossibly charming. And simply watching the girls run around, imbuing their world with optimism and magic is worth your time on its own.

Totoro achieves a consistency of tone and quality sometimes lacking from Miyazaki's more ambitious work. While at first glance it may appear to be a slight, family-orientated film, it is richly rewarding with cross-generational appeal, much like Pixar's best work.

As a nostalgic film about the universal experience of family and imagination during early childhood, My Neighbour Totoro has few rivals. The heartfelt discoveries and anxieties of two young girls form the compelling focus of a story which sees no need for conflict. The director lingers upon visual detail with an unhurried naturalism appropriate to the idyllic summertime setting, and yet there is a wealth of visually spectacular moments that allow us all to experience bursts of imagination as young children do. That such an uncommonly gentle animated film is found utterly absorbing by children of all ages is remarkable too. In his native Japan My Neighbour Totoro is the most famous film of animator Hayao Miyazaki, and the UK release should show a new audience why it is also the most adored.

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