Sometimes what you need is a warm fuzzy. Well, they don’t get much fuzzier than this, do they?
What is it?
My Neighbor Totoro is an animated feature crafted by our old friend, Hayao Miyazaki. (Spoiler alert: This is the final Miyazaki film on this year’s list.)
What kind of story is it?
A family moves out to the countryside. While there, the young daughters meet magical creatures. Or do they?
Why do you like it?
Totoro is just a feel-good, warm-fuzzy, adorable work of art. The soot sprites are cute. The various Totoro creatures are cute, even the big occasionally-loud one. The catbus is a joy to behold.
Idyllic scenery and quiet pursuits pervade the film. It’s beautiful and soothing and delightful.
What might one not like about it?
To say that it’s leisurely in pace is to put it mildly, and there’s very little resembling high drama. For some, these are selling points. For others, maybe not so much.
Other thoughts about it?
Due to circumstances, the version I’m most familiar with is the Streamline dub. I’m not sure if I ever got around to checking out the later Disney dub. Funny, that.
Let’s be real: If you’ve paid attention to anime at all in your life then you’ve been exposed to iconic imagery from this film. While Castle of Cagliostro is a great adventure yarn and Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind is my personal all-time favorite, Totoro is probably going to go down in history as Miyazaki’s most enduring classic. (Yes, even over Spirited Away.)
Where can I watch it?
No surprise, Disney considered, it’s not available for streaming so you’ll have to pick up a shiny-platter edition. Do it on the cheap if you must, but I recommend having a copy in your library. You never know when you’ll need something cozy like this to enjoy.