My neighbour Totoro… a first.

For Sam, the first full length film he has been really happy to watch (perhaps helped by Totoro’s similarity to a Pokémon character). For me my first animé film. And a real success.

Hayao Miyazaki’s cartoon film is about a family in the fifties who leave the town to move to an old rural house on the outskirts of Tokyo. The mother is in hospital, the dad gives the two girls a lot of freedom. There is a great tree and a forest just in front of the house.

There the girls meet the giant fierce-sounding Totoro, a sort of guardian of the forest perhaps.

They find other strange things, like a cat bus:

As you can see from this excerpt, for a film in which “nothing much happens” there is a delicious suspense, a respect for the child’s eye level and for the Forest too. Before Totoro steps on the cat bus (with it’s ‘Cheshire Cat’ smile!), he hands the children a little package of acorns, which they plant. When they are disappointed they don’t seem to be germinating very fast, there is a wonderful night-time moment where Totoro makes them grow magically and magestically.

You can see why I like this!



  1. vixen said

    All of Miyazaki’s films are masterpieces. I haven’t seen this one. Thank you!

  2. Simon G said

    Thank you Nana – I’m glad the others are good too…

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