My Neighbor Totoro Review: Truly a Studio Ghibli classic
Seen as one of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki’s most memorable films, My Neighbor Totoro truly is one of their best films and contains some of Ghibli’s most imaginative characters. It’s actually great for both old and young moviegoers and has characters that really play well into the film’s environment. It has a sense of discovery that moviegoers will love and want to be a part of.
Its two main characters are sisters Satsuki and Mei, who are voiced by real life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, fit perfectly into how Ghibli loves to make their main characters. They are playful and funny, but understand real-life things around them and have a strong sense of maturity. The two also displayed some solid sibling dynamics that felt pretty genuine. They have a great sense of curiosity and bravery that isn’t what many would expect to see in characters that are so young.
But what would a classic Ghibli film be without some memorable creatures, right? My Neighbor Totoro showcases this excellently as the Totoro’s are a delight to see on-screen. Their mysterious antics and personalities make them just about impossible to audiences not to be enamored by. They’re funny, adorable, and honestly bring a big smile to anyone watching the film.
The film also blends reality and fantasy in a way that makes it truly revolutionary. Its fantasy elements are never overdone and this lets viewers understand Satsuki and Mei’s story much deeper. There are certain moments that are honestly awe-inspiring and the film does such a great job letting these fantasy elements be truly mysterious. It never attempts to fully explain itself which will only make audiences be more invested in what’s happening on-screen.
The animation is both imaginative and really evokes fun color tones. It honestly surprised me how interested I was in the animation and sound effects. I really felt they were top notch and really made the film feel very cohesive. Not to mention, there is an excellent score and soundtrack that really sparks a sense of adventure.
Even though I’ve seen My Neighbor Totoro once before, this time around I found a greater appreciation for it. I found myself laughing more, enjoying the characters more, and really seeing why this film is highly associated with Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki’s legacy. It’s really no wonder why Studio Ghibli made Totoro their mascot, as its film really encompasses everything that makes Ghibli great.