My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Review

Another movie from Studio Ghibli and it is another I have heard great things about numerous times so let’s see if it does the same as Spirited Away and live up to the hype.

Tatsuo and his two children Satsuki and Mei have just moved to a new house to be closer to their mother who is in hospital with a long term illness. When they get to the new house they discover that some spirits are currently living here which causes the girls to go and explore. Turns out that the spirits that live here are the same ones that Mei have been reading about in her book.

Right so for me the story in this movie is boring as hell, you spend the majority of the movie seeing the two girls get closer to the spirits and then that’s basically it except for a 10 minute interval at the end where some story actually happens. You are led to believe that something bad has happened to one of the girls but in fact it has nothing to do with her, it just left me even more disappointed with the story. This is a children’s movie and I understand they couldn’t exactly make that be the ending but they did manage to make the mother have a long term illness so would it really be that big of a leap.

However the rest of the movie part does make up for the bad story. For a movie made 32 years ago this animation still holds up today. Obviously it is not in 4k quality but it is very easy to see the amount of work that went into each of the spirits such as Totoros and the cat bus thing. That is one thing I have come to really like about Studio Ghibli (after the whole two movies I have watched of theirs) is that the animation quality is fantastic and is actually the main reason why I wanted to watch this.

Voice acting is pretty good as well, they do well in order to get the very limited amount of emotion across that isn’t happiness. With the story line being like it was then it was always going to be hard for the actors to make the audience want to keep watching but they managed it very well.

Now onto the very important part, Totoro is so cute, like everything about him is just the cutest.

This is a good movie and would be perfect for a child to watch as there isn’t a story to focus on and the animation is enough to keep them happy while watching. Plus with the additional cuteness of Totoro (I had to mention it again) it will want them to probably watch it again. However as an adult who has never seen it before then don’t expect much other than great animation and voice acting.

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