My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Poster

Japanese title: となりのトトロ 
(Tonari no Totoro)

Comments on Movie: My Neighbor Totoro (1989)
"A film that crosses generations and cultural barriers: watching it, it's hard not to feel like a kid again." - Christopher Runyon, Movie Mezzanine.

"A classic children's film from the master of Japanese animation." - Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope.

"Here is a children's film made for the world we should live in, rather than the one we occupy." - Roger Ebert,

"What Miyazaki has animated is an idyll, that most melancholic and nostalgic of genres, where landscapes vanish, innocence is lost and death is as much a part of nature as life." - Anton Bitel, Eye for Film.

"As a hangout movie for kids, My Neighbor Totoro pleases with its easygoing pace, curiosity about the natural world, and sweet spirit." - Mark Pfeiffer, Reel Times.

"It is imaginative yet so realistic in a way so original that its naivety and novelty still captivates its audiences to date although decades has passed. It preaches us to believe and respect the nature and spiritual world." - Rosalyn Lim.

Anime Family Fantasy Supernatural Hayao Miyazaki 2D Animation Animated Feature

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Trailer

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) at a glance
My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is a family fantasy film by Hayao Miyazaki, the third film produced by Studio Ghibli. It is released as double feature in parallel with Grave of the Fireflies (1988) and both are released on the same bill in 1988. The dual billing was considered one of the most moving and remarkable double bills ever offered to a cinema audience.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Synopsis
Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei when they move into a new home in the countryside. To their delight, they discover that their new neighbor is Totoro, a mysterious forest spirit who can only be seen by children. Totoro introduces them to extradordinary characters -- including a cat that doubles as a bus! -- and takes them on an incredible journey.
Movie Review: My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Raining scene.

Honestly, I am a little constrained to review this film as it is the trademark film of Studio Ghibli. This film is constantly regarded as one of the best animated film in the world and the company even have Totoro as its company logo. There is so much love for this film and it certainly has large following. However, I will review equally as usual and I hope I won't be misunderstood in any way - I love this film.

Sleepy Totoro and Mei.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is a lovely film. It is imaginative yet so realistic in a way so original that its naivety and novelty still captivates its audiences to date although decades has passed. It preaches us to believe and respect the nature and spiritual world. It is charming.

Totoro and the sisters.

Aside from being light-hearted most of the time, this film is also comical. I certainly smiled at several points of the film while they adapt country side life because the characters are adorable and I absolutely loved the yōkais created by the director especially Totoro and Susuwatari. You have no idea how much I loved supernatural and mythical creatures, fictional or not 

Mei and Susuwatari.

If I am to choose the best 1980s animated feature film from Studio Ghibli, I would certainly go for the lesser known film Grave of the Fireflies (1988) though. This is because of its powerful impact and I also liked Setsuko more than Mei. Spare me, Totoro's fans. *土下座*

Nonetheless, if you have not watch this film, you should and you will also be able to find out why My Neighbor Totoro (1988) has charmed thousands of fans worldwide!

Movie Ratings
Will write a page regarding this and add this to all animated feature entries in the future.

Who will like this?
People who wanted to watch something light-hearted and people who love yōkai will be delighted!
And of course, Totoro and Studio Ghibli fans!

PS. This film also makes a great family film! ;)

Details of the movie
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Producer: Toru Hara
Story: Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay: Hayao Miyazaki
Cinematography: Hisao Shirai
Music: Joe Hisaishi
Studio: Studio Ghibli
Starring: Chika Sakamoto, Noriko Hidaka, Hitoshi Takagi
Full Credit: [IMDb]
Distributor: Toho
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese, English
Genre: Anime Family Fantasy Supernatural
Running time: 86 mins
Budget: Not sure.
Box office: Not sure.

Official website(s)

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
Spirited Away (2001)
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
Ponyo (2008)
The Wind Rises (2013)
Studio Ghibli
Rosalyn's Animated Movie Marathon

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Behind the Scenes

Favorite Movie Character
The girls' father.

This is university professor Tatsuo Kusakabe, Satsuki's and Mei's loving father. I find him calm and open-minded, which he also patiently listens and accepts yōkai stories from the girls. He is also very supportive of his family members and although he is just a minor character, we can tell that he loved his wife and daughters dearly. Tatsuo Kusakabe moved his family home to the countryside so that they could spend more time together and be nearer to the hospital his wife's admitted to!

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) Movie Quotes
These are some of what I've heard from watching the English version, I am not proficient enough to translate the Japanese lines accurately. Typed with my iphone ><
  1. I thought he was a policeman!
  2. Hello there, looks like we are going to be neighbors!
  3. What are those fish swimming around?
  4. That gotta be the biggest tree!
  5. Well I am pretty sure they are dust bunnies. Dust bunnies make much more sense than ghost. 
  6. It's an acorn!
  7. Don't be scared mei, there is nobody up here.
  8. Guess what? Something is really living upstairs after all!
  9. That's wonderful, good for you. I've always wanted a haunted house. It's been my lifelong dream.
  10. Oh my gosh, how did you get all that black on you?
  11. I got a dust bunny right in my hand
  12. You mean those black fuzzy things that fly around the house upstairs?
  13. I am not afraid of dust bunnies
  14. Hey, haven't you heard? You're living in a haunted house!
  15. I hate boys but I love granny's food than anything else in the whole wide world!
  16. Daddy I'm scared that the wind would make the house fall down.
  17. Maybe it will but I hope not because we've just moved in
  18. Come on, what are you waiting for? You have to laugh loud to scare away spirits.
  19. Daddy took the wrong route and we have to come back another way
  20. Going to get some flowers!
  21. Is it lunch time yet?
  22. Tell me who you are, are you a big dust bunny?
  23. Totoro? That's it! I bet your name is totoro!
  24. Stop laughing! I really saw it, I am not lying! 
  25. Well, remember you can see him only if he wants you to.
  26. This tree's been here since well before anyone can remember. You know, a long time ago, men and trees are the best of friends!
  27. Mei actually met a ghost, totoro. Daddy said it was the king of the forest. Well whoever he was, I want to meet him.
  28. If it is not too much of a trouble, could we stay until it stops raining?
  29. I told you it'd be a while.
  30. I saw cat bus too!
  31. We've decided to plant them all out in the front because some day they will be tall and beautiful.
  32. May just sits there everyday, waiting for them to sprout but they don't seem like want to grow!
  33. I love you mother, please get well soon!
  34. It was only a dream!
  35. It wasn't a dream!
  36. Your vegetable garden is more like a mountain of treasure
  37. I am going to give mummy this corn
  38. Open it now then, a telegram is a serious business
  39. What's that suppose to mean? Is something wrong with her or not?
  40. I know something awful has happen to her. What am I supposed to do if my father's not home.
  41. Mei, don't follow me. Go to nanny's house.
  42. You take all the time you need.
  43. Come on now. It isn't the end of the world. Your old nanny is here to help. Lets see that beautiful smile.
  44. What we gonna do if mummy dies?
  45. You have to help me find here. She's probably alone somewhere crying and upset. 
  46. Next stop, little sister.


  1. I find each of Ghibli's films have its own compelling life lessons.

    Can't wait for Princess Mononoke's review...

  2. Yes they are.. Will try to speed up my updates ^^


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