“My Neighbor Totoro” (1988) Review


Produced by Studio Ghibli and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is a beautiful and heartfelt tale of two sisters and their ups and downs while moving into a new house. Miyazaki puts a brilliant twist on the timeless “moving in” cliché with the sisters meeting and exploring their new environment with a variety of gentle and curious forest spirits. The film also deals with heavier topics as we find that the sister’s mother has fallen ill, which plays out as a brilliant contrast to the playful and magical nature of its premise. This interesting dynamic tells a lesson of both enjoying childish wonder and learning to cope with sudden grief.

As always, Studio Ghibli manages to make an astounding impact with their beautiful and timeless animation; the combination of clever character design and stunning settings truly brings the film to life and is bound to leave a mark on both children and adults alike.

All this in mind, the film reaches close to perfection and as such deserves, what I believe to be a very solid, 9/10 rating.