My Neighbor Totoro
Special Edition, Special
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Visionary and Academy Award(R)-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, SPIRITED AWAY) has created a heartwarming, music-filled and wonderful world in MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, a delightfully animated family adventure. And now -- exclusively in this 2-Disc Special Edition DVD -- never-before-seen bonus features reveal even more of Totoro's fantastic world! 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 a mysterious forest spirit called Totoro -- who can be seen only through the eyes of a child. Totoro introduces them to extraordinary characters -- including a cat that doubles as a bus! -- and takes them on an incredible journey. Bring home MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO from Studio Ghibli and Disney for your family's DVD library and experience the timeless classic film Roger Ebert calls "one of the very few that come along that are magical for all ages."
My Neighbor Totoro is that rare delight, a family film that appeals to children and adults alike. While their mother is in the hospital, 10-year-old Satsuki and 4-year-old Mei move into an old-fashioned house in the country with their professor father. At the foot of an enormous camphor tree, Mei discovers the nest of King Totoro, a giant forest spirit who resembles an enormous bunny rabbit. Mei and Satsuki learn that Totoro makes the trees grow, and when he flies over the countryside or roars in his thunderous voice, the winds blow. Totoro becomes the protector of the two sisters, watching over them when they wait for their father, and carrying them over the forests on an enchanted journey. When the children worry about their mother, Totoro sends them to visit her via a Catbus, a magical, multilegged creature with a grin the Cheshire Cat might envy.
Unlike many cartoon children, Satsuki and Mei are neither smart-alecky nor cloyingly saccharine. They are credible kids: bright, energetic, silly, helpful, and occasionally impatient. Filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki makes the viewer believe the two sisters love each other in a way no American feature has ever achieved. My Neighbor Totoro is enormously popular in Japan, and some of the character merchandise has begun to appear in America. The film has also inspired a Japanese environmental group to buy a Totoro Forest preserve in the Saitama Prefecture, where Miyazaki's film is set. --Charles Solomon
- World of Ghibli – An Extraordinary Interactive Experience
- Enter the Lands – Meet the characters and hear the story of the movie
- Behind the Studio – Discover the film’s inspiration through documentaries, including all-new interviews with Hayao Miyazaki
- Storyboard Presentation of the Movie
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Some might find the pace slow. And compared to the later movies like Spirited Away and Howel's Movie Castle, the plot might seem a tad underwhelming. I can understand this but keep in mind that sometimes smaller stories can can convey meaning in a way that bigger and flashier ones can not. There's a message to be interpreted here. Not so much a story. And that's okay.
Now this is the Fox dub, which I saw when I was about 9. So I admit I do have nostalgia bias regarding the particular dub. Somehow I recalled the Fox dub as being better than I view it now. Although it is still a fantastic dub (especially for 1988), objectively speaking the Disney dub is just as good.
I am partial to what I saw first but it really is a matter of preference.