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My Neighbor Totoro

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,954 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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."

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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

Special Features

  • 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

Product Details

  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Eiko Tanaka, Ned Lott, Rick Dempsey, Toru Hara, Yasuyoshi Tokuma
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    G
    General Audience
  • Studio: Disney Presents Studio Ghibli
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,954 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZTQV8Y
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Neighbor Totoro" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mir TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 9, 2007
Format: DVD
I had heard good things--great things--about MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO for years. I still avoided it. (I tend to avoid anime. My husband puts some on: I leave the room.) Plus, it looked as if it were for kiddies.

I am an idiot. I could not have been more wrong.

To summarize it--well, look around. The reviews are full of that: Father and two daughters of the Kutsakabe family move to countryside in Japan (circa 1950's) while their mother is recovering in a hospital (from some unspecified ailment, maybe TB?) and the girls discover they are neighbors to magical "trolls"--totoros--three of them, small and medium and very large! They learn the wonders of their new environs with the Totoros and they get a happy ending regarding their family situation, but in a way that will make you both smile and get moist in the eyes.

Nothing complex. It's what the writer/director/artists do with this simple premise that adds up to soooooooooo much more.

This film taps into the warmest, most human, most loving, gentlest, dreamiest bits of my young self that still hides inside my middle-aged self. It reminded me of what it was like to

~have a dad I adored and who cared selflessly for me

~ be young and see enchantments in the world

~explore and be carefree physically

~have fun with the simplest, new things, like a fresh bit of produce from a a plant in a pot or from someone's garden--which seemed like magic to me when I was young), or from a bath or from climbing a tree

~be young and lost and afraid without family nearby

~worry a beloved parent might die (as I feared when I was very, very young, like Mei, and my Papi was hospitalized.
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Format: VHS Tape
This is not only one of my favorite childrens films, it's one of my favorite films period. This movie is truly magical. It achieves what Disney movies never do -- a wonderful story without the need to resort to evil villains or wise-cracking side kicks. In fact, two of the things I find most striking and refreshing about My Neighbor Totoro is the use of images rather than dialogue to propel the plot and the slower, almost contemplative, pacing of the action. (This is one children's movie that won't blare from your TV or yammer at your children!) The first time I saw this movie I watched a friend's pirated VHS tape in Japanese. I was instantly mesmerized and was completely able to follow the story, despite the fact that I did not understand a word the characters said.
And don't be put off because it is "japanese animation." This is not your father's japanese animation. The images of the tranquil countryside are sumptuous. Miazaki's attention to the little details of life, like a leaf floating in a stream or raindrops tapping an umbrella, evoke the simpler, purer times of childhood. The children's discovery of the totoro spirits in the old camphor tree recalls a time in every child's life when magic seems possible in the mundane world. As with other Miyazaki films, there is a thrilling flying sequence. However, this film is more appropriate for younger viewers than most of his other works, some of which are decidedly adult in nature despite the fact that they are animated.
As the mother of a toddler, I really appreciate the refusal to rely on cliche villians to keep the plot moving.
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22 Comments 438 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
I have been a huge Miyazaki fan for nearly twenty years now, but I am ashamed to admit that I have only now seen MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO for the first time. The reason is a good one, as reasons go: it was the last important film by Miyazaki that I had not yet seen, and I was saving it for a special occasion. I love seeing again films that I have loved the first time through, but there is always a special magic to seeing a film for the first time. Unfortunately, I now no longer have any Miyazaki films to see that I haven't already seen (at least until he finishes his work-in-progress, which has been given the tentative English title HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE). Fortunately, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO was worth the weight.
How does this film compare with Miyazaki's finest films? This is a hard question, because he has a large number clustered at the top, all of them excellent. I would be hard pressed to say this was better or worse than any of a number of others. However, each film is distinguished from the others by the mood and tone of the film. MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO may be the gentlest and most peaceful of all his films. True, the girls have moved to the countryside with their father because their mother is in a nearby hospital recovering from a rather vague illness, and the forest is haunted, but the illness is never perceived as especially worrisome (except near the end, when a slight cold prevents her making a brief visit home, provoking a crisis with her daughters), and the spirits in the forest are remarkably benign and benevolent. There is nothing like the ecological apocalypse in THE PRINCESS MONONOKE and NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND, or the parents who have been transformed into swine or threatening spirits of SPIRITED AWAY, or the armed conflict in CASTLE IN THE SKY.
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