My Neighbor Totoro
DVD + Blu-ray
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From the legendary Studio Ghibli, creators of Spirited Away and Ponyo, and Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki, comes a classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family.
When Satsuki and her sister Mei move with their father to a new home in the countryside, they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece featuring the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in one of their earliest roles.
• Feature-Length Storyboards
• Original Theatrical Trailers
• Behind the Microphone
• Textless Opening and End Credits
• Creating My Neighbor Totoro
• Creating the Characters
• The "Totoro" Experience
• The Locations of My Neighbor Totoro
• Producer's Perspective: Creating Ghibli
• 8-page Booklet, producer's and director's statements
Top customer reviews
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My Neighbor Totoro is a wonderful film with a great story and lovable characters. It's one of my favorite Studio Ghibli movies. So, if you're reading this, you're probably asking yourselves "Why only two stars?". Well, I saw this version of the movie on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) with their celebration of Mr. Miyazaki. I was appalled.
Most of you probably know that this film was released in the US once before by Fox. Except for the fact that they didn't release it in wide-screen format, they had it down. Disney went and trashed a wonderful film.
For starters, the lead character, Satsuki, is voiced by Dakota Fanning. Her performance was by far the worst. Sometimes Satsuki would be moving her mouth, but no words were coming out, if only for a second. At other times, she had too little emotion in her voice to do justice to Satsuki's current actions. And Dakota's sister, Elle, voices Satsuki's sister, Mei. Mei is supposed to be four years old, but the way Elle portrays Mei doesn't make her sound that way. Both girls voices sound too American and not believable. This is probably my biggest argument with Disney's release of Totoro.
Next up, we have everybody else's voiceovers. For starters, Pat Carroll as Granny. I'd say that she was okay, but definitely could've been done much better. Then Tim Daly as the Father. Again, it was okay, but still could have been better. And yes, Frank Welker as Totoro and the Catbus. One is the title character, and the other is probably the most imaginative character in the story. For Totoro, Frank made him sound too ferocious. He is the king of the forest, but he's still cuddly! And he takes good care of Mei and Satsuki. I think he should have made Totoro sound a tad more friendly. As for Catbus, when I heard it my jaw dropped and I screamed for mercy. It sounded a lot like Stitch, from the movie Lilo and Stitch, (and in Lilo and Stitch 2 we hear Dakota again and sounds nothing like Daveigh Chase, the original Lilo, but that's another matter), and it made Catbus sound way too creepy and weird. I think the only voiceover I can agree with is the Mother, voiced by Lea Salonga.
Lastly, I just can't see why Disney couldn't have kept Fox's voiceovers. They were great quality and believable, and if you watch both versions you'll probably agree with me. Whoever decided to do this movie again with these horrible voiceovers was probably one of the following. 1) He/She was deaf. 2) He/She is a Dakota Fanning fan. 3) He/She was high, drunk, or both. I just pray that John Lassetter or Hayao Miyazaki will see this and file a lawsuit.
The only logical reason you should buy this DVD is either because you're getting it for a three year old who can't talk and won't care, or because you want the Japanese version of the film, also on this set. I'm buying this DVD for the second reason alone. If you don't care about watching this in Japanese, then I suggest scouring the internet for the discontinued Fox edition of the film, which is my plan.