This is an excellent childhood story unrivaled by any since "Peter Pan". The plot involves Satsuke, a girl on the cusp of womanhood, moving into the country with her father and younger sister Mei, where she discovers a child's realm of wonder and make-believe running in parallel to the adults' mundane everyday existence. The family's rickety cottage is filled with easily frightened dust bunnies, and deep within the tangle of roots and branches, in a safe hiding place only a child can access, Totoro, a benign forest creature, makes its lair. The story is a real jewel, simply, elegantly told. The art is of extremely high quality, excellently detailed, bright and clean. The characters are especially well-depicted, complete with expressive body language and realistically animated. In part because of the excellent dub, they are all sympathetic and deeply human, instantly recognizable as real people around us. Especially evocative is the portrayal of the children's make-believe world, full of things and places that are there only if you believe in them, like the giant Totoro and his entourage of two tiny, roly-poly furballs, and the magnificent "cat-bus" with great shining eyes and two mice announcing the next stop - the exact place you want to go. A fantastic, enchanting examination of a child's mentality, that is also a mainstay family film.