I am writing my essay on Hayao Miyazaki, and at the moment I am relatively unfamiliar with his work. I decided it might be a good idea to watch a few of his films and write some mini reviews. Last Night I watched the movie My Neighbour Totoro (1988), here is the review.
My Neighbour Totoro (1988)
My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki/1988) tells the charming story of two sisters (Satsuki and Mei) who have recently moved to the country to be closer to there mother, who is ill in hospital. They come into contact with mysterious forest spirits who live in the woods nearby, the main one being the titular Totoro.
The film is reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865), not only because of its obvious similarities, the little girl who discovers a magical world. But it is also structured similarly, there is no narrative structure based of conflict. Film critic Roger Ebert has said, "My Neighbor Totoro is based on experience, situation and exploration—not on conflict and threat," (Ebert, 1988).
The characters in the movie are very likeable and realistic. The girls are very funny and react to situations in a believable way. The realism of the characters makes the insane things that happen easier to accept. The creature, Totoro is also very charming and funny, he resembles a giant teddy. However he also seems powerful and godlike without being threatening. The Independent described the Totoro Character as, “innocent and awe-inspiring, King Totoro captures the innocence and magic of childhood” Forbes (2005).
Fig 1: Totoro And The Two Sisters
To conclude My Neighbour Totoro has a wonderful cast of both realistic and magical characters. This makes it a warm and Charming film reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland.
Dee Forbes (2005), Analysis Cartoons: Toontown's greatest characters, The Independent
Roger Ebert (2001), My Neighbor Totoro 1993, Chicago Sun-Times
Fig 1, Totoro And The Two Sisters, 1988, Movie Still, My Neighbour Totoro, Available At: http://blog.moviefone.com/2007/12/25/cinematical-seven-non-holiday-movies-to-watch-on-christmas