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My Neighbor Totoro

Two young girls, Satsuke and her younger sister Mei, move into a house in the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. Satsuke and Mei discover that the nearby forest is inhabited by magical creatures called Totoros. They soon befriend these Totoros, and have several magical adventures.

This is a gentle, and enchanting movie which is easy to fall in love with. Children and anime fan anime fan alike will be swept away. The theme is mystical and imaginative. One thing that really attached me to this movie is the freedom, sincerity and variety of emotional expression the characters use (especially the two young girls and Totoro, their furry forest friend). There are lot of magical adventures to be found in this movie, from flying with umbrellas to catching a giant living (and “meowing”) cat bus that leaps from tree top to tree top to get around. Although the girls’ mother is in the hospital, and the youngest girl, Mei, gets lost (and found), there is nothing dirturbing about this movie. It is very gentle. The animation is colorful and expressionate, and the characters are youthful, lovable, and free spirited. All in all it is an enjoyable, lovable, and imaginative adventure.

This movie will make you feel like a kid again, thanks to all the lively characters!

Info & Credits

Title My Neighbor Totoro
Japanese Title となりのトトロ
Japanese Title Tonari no Totoro
Release Date 1988
Rated G
Duration 1 hr 26 min

The characters

Satsuki Satsuki
A 10 year old schoolgirl. Satsuki Kusakabe, her sister Mei Kusakabe, and her father moved to the country to be closer to Mrs. Kusakabe, who is at a hospital nearby. Satsuki is more sensible and responsible than her sister. She becomes pretty popular at school.
Mei Mei
Satsuki’s four year old sister. Mei is best described as adorable, simply said. She admires her older sister and follows her everywhere. She is easily annoyed and even more easily excited.
Totoro Totoro
Totoro is a giant, friendly forest spirit. He spends most of his time sleeping in a hole in a tree. He doesn’t speak, instead communicating by loud bellows that, it seems, only the other Totoros and the Cat Bus can understand. He is very friendly to Mei and Satsuki. He can make trees grow much faster than normal.
Grandma Grandma
Kanta’s grandmother is the first to greet the Kusakabes when they move in. She is very kind and thoughtful. She keeps calm in emergencies. She farms, just like everyone in the neighborhood, and gives vegetables to the family.
MrKusakabe Mr. Kusakabe
The father of the Kusakabe family works as an archaeology professor at a nearby university. He loves to his daughters and plays along with their imaginative adventures.
MrsKusakabe Mrs. Kusakabe
Mrs. Kusakabe is in a hospital nearby to recover from tuberculosis. Her children adore her and look forward to their visits with her. She says Satsuki is very much like how she was when she was young.
Kanta Kanta
A young boy who lives near the Kusakabes. Kanta enjoys teasing Satsuki to no end, playing with model planes, and drawing. He is courteous, though, and is occasionally nice to Satsuki.
KantasMother Kanta’s Mother
Kanta’s mother is usually displeased with her son and occasionally reprimands him for his mistakes. She is nice to strangers, though.
NekoBus Cat Bus
The cat bus roams the countryside taking passengers, usually Totoro. Its insides are just like a regular bus, with seats and windows, except they are covered with orange fur and alive. It has rats on its head and tail which act as headlights and taillights. It also has a display on its head that changes to show where it is headed.
ChibiTotoroandChuTotoro Chibi Totoro and Chu Totoro
The two other Totoros are smaller, differently colored versions of the big Totoro. Chu Totoro, the grey medium-sized one, carries a sack full of acorns on its back. Chibi Totoro, the small white one, runs very quickly and can disappear and reappear when it wants to. Together, they collect acorns for the big Totoro.
TotoroSootballs Susu-Wataris (Sootballs)
The susu-wataris are balls of soot that can think. They inhabit dark places and immediately flee in the presence of light. They leave a house when they’ve decided the people living in it are good people. The Kusakabe’s new home is infested with them.
Farmers Farmers
The Kusakabes live in an area devoted to agriculture, so all of their neighbors are farmers.

Production Credits

Director Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay (JP) Hayao Miyazaki
Screenplay and Adaptation (US) Cindy Davis Hewitt, Donald H. Hewitt
Executive Producers Yasuyoshi Tokuma, Rick Dempsey (US)
Producers Toru Hara, Ned Lott (US)
Original Music (JP) Joe Hisaishi
Casting (US) Ned Lott
Cinematography (US) Mark Henley
Editing Takeshi Seyama
Production Design Yoshiharu Sato
Art Director Kazuo Oga
Sound Director Shigeharu Shiba
Sound Effects Kazutoshi Sato
Special Effects Kaoru Tanifuji

Voice Casting

Character English Japanese
Satsuki Kusakabe Dakota Fanning (Disney)
Lisa Michelson (Troma)
Noriko Hidaka
Mei Kusakabe Elle Fanning (Disney)
Cheryl Chase (Troma)
Chika Sakamoto
Tatsuo Kusakabe (Father) Tim Daly (Disney)
Gregory Snegoff (Troma)
Shigesato Itoi
Yasuko Kusakabe (Mother) Lea Salonga (Disney)
Alexandra Kenworthy (Troma)
Sumi Shimamoto
Totoro and Nekobus Frank Welker (Disney) Hitoshi Takagi
Kanta Paul Butcher (Disney)
Kenneth Hartman (Troma)
Toshiyuki Amagasa
Kanta’s Grandmother Pat Carroll (Disney)
Natalie Core (Troma)
Tanie Kitabayashi
Kanta’s Mother Melanie MacQueen (Troma) Hiroko Maruyama
Kanta’s Father ??? Masashi Hirose
Teacher ??? Machiko Washio
Old Lady ??? Reiko Suzuki
Male Farmer Steve Kramer (Troma) Daiki Nakamura
Female Farmer Lara Cody (Troma) Yuko Mizutani
Michiko Brianne Siddall (Troma) ???

My Neighbor Totoro trailer

Screenshots from the movie








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