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164 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about time too!
I'm guessing this has been released following the success of "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Spirited Away", but in my opinion, "My Neighbour Totoro" is Miyazaki's best work.
The story follows two little girls, Satsuki and Mei, who move to the country with their father while their mother is recouperating in hospital. Miyazaki captures perfectly the...
Published on 7 Mar 2006 by BS

versus
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A note about this DVD edition
Just a quick note to point out that the DVD zone 1 edition is a Pan & Scan, not a widescreen. If you're a Miyasaki fan you might want to wait for a letterbox version...
I was suprised to discover this because all the other zone 1 miyasaki I've so far bought were ok.
Blame it on Disney where some clever people think that because it's for kids it has to be...
Published on 6 Feb 2005 by pmax.music


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164 of 168 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about time too!, 7 Mar 2006
This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
I'm guessing this has been released following the success of "Howl's Moving Castle" and "Spirited Away", but in my opinion, "My Neighbour Totoro" is Miyazaki's best work.
The story follows two little girls, Satsuki and Mei, who move to the country with their father while their mother is recouperating in hospital. Miyazaki captures perfectly the curiosity of two children full of life, chasing dust bunnies (suswatari) and exploring the garden. What this film also captures is the simple beauty of Japanese country life - from clothing and architecture to the girls' respect of a roadside shrine to Jizo-san, the patron saint of travelers.
Totoro himself is a "spirit of the forest" but nothing in the film is more real. He is like a giant furry fat rabbit (without the rabbit teeth!) and when Mei first finds him and goes to sleep on his belly, it makes me want to get the biggest softest grey blanket and snuggle up too. However, my favourite character has to be Catbus. What cat lover could not be utterly taken by a giant tabby cat who is a real live bus, with furry seats, who leaps across the countryside taking Satsuki and Mei for a ride?
This film is magical - and suitable for all ages. The drawing and animation is incredible - especially when you think it was done in 1988 before computer graphics took over. The soundtrack is fantastic too, and the end song will have you singing along!
Don't be put off by the fact that Disney have the distribution rights, either. Miyazaki was incredibly strict when he did that, and controlled an awful lot of things such as the script, editing and merchandising. This means that none of the original spirit is lost, and you don't get any of that over-commercialisation associated with many of the Disney 'brands'.
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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most charming film I have EVER seen!, 16 Mar 2007
By 
S. J. King "zh84" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
This film is intended for small children, so Miyazaki says. I was thirty-six when I watched it. I was so charmed that I showed it again to my father, who was then seventy-seven. He was so charmed that he insisted we must show it to his grandson, who is four. I have seen more exciting films, or funnier films, but none which gave me more sheer delight. It is a great shame the world isn't really as nice as this, but when you are four, like Mei, or even eleven, like Satsuki, this is how you want it to be: everyone bigger is kind and can be trusted completely, and everything always comes right in the end. Knowing a little boy of Mei's age I can vouch for her being highly realistic, from the obsessive looking through a hole in a bucket to the scowling and sulking! The most touching moment is when Catbus' destination board changes to "MEI", showing Satsuki that he knows exactly where her little sister is, and that he's going to take her straight there. My only criticisms, if you can call them that, are that the DVD doesn't contain the legendary sequel "Mei and the Kittenbus", in which Mei meets and goes for a ride with Catbus's little son, and that I can't ride in Catbus myself. As a cat lover and occasional bus user I feel I was born to do that, and it's a disgrace he's only imaginary!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The very best movie of studio ghibli, 31 Dec 2006
By 
Laura (London, UK United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
This movie is wonderful the animation is fantastic and the beatuful detailed pictures are just amazing. Each character is so creative and detailed it's just a must see film!! Also Totoro is so CUTE and so are his friends. I loved this movie anyone of any age can see it infact anyone of any age MUST see it.

I personally think all of studio ghibli's films are fantastic ,and so is the animation and drawings ,but this is the very best of studio ghibli. Although Spirited Away and Howls moving castle are brilliant they aren't quite as good as this. But if you enjoy this is highly recommend Howls moving castle and Spririted Away.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wait till 2010, 20 July 2005
By A Customer
The movie itself is one of Miyazaki's best. Very deep for a children's film, yet fanciful enough for tykes of all ages. This particular edition, as noted by one apt observer, is a pan and scan and has no special features. The release by Japan, on the other hand, not only is widescreen, but has english subtitles and at least a "making of" featurette as well as more if I remember correctly. The only problem is, the dvd is not region 1.
However, since Disney has been rereleasing all of Miyazaki's films in a two disc, widescreen dub or sub format, I would suggest waiting for that. This edition was NOT released by Disney, and results in the lesser packaging. As for the release date for Disney's two disc set ... last I saw, it was around 2010.
So 5 stars for the movie, 0 stars for this packaging, 10 stars for Disney's two disc versions of other Miyazaki films, and this one will be included there at one point.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best film I've found for small children, 18 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
You don't need another review to say what a wonderful film this is. I wanted to praise it for keeping my two year old son happy. We originally got it from the library - then he wanted it every week so it became the first film he actually owns. Several months later he still loves it (even in Japanese) and I'm still delighted to watch it with him - nothing scary, no nasty characters and plenty of roaring!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pleasure beyond measure, 13 Sep 2007
This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
It is a rarity these days to find a film that takes you completely by surprise and then sweeps you up in itself so completely that you can do nothing but watch, totally transfixed. My Neighbour Totoro is just such a film and is probably one of the loveliest films I have ever seen.
Whilst their mother recovers in the hospital, sisters Satsuki and Mei (the younger of the two) move to the country along with their father in order to get away from it all. Far from the hustle and bustle of city life, the two girls discover a rural idyll filled with mystery and magic as younger sister Mei discovers the Totoros (which apparently translates as troll, but they look far to cute to be trolls), spirits that inhabit the nearby woods. As the two girls befriend the creatures, they are taken on a series of magical adventures.
Directed by Hayao Miyazaki (the man who gave us Spirited away, Howls Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke to name a few), this film lacks the more fantastical aspects of the aforementioned films (except maybe Catbus, which has to be seen to be believed), but concentrates instead on the joys of childhood and the simple pleasures of summertime. Nothing really happens throughout the film, but it is a gentle, carefree and absorbing pleasure to watch, with Satsuki and Mei (voiced in English by Dakota and Ellie Fanning) capturing the heart of even the most jaded viewer. It is rich in imagination and features a host of unforgettable characters, and it is hard to keep the smile from your face by the end of it. A simple unadulterated joy.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film for the child in all of us, 1 Feb 2005
If you don't smile at the scene at the bus stop in the rain, there is something wrong with you. Just why this film has never had an official UK release is a mystery to me and to anyone else that has seen it. The film is so magical and - gosh darn it - NICE, that it deserves to be up there with the best animated films of all time (much better than all that recent Disney nonsense). The story is simple, yet compelling, the animation sublime, and the whole atmosphere of the film is something that will stay with you forever. If you have children and a multi region DVD player, you should buy this film. Then go and buy Kiki's Delivery Service- you owe it to the little ones in your life, and the one inside yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The cutest big, fat, hairy, giant .......thing!, 27 Dec 2007
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
I've enjoyed a few Studio Ghibli films recently, and this one is my absolute favourite.

The film is typical of `Japanimation' as it isn't simply a childrens film. It deals with some pretty deep issues...

...A family move into a new house, but the mother is away in hospital. The father isn't too great at domestic chores and his 11 year old daughter Satsuki takes on the mother's role of looking after the family. Satsuki never complains about the situation and the family are tightly knitted, although she and her sister constantly worry about her mother. At one point in the film her sister, the 4 year old Mei, is believed to be dead after going missing and a girls sandal is found in a lake.

This might sound grim - but there is a fantastically light side to this film. The two girls discover giant forest spirit called Totoro (and 2 smaller ones). Totoro looks like a cross between Pikatchu from Pokemon and a Koala bear - but a giant version! He has a friend who is a giant cat who also happens to be a bus - this really is a magical film. Infact, on balance, the film doesn't feel dark at all - it's only once you've watched it and think back that you realise how involved the story is.

My kids love this film (my eldest calls it the `Catbus film') and they laugh at Totoro and whenever the girls are playing. Visually this is a showcase for Ghibli, with lush landscapes, great characters - and of course the fantastic Totoro. Some of the backgrounds aren't as detailed as later Ghibli films, but it has those great Ghibli stylistics. Infact, the giant Totoro has since had cameos in other films and is the official mascot for Ghibli studios.

The great visuals are accompanied by a great soundtrack - even the English dub is fab, and will have you singing it for days afterwards!

In a nutshell: This is one of my favourite films, Totoro is now iconic as an anime character and I feel cheated that it's taken so long for me to discover a film which is nearly 20 years old! (Although this particular release is new). The film is one the entire family can enjoy, with believable characters, and lovable non-human ones.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Neighbour Totoro, 4 Jun 2007
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed this film. Although I'm a self confessed ghibli fan, this is essentially a film aimed at children, but which I loved from the word go. It has beautiful animation and a simple story that captivates you and makes you smile the whole way. The characterisation is great and the kids in the film are genuinely endearing. The specific touches, like the cat bus, add that spark of magic and wonder for kids and adults alike. I really was surprised at how much I liked this film and have to rate it very highly in Ghibli's output of work. Great viewing and not to be missed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming!, 14 Jun 2006
By 
Natalie Oughton "Natalie" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] (DVD)
This film is absolutely amazing. I can watch nearly all of the Studio Ghiblis on loop but this one is particularly watchable. One of those films thats handy to have when you're feeling a little low, you just can't help but smile at it.

I personally prefer watching the subtitled version rather than the dubbed version as the characters come across quite differently when compared, in the dubbed version i find Mei annoying and Satsuki rude! I prefer the characters in the Japanese spoken version.

Miyazaki has an amazing way of presenting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and this is no let down. These girls could be anyone, they could have been you when you were little and you get to watch them having the adventures you dreamed of when you were tiny.

This film is worth watching even if only to watch the scene where the Totoros and the girls make the seeds grow. It's a fantastic scene and one of my favourites out of the whole Studio Ghibli collection.
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My Neighbour Totoro [DVD]
My Neighbour Totoro [DVD] by Hayao Miyazaki (DVD - 2006)
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