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on 10 January 2014
If you're a fan of the Ghibli films these art books are a treat to have, they're full of stunning images from the film and pre-production, some of the books contain the movie scripts too.

If you love these films you will love these books.
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My Neighbour Totoro is easily one my all time favourite films, and it's also one which is enjoyed by all members of my family. This book adds an extra dimension to a Miyazaki classic by not only containing pictures from the film itself, but also watercolours which are very different in style but still capture the spirit and the magic of the characters.

There are full page prints of cells from the film and they look incredible. The amount detail and the gorgeous colours really demonstrate the level of artwork which went into the film itself. The watercolours in the book show how the storyboard was developed to help visualise how the scenes should look. The colours are more subdued in those but the pictures are no less beautiful - I've seen them before for sale as posters and it's easy to see why, there is so much life in the paintings that they almost look as though they are going to move.

Concept sketches show rough drafts of the characters, and even at such an embryonic stage of development the artists manage to give Mei and Satsuki personalities. It's not just characters who are depicted here either; there is a schematic diagram of the house along with views of it from different angles and some meticulously detailed landscapes too.

The collection of art in this book is presented in a roughly chronological order to the story in the film itself, flicking though the book is like a privileged insight into the film at a deeper level. You get to see inside the creative minds of Miyazaki and his team, and at the end of the book we get to read their views on the film. This is the sort of book which can either be picked up for a quick look at the pictures, or can be taken and savoured as you immerse yourself in a beautiful world

In a nutshell: If you love My Neighbour Totoro then this book will make you love it even more. Even if you've never even heard of the film, this book will make you appreciate the efforts that the team at Studio Ghibli have made to create something which manages to be world renound and yet still relatively unknown to mainstream UK audiences. This book will captivate you no matter what age you are or how interested you are in the film itself or animation in general.
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on 8 May 2017
The book wasnt wrapped in anything so damage was inevitable BUT amazingly it was only a few dents in the back of the book. And since there's nothing on the back no harm there.

The content is a lot more informative than i expected which is good. Not only do you get pretty pictures but also descriptions in how the animation was created. Its technically informative and strikes an interests to those who want to understand further about the studio and the art work.
review image review image review image
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Fans of Miyazaki's movies won't be disappointed by this book. It has lots of concept art, sketches, water colour storyboards, character design and beautiful paintings of the countryside.

Some of the art are captioned by Miyazaki to give you insight into the scenes.

At the end of the book is a summary of the film's production process. There are interviews with key production staff, including the music director Joe Hisaishi.

This book is easily a classic, just like the anime movie itself.

There are more pictures on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.
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VINE VOICEon 12 November 2006
The Art of My Neighbour Totoro, is part of the Japanese Animage 'Art of' Studio Ghibli series, translated for English speaking audiences by Viz Media. At present, there are five books in the series available in the west, and I would suggest that this is the weakest of them, though still a brilliant collectable product for any Totoro, Studio Ghibli, Anime or Animation fan.

Whilst personal bias partly forms my lower regard of the book - other books in the series cover films which I esteem higher - it is undeniable that Totoro is simply less interesting on a technical basis, which is all important here in an "Art of" book: the backgrounds are less detailed than those in the later films covered in the other 4 books, and there is also less to say about design challenges and technical innovation, which becomes more prominent from Kiki's Delivery Service onwards.

The stars of My Neighbour Totoro, are of course the Totoros. It is therefore somewhat disappointing that the Totoros aren't specifically focused on. It's also surprising that there seems to be no evidence of the Totoro design evolving in Hayao Miyazaki's sketches, so either the design was completed as soon as Miyazaki put pen to paper, or there are missing links here. Even Miyazaki's essay is surprisingly brief and not nearly as interesting as ones he penned for later books. Perhaps if the book had been made more recently, there would have been more of a focus on what has become Studio Ghibli's mascot. As it is, there are still interesting points to be found regarding the evolution of Mei into two seperate characters, among other things. In fact, the book probably contains more text than others in the series, and it has an interesting production report at the end.

The book is beautifully presented with a hardback cover (superior to the Japanese originals which are paperbacked), high quality print and glossy paper (with the exception of the text heavy "Totoro production report" at the rear). The art contained within is a mixture of rough concept sketches, storyboards, production backgrounds and the cel art used in the film.
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on 17 May 2016
A beautiful book.
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on 7 August 2014
A stunning book. If you love the film as much as I do I would highly recommend this book. It show the whole creation process of the film showing a lot of the rough water colours to more refined character design sketches, concept art work and the finished backgrounds and cell animation.
One part I really liked was how much though was put into the designs like the blue print drawing showing the full layout of the house.
If the other Ghibli books are of this quality I would love to add more to my collection, especially Princess Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service.
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on 10 June 2015
I purchased this book for my significant other as part of her birthday present.
She loves it. The detail and information contained within are simply excellent. She is a big Ghibli head, and I am a convert.
The quality of the print is clear, with very good colour throughout.
I would get a hardback if I could, as this thing is truly a show-piece!
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on 21 December 2015
I bought this for my Granddaughter who is studying her first year in Art college. She was studying the subject of animation and loved this book as she chose the Anime feature film My Neighbour Totoro to base her mini animation project on. It was very useful and a beautiful insight into the production and character development involved to create the iconic film. Glad I purchased it :) well made and delivered early.
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on 3 July 2014
Bought as a gift for a burgeoning artist who was very pleased with it. Definitely something for a fan who enjoys the art form itself and not just the final production, as the much of the book focuses on the finer details, showing rough sketches and highlighting the intricacies of the process as well as giving an overall picture of the production schedule towards the end of the book.
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