By my reckoning, Miyazaki's most perfect film. Almost bruising in its tranquility. It captures long-forgotten sensations of childhood. Mei is such an adorable little frog. Surely everyone feels a slight shock of panic when the shoe is discovered in the lake and a jolt of sadness when Satsuki shouts at her that their mother is going to die. Totoro doesn't need to be a death god for the film to be melancholy and wise.
It's only after I've rewatched this a couple of times that I'm beginning to get pulled to the narrative side of it; I've always found it to be dashingly beautiful (only Miyazaki could create such an elaborate relm of the fantastical), but it was really only now that I became aware of how rich a story this was. I still do feel like it's a bit inflated due to nostalgia, but hey, maybe next time will do the charm.
"My Neighbor Totoro" is a sweet, heart-warming tale about imagination and the bond between siblings. This movie (like all of Miyazaki's films) is just flat out gorgeous! I actually found myself pausing the movie every so often just to take in the breathtaking art work. This certainly isn't Miyazaki's best film, but it is still a fun movie with some great characters and beautiful animation!
3-3.5 I really want to intellectually like this movie more than I did. And the parts that are great about it are great. Miyazaki has a deft hand with body language and the principle of "Show, Don't Tell" plus the animation is gorgeous. But Totoro, himself, actually has surprisingly little bearing on the proceedings, and the movie takes a long time to get to its conflict. It is warm, accessible, and beautiful, though.