I loved this movie when I was young, but my view of it shifted dramatically post-puberty. Themes that flew over my head suddenly made sense, and where as a kid I saw a wildly fun fairy-tail, I now saw a nostalgic and bittersweet ode to the magic of childhood. Leave it to Miyazaki to make a coming-of-age allegory that changes for a viewer coming of age ("You only see him when you're very young...")
Great film. Though I must say I enjoy his other films a lot more. It also feels slight, like it could have gone further. However, it is very impressive that it avoids cliches and easy conflicts; fostering a plethora of healthy themes like environmentalism, family, friendship, altruism, and perseverance. I do love it and maybe it will grow on me more upon a re-watch or two. A great kids movie. In Miyazaki we trust.
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!