Friday, October 28, 2005

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO ("Tonari no Totoro") -- by naudy (a good 8)

This movie was loaned to me by a friend who insisted it be put on my "Required Movies" list. It is a required movie. Hayao Miyazaki, creator of other very popular films like PRINCESS MONONOKE and the Oscar Award-winning SPIRITED AWAY made this delightful film about a family who has moved to the Japanese countryside. It's beautifully realistic while having elements of playfulness and magic. Totoro, after all, is the spirit king of the forest. Only kids who aren't jaded can see him which means our two little girls can see him.

TOTORO is what I would consider a beginning-level Japanese animae movie. Miyazaki often uses the same character archetypes and this movie is a good introduction to them. SPIRITED AWAY is a really great movie, but it's awfully confusing to an American audience unfamiliar with Japanese mythology. My little nephew loves NAUSICA but mainly because he can't quite figure it out. TOTORO is accessable, sweet and, unlike everything by Disney, has no bad guys and nothing scary. It's definately going on my Required Viewing list and on my "Things To Buy My Sister's Children" list, too!

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