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The Animated Addict: My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

In the 1980's, anime really hit North America, and became a massive part of it's pop culture- finding a home for many of Japan's mature storytelling (like "Akira" (1988), and it's more charming tales.

"My Neighbor Totoro" falls into the latter.

Satsuki and Mei have just moved into a new house near the hospital where their mother is recovering from an illness.  From the start, they knew that there was something unusual about the house, and the surrounding fields... but then Mei discovers Totoro... and their lives take a definite turn for the magical...

The story isn't one of super lofty deepness.  It's meant to simply entertain and transport you to a wonderful and colourful world- which it does superbly.  I had very little trouble letting myself get carried away by the whimsy and innocence of the story.

I also found the characters to be quite likable, and developed nicely as the story progresses- thought that development is rather subtle.  Subtle enough to feel natural, and not jar you from simply letting the story move you along.  And let's face it- Totoro is cute.  You just want to cuddle with him... or at least I did.

The voice acting was quite good as well.  It really helped to give the characters life and energy.

Given that it's a Studio Ghibli production done by Hayao Miyazaki, you know that the artwork is just gorgeous.  The character designs, the colours, textures, everything just breathes life into this film.  Just beautiful from start to finish.

When I want to watch a film that's relaxing, I'm inclined to put in "My Neighbor Totoro".  I'm giving it a spot in "The Good".


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