My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★½

Magically capturing the beauty & innocence of childhood, My Neighbor Totoro is a magnificent example of hand-drawn animation from Studio Ghibli. Set in a rural village in post-war Japan, it tells the story of two little girls who move to a new place with their father so that they can be near to the hospital where their mother is recovering from a long-term illness and covers the little girls' adventures with the wood spirits living in a nearby forest.

Directed by world's renowned artist Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro isn't any conflicted or tragic story but is simply a reflection & celebration of life and its little adventures. The childhood of the two girls portrayed here is extremely convincing, the fanciful creatures including Totoro are freshly imagined, the 2D animation mirrors a beautiful painting, the voice actors are lively in their roles & the music is as heartwarming as it is soothing.

On an overall scale, My Neighbor Totoro is a nostalgic journey of childhood, an adventure for all ages & a subtle commentary about the depleting relationship between humans & nature. It brings on screen some wondrous creatures of fantasy & yet remains grounded throughout its runtime. A simple, heartfelt & joyous cinema that takes us through little bits of every emotion, My Neighbor Totoro is a cinematic gem that viewers are going to cherish for a long, long time.

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