My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I have a hard time explaining why I enjoyed this film as much as I did. There's not much of a plot to speak of, a lot of the characters are ciphers and yet it's captivating, in a quiet way, that's as far removed from the wise-cracking, worldly pyrotechnics of most modern 3D animation as it's possible to get. You'd have to have a heart of stone to sit through this with dry eyes. It doesn't have the otherworldliness of Spirited Away or the grown-up appeal of Princess Mononoke, but in its own way, it's pure Miyazaki magic.

There's an intriguing reading of the film that involves the children being dead and Totoro being a god of Death. Ghibli has gone out of its way to deny that there's any truth to it, but it's hard to shake completely once you've read the theory and might make you watch the film from a different perspective second time around!

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