Slice of Life, Adventure, Fantasy Geeky: But plot wise, this is a very slow moving film, slow and uneventful for almost the entire film, and then insanely rushed in the last minutes of the film. Actually the ending feels really disjointed from the rest of the film and you can read about that under the Conspiracy Theory below.
The Story[ change change source ] Two girls, Satsuki and her younger sister named Mei, move to a house in the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. One day, Mei discovers a giant creature named Totoro who lives in the forest by their house. Some time later, when the girls were waiting for their dad by the bus stop, they both saw Totoro and a cat-bus.
Later, Mei decides to run away to try to find her mother at the hospital, and she gets lost. Satsuki looks for Totoro, who gives her a ride on the cat-bus and helps her find Mei. As the movie ends, the girls are seen delivering an ear of corn to their mom to help her get well.
Satsuki is the traditional name of the fifth month of the Japanese calendarthe equivalent of the English May. The widely-distributed promotional image for the movie of a girl standing next to Totoro at a bus stop reflects the earlier conception with a single child. When Miyazaki was a young boy, his mother had tuberculosis.
These names do not appear in the movie itself, but are used in ancillary materials. This character resembles Miyazaki in his fondness for cartoons and airplanes. It is based on the Japanese superstition that if a cat grows old enough, it gains magical shape-changing powers, and is called a bake neko.
Family[ change change source ] One of the most significant things to point out in My Neighbor Totoro is that the mother is absent from the home. This is illustrated several times throughout the movie. One such illustration is when Satsuki prepares breakfast and lunch for her father and Mei before she leaves for school.
This is a task that would normally fall to the mother. Also, the various cleaning and garden tasks that Satsuki and Mei often had the help of Nanny to complete would have also normally been the main responsibility of the mother to complete.
Although their father is often away working at the university or visiting their mother in the hospital, he is by no means an absentee father. He is seen working at a desk while Mei plays outside and spending time with his daughters before their bedtime. Many scholarly critiques of Japanese culture would lead one to believe that this is not the norm.
Setting[ change change source ] My Neighbor Totoro exhibits several important cultural points through the setting and passive details.
The house into which the Kusakabe family moves is an accurate portrayal of a typical, rural, Japanese home. The sliding doors that the father opens when they first move into the house are common architectural features.
These doors are meant to be opened during the day, weather permitting, and closed at night. Another feature to point out about the house itself is the way the foundation is constructed.
As for Totoro, he lives in a tree demarcated by a shimenawa braided straw rope for shinto. The tree is called shinboku sacred tree. The rice paddies are visible throughout the movie. Rice cultivation is one of the most important industries in Japan, as rice is a staple of the Japanese diet.
The home that Satsuki and Mei live in is more spacious than what would be available in a city. Also, the scene where Nanny, Mei, and Satsuki are washing vegetables shows the near self-sufficiency of these farming communities.
The bath scene is also demonstrative of archetypal Japanese life. It is considered rude to enter the tub without first washing, as shown by Satsuki before she enters the tub with her father and Mei.
These bathtubs are heated usually by small, well-tended coal burners under the tub. Another cultural manifestation is the scene that shows the family sleeping.
Often, the living room is converted into a bedroom where the whole family sleeps together on mats called futon. This sleeping arrangement is space-efficient and accommodates for smaller housing in a country where living space is severely limited. Mei is sleeping between Satsuki and her father, which is the usual arrangement—with the youngest in the middle.
A bento is a compartmentalized lunch box usually with only one or two tiers.Apr 16, · My favorite scene is the first encounter between Mei and Totoro. It's fun, poetic, and charming. Miyazaki succeeds to make a movie enjoyable for the very little kids (4 y.o.) and for the adult audience/10(K).
My Neighbor Totoro is a film that delves into fantasy and the innocent world of children, while still portraying slight external conflict and, more importantly, valuable life lessons. Conflict present in the film is situational, such as illness of a family member and the .
Best for Character Development; Best for Learning Lists; Family Guides. All Family Guides; Parent reviews for My Neighbor Totoro. Common Sense says Not only is it my 3 year old daughter's favorite movie, but it holds up to repeated viewings by Dad as well.
It's hard to find movies that are appropriate for toddlers - to find one that. My Neighbor Totoro was first released in Japanese theaters as a double-feature with the Studio Ghibli film Grave of the Fireflies.
It was an odd juxtaposition of a simple, lighthearted children's story with a heart-wrenching, tragic children's story/5(). “Kanta's Mother is a minor character appears in Studio Ghibli's film My Neighbor Totoro directed.
Apr 16, · Watch video · When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby/10(K).