Sunday, July 28, 2013

My Neighbour Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Review

I could probably find an excuse to review this film. Ermmm....the Japanese version has Shiegetso Itoi in it...he made the game Earthbound which was just re-released! So yeah! That's a good enough excuse to review a film I'd say. I haven't even reviewed a Studio Ghibli film in a while and a freind had to remind me of doing one so here we have a film by the great Miyazaki himself, let's take a look at My Neighbour Totoro...yes 'Neighbour', not 'Neighbor'...(and yes i am reviewing the English version)

Two young girls, Satsuki (Dakota Fanning) and Mei (Elle Fanning), move to the country with their father (Tim Daly) in order to live closer to the hospital where their mother (Lea Salonga) is currently staying in. When exploring the nearby forest, Mei discovers a mystical guardian of the forest known as Totoro (Frank Welker) who quickly befriends Mei. Satsuki later discovers Totoro and soon  the guardian begins to influence their lives.

Yes this is one of Ghibl's best. I'm just gonna throw that out now. Why? Starting with the look. This was made in the 80s but it still looks really nice, even today. Hell, it looks nicer than a lot of animated films now which is to be expected with the amazing Studio Ghibli. The music is also fantastic. The main theme is incredibly catchy and will stay stuck in your head for good reason considering that it's a great song. The score for the film is glorious to listen to and works well with the film.

This is more something from the English version, but this is definitely one of Dakota Fanning's better roles since he actually puts emotion into it. She seems much better at voice acting than live acting if this and Coraline are anything to go by. All the characters are likable which might be helped by the character design and acting. I also enjoyed the narrative as it doesn't really focus entirely on Totoro but looks more at the human characters. which is always a nice thing.

My Neighbour Totoro is definitely one of Studio Ghibli's better films, if not one of their best. It looks really nice, has a fantastic soundtrack, has some great acting and is all around a strong film. The imagination is what you would expect from not only Studio Ghibli but from Hayao Miyazaki himself. I can't recommend this film enough and is a great film to watch as a first Ghibli film.

An imaginative, good looking, great sounding animated film from one of the kings of animation.

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