Baz’s review published on Letterboxd:
There aren’t many films that, once they are finished, you immediately want to watch them all over again.
Hiyao Myozaki’s 1988 classic animated tale is a film I’ve watched only once before, yet it’s so universal, I feel like I have seen it a hundred times.
There’s a pounding resonance of youth throughout the film, where we follow our young protagonists as they have deal with their mothers hospitalisation and moving to a new home. At a young age, these two siblings are thrust into an adult world that even the hardened of grownups struggle to cope with.
My Neighbour Totoro takes these themes and places them ever so slightly in the background as the sisters encounter a wonderful creature whom they begin a fantastical relationship with. Watching magical trees grow in seconds akin to Jack and the Beanstalk, to a Cheshire Cat that is also a bus - literally - for the wonderful creatures of Totoro’s world.
Totoro might appears to be another fairytale, and I suppose it is some what Peter Pan, but it also very much stands alone as an enchanting and haunting approach to the innocence of youth, and the eventuality of adulthood and all that comes with it. Until that day, they'll always have their neighbour Totoro.