George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Directed by the incredible Hayao Miyazaki, My Neighbor Totoro follows the adventures of Satsuki, her four-year-old sister Mei and their new neighbour Totoro, a mysterious forest spirit who can only be seen by children.
Within My Neighbor Totoro, Miyazaki creates a universe where childhood perspectives of the world take over. Allowing for the Japanese master's knowledge of children's psyches and his appreciation for childhood visions to take full control and craft a uniquely vibrant, joyous world that’s filled to the brim with beautiful landscapes. The premise itself is nice and simple, My Neighbor Totoro is not bound by any rules of traditional storytelling. Instead, it presents occurrences that touch you on a fundamental human level which all work brilliantly because the plot is established as a foundation without hindering the experience of the movie itself.
My Neighbor Totoro proves time and time again that life itself is the grandest, most exhilarating of all drama topics. It's a story that children, and adults alike, can relate to, with stunning animation and a simple plot that awakens your inner child. To think, in 1988 Studio Ghibli released the incredibly dark Grave of the Fireflies and the cute, friendly My Neighbor Totoro in the same year is masterful, and whilst this may not be Studio Ghibli's best, it was a nice, charming adventure that, while being simple, allowed for an otherworldly tale of childhood and a definitive work of imagination to take fully effect and grip me throughout.
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