My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★★

(Subtitled version)

An absolutely unreal experience from the opening song to the final credit. A film where every detail is beautiful and perfect, where every performance shines in simplicity, where every beat puts a smile on my face. It's, luckily, one of the first experiences I've ever had with film and it's not the nostalgia talking in the slightest.

No film, live-action or animated, captures the complete experience of childhood quite like this film. The energy, the joy, the scary, the tough, the little moments of growing up and discovering what the world is and what it means, making an adventure out of the mundane, how it can be slow or fleeting. No other film comes close to it, or at least doesn't do it with the finesse and beauty that Miyazaki paints it in. Every shot is kinetic, detailed, and impassioned; no other film feels as alive and complete. The sound design is so vivid and the soundtrack ranges from the wallpaper John Carpenter wishes he can make to triumph and emotion that gives John Williams a run for his money. The storytelling is simple and free-form, adventurous and calm, with moments of exuberant joy and engaging tension, the world and characters so realized.

I'm really trying here guys, I realize my weakness with writing about films is that I have trouble writing about what makes a film good when I can write a million things about what makes a film terrible. How exactly can I put the feeling and the experience I had with this film when it really is so personal and so intangible?

I guess all I can really say is that I hope you have had or will have the chance to experience it too.

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