My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★

A family from Tokyo moves to the countryside in order to be closer to the hospital where the tuberculosis-stricken mother is convalescing. The two young daughters are delighted with their new home, especially when they discover in the nearby woods a benevolent giant creature which they name Totoro.

It's been a very, very, long time since a movie left me with a huge smile on my face when the end credits started rolling, like "My Neighbor Totoro" did. A pure at heart film which takes us back to a gentler time, when the world was full of wonders , and the boundaries between fantasy and reality often got blurred. This is an absolute triumph for Miyazaki and studio Ghibli. Not only are the visuals amazing, giving us iconic shots like the one at the bus stop, but also creates a whimsical atmosphere that will soothe the heart even of the most cynical viewer. There is no villain here, no conflict, or some sinister force lurking in the shadows. There isn't even a story to tell, in the traditional sense. What the movie loses due to its leisurely pace, more than makes up with visual inventiveness and rich, well-earned sentiments.

The voice acting is on the same level as the animation. Satsuki and Mei are two of the most vivid, vibrant characters I have seen in a cartoon. Their carefree attitude and love of life oozes through the screen. It's amazing also how the filmmakers managed to make Totoro one of the most adorable characters ever using only a handful of growls and roars, and his huge expressive eyes.

"My Neighbor Totoro" deserves every accolade it has accumulated over the years and it's reputation as one of the best family-friendly films of all time is well-earned. This is a wonderful movie and a must-see for kids from 5 to 105 years old.

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