My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★★

I loved Castle of Cagliostro and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind because, despite watching them recently for the first time, they made me feel like a child once more; just as excited as when I would rewatch The Iron Giant or Scooby Doo over and over again.

But My Neighbor Totoro didn’t just make me feel like a child, it transformed me into a child. I was a child again. I am not kidding. I was a child. A child!!!!!!

I felt awe, fear, rage, happiness, sadness all for the first time again. For a rather “plotless” movie, the emotions it stirs are quite surprising. Overall, I think there is some insightful movie-magic truth in how Miyazaki makes us feel these emotions and why they’re so strong.

For Totoro is not the saddest, the most outrageous, nor the most frightening movie by any chance (though maybe so the happiest...but...). It is not in scale that its emotional impact works, but in the heart and perspective from where it comes from. It’s the particularity, the sincerity, the beauty of the feeling that moves me.

Totoro, to me, is about feeling and loving the feeling of being alive. About wanting to live an adventure. About having a keen eye and experiencing the wonders of the world around us.

As adults we pretend to know everything, because we’re expected to and we play the part. But truly, we don’t understand the world. And it’s scary not to. But My Neighbor Totoro reminds us that we mustn’t only be scared of our incomprehension. We are but just one more occupant in this enormous marvelous universe. 

Let us be fascinated again, as a child once more, with the magic surrounding us! Let us be awed by soot and seeds and rain! 

There is so much we don’t know! Which means there is so much to explore! So much to learn! So much space where to wander...
Let us wander! Let us wander!

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