Friday, November 26, 2010

My Neighbor Totoro DVD - Rated G


Read the Back:

Enter a whimsical "garden of earthly delights" (The New York Times), in this enchanting fantasy adventure that has become an international favorite of children around the world.

Deep inside a tree trunk, two children discover a fascinating new world inhabited by Totoros - amazing, charming creatures who become their friends. Some are big, some are small, but all of them are furry, lovable and ready to do wondrous, magical fly over mountains and make giant trees grow in the middle of the night! Best of all, Totoros can't be seen by adults, only the children who love them.

With its imaginative characters, heartwarming story and striking animation by the award-winning Hayao Miyazaki, MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO is "certain to delight" (Los Angeles Times) again and again.

My Thoughts:

This is a very enchanting film for "children" of all ages. We purchased this DVD on a whim since we have liked several of Hayao Miyazaki's films and we were NOT disappointed in the least! My daughter (2.5 yrs. old) watches this film repeatedly in any given day. She really enjoys the Totoros which look similar to bunnies or teddy bears. She also really enjoys the music that plays during the credits. What I love about this movie is that even if we watch it multiple times in a row there is always something new to discover in it. Also, it's not annoying as most children's DVDs can be.

I found the back of the DVD to not really hit on the plot description so here is a basic run down without spoiling the movie.

The main characters are sisters named Mei (4 yrs.) and Satsuki (10 yrs.) and they have a mother who is ill and in the hospital. They move into a new house with their dad and discover that there is more to their new place than they expected. They befriend the Totoros and have a few adventures along the way.

Just in case you are wondering what a Totoro is exactly...

What is Totoro?

He has been called many things from "a giant furry thing" to "a rabbit-like spirit". Basically, he is a spirit of the forest. Totoro is not a traditional Japanese character, he came completely from Miyazaki's imagination. However, he is obviously a mixture of several animals: tanukis (ie. the raccoon dog, a wild dog similar to raccoons), cats (the pointed ears and the facial expressions), and owls (the chevron markings on their chests and the "ooo"-ing sound they make with their ocarinas at night).

The name "Totoro" comes from Mei mispronouncing (she has a tendency to do so, though it wasn't clear in the dub) the word "tororu", which is the Japanese word for "troll". When Satsuki asks her "Totoro? You mean, the Troll in our book?" she is referring to their book "Three Mountain Goats" (The Three Billy Goats Gruff). In the closing credits you can see their mother reading the book to them. Although it's hard to see it on the tape, in the picture book for the movie you can see the picture on the cover shows a goat running over a bridge while a Totoro-like troll looks up from underneath the bridge.

I would give this DVD a 5 out of 5 stars as I found it engaging and not annoying :D

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