My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro ★★★★

My Neighbor Totoro is a tricky one for me, because I found myself a little blindsided by it's simplicity! After reading the Letterboxd description I was anticipating a film which delved quite a bit more into spiritual and magical elements, much like Nausicaa or Mononoke did. What I found was that the film is a lot more grounded in reality, and I was surprised by how little the spirits seemed to feature in the narrative. Because I was anticipating Totoro and his world to have more of a presence throughout the film, I think my expectations were subverted in a way which left me a little unsure of the film. I was not expecting the spiritual elements of the film to operate on such metaphorical levels, that I wasn't sure what to make of it at first. A rewatch is definitely in order for this one, and I'm not hesitant to revisit this at all.

What I can say with certainty though, is that this an exceedingly charming film which relishes it's simplicity over the high-concept nature of the previous Miyazaki films I've seen. It seems to be a highly personal film, especially in it's exploration of childhood discovery of the new. It's a unsurprisingly gorgeous film which captures so many human idiosyncrasies. The score also captures the idyllic nature of the film's setting very well, I loved listening to it throughout.

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