Tag: My Neighbour Totoro

August 17, 2016 / / Main Slate

“Most of our world is rubbish. It’s difficult.” Sitting at a table, listlessly smoking a cigarette, the beloved master artist, animator, and director Hayao Miyazaki contemplates what he finds to be the utter hopelessness and crudeness of life. Despite making some of the most charming, comforting, and not to mention visually stunning animated films of all time, Miyazaki conveys this sentiment quite often. One can find his many rather cynical musings captured in director Mami Sunada’s documentary film THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS (2013), which delves into Miyazaki’s life as well as the world of production within Studio Ghibili, his animation film studio.

July 21, 2006 / / Film Notes

Written by Sasha HuzsvaiÂ

Japan, 1988. 86 min. Tokuma Japan Communications Co., Studio Ghibli. Voices: Dakota Fanning, Timothy Daly, Elle Fanning, Pat Carroll; Music: Joe Hisaishi; Produced by: Toru Hara, Yasoyoshi Tokuma, Rick Dempsey; Written by: Hayao Miyazaki, Cindy Davis Hewitt, Donald H. Hewitt; Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

During my childhood, I must have watched My Neighbor Totoro a hundred times, and it has never lost its magic for me, even until this day. It’s strange sitting down and trying to put the essence of this film into words, because even now, when I’m grown up and expected to be able to analyze, to break down into pieces and build up again, to self-examine, My Neighbor Totoro remains intact, impenetrable, like a vision half-glimpsed but never quite within reach. For me, at least, it’s synonymous with my own childhood, and it can’t be separated from myself and broken down into categories of good or bad, exciting or dull. Now, when I think of the details burned into my memory when I was seven – the Cat Bus, Mei running through the rice fields, the impish dust bunnies floating through the air – it’s hard to separate those memories from myself, because they shaped who I have become.