Review: My Neighbor Totoro

Filed under: That's Entertainment

My Neighbor TotoroMy Neighbor Totoro is one of the few movies I can watch over and over again and never get tired of it. The story is about a family with two daughters who move to the country to be closer to their mother who is recovering from an illness in the hospital. It is a seemingly mundane tale that takes a fantastic turn when the girls meet a friendly spirit named Totoro who lives in the forest near their new home. Full of magic, wonder, and innocence, this is an absolutely wonderful animated film by director Hayao Miyazaki.

My Neighbor Totoro
was originally produced in 1988 and a full-screen, pan-and-scan, English dub was distributed by Fox Films in 2002. Finally, the film will be re-released in wide-screen format with a new voice cast and an updated translation on March 7, 2006. I watched this new version recently and it is excellent. The English dub is new with Tim Daly as the father, Dakota Fanning as the older daughter Satsuki and Elle Fanning as Mei. It's a treat to be able to finally see the full artwork from the movie in the way it was originally intended. And the new dub is very well done. The only thing that bothers me a little is Tim Daly's voice as the father. For some reason, to my ear, he just doesn't seem to fit. But that's a minor issue with an otherwise beautiful film.

This movie is completely charming. It's pure, wholesome entertainment and both of our kids love it. Highly recommended.

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