My Neighbor Totoro (Japanese: となりのトトロ Hepburn: Tonari no Totoro) is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.


The movie tells the story of the two young girls named Satsuki and Mei, who are the daughters of a professor and their ill mother, and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan.

Why it Rocks

  1. The animation has that Studio Ghibli touch, looking beautiful and has well detailed backgrounds.
  2. Satuski and Mei show their relationship with each other well throughout the film and with the Totoros.
  3. Awesome music by the talented Joe Hisaishi.
  4. The Voice Acting shows emotion, no matter what dub or version it is.
  5. It mainly focuses on singular scenes with no dialogue and just music (like the Bus Stop scene).
  6. Even though the titular character doesn’t appear that much, he still managed to make an impact, such as becoming Studio Ghibli’s mascot and a cameo in Toy Story 3.
  7. With its US theatrical and later home media release in 1993, it was one of the first attempts to introduce Studio Ghibli to an North American audience.

Bad Qualities

  1. The Streamline Pictures dub isn’t as polished as the later Disney dub, which leads to having Satuski sounding too old for her age, and Mei sounding like Angelica from Rugrats. Also, sometimes the music is drowned out by dialogue.  
  2. Along with Grace of the Fireflies it was a flop at the box office.