Studio Ghibli is a studio that has been delivering terrific animation movies for thirty years - and it remains one of the best in the business.

My Neighbour Totoro

My Neighbour Totoro

The studio and its fantastic directors have been behind movies such as Princess Mononoke, Grave of the Fireflies, Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle... but today we are taking a closer look at My Neighbour Totoro - which is one of my all-time favourite Studio Ghibli movies.

My Neighbour Totoro hit the big screen back in 1988 and was the third official Studio Ghibli movie - many see it as the fourth as Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is considered a Studio Ghibli film even though it was released before the studio was founded.

Hayao Miyazaki, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest animation filmmakers was in the director's chair and came hot off the heels of his work on Castle in the Sky.

While their mother recovers from an illness, Satsuki and her sister Mei get away from it all in an idyllic rural retreat. Far from the bustle of the city, they discover a mysterious place of spirits and magic, and the friendship of the Totoro woodland creatures.

For me, My Neighbour Totoro is one of the most childlike Studio Ghibli movies and yet, it is one of the most enchanting and charming that they have released over the last thirty years.

It remains one of the best family movies, director Miyazaki really has an understanding of childhood, and he really does capture that feeling of innocent and wide-eyed wonder. However, this is not a movie that is sickly sweet as the air and threat of death really does hang over this whole movie.

Miyazaki has stuck the perfect balance between the threat of death and emotional turmoil that the two sisters are facing with the 'other world' experiences that they are having with Totoro.

My Neighbour Totoro is a movie that still thrills audiences of all ages and it one of the Studio Ghibli movies that perfectly crosses generations. We all remember what is was like to have the childhood wonder and we have all tried to escape reality and what is going on in the real world that's too painful to confront.

From start to finish, My Neighbour Totoro is a totally enchanting movie that sweeps you away into another world - that is largely thanks to director Miyazaki.

Studio Ghibli have brought us some wonderful characters over the year, but Totoro and Catbus remain two of the most iconic and enduring.

If you are new to the Studio Ghibli movies then My Neighbour Totoro is a great place to start - if you are as familiar with them as I am, then it is a movie that you can come back to and enjoy time and time again. This really is an animated classic and a must see for all ages if you are a fan of this genre.

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