My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ - Tonari no Totoro) is a 1988 Japanese animated movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli.

Troma Films produced a 1993 dub of the film co-produced by Jerry Beck. It was released on VHS and DVD by Fox Home Video. Troma and Fox's rights to this version expired in 2004.

An ani-manga version of My Neighbor Totoro was published in English by Viz Communications starting on November 10, 2004.

The film will be re-released by Disney on March 7, 2006. It features a new dub cast. The DVD release will be the first version of the film in the United States to include both Japanese and English language tracks, as Fox did not have the rights to the Japanese audio track for their version.

Characters

  • Satsuki Kusakabe - An 11-year-old girl.
  • Mei Kusakabe - Satsuki's younger sister, pre-school age (4 years old).
  • Professor Kusakabe - The girls' father.
  • Totoro - 3 Totoro appear in the film:
    • King Totoro (Ō Totoro) - The grey, friendly forest spirit who is the largest of the three (at least 3 meters tall); when someone says "totoro", they are usually referring to him. Mei has a habit of mispronouncing things. She tried to say "tororu", the Japanese word for troll. Ō in that case means "large" but the English dub calls that Totoro "King Totoro".
    • Medium Totoro (Chū Totoro) - The blue, medium-size (about 60 centimeters tall) one. Looks very similar to King Totoro.
    • Small Totoro (Chibi Totoro) - The white, smallest (about 20 centimeters tall) one, with the power of invisibility.
  • Kanta - A preteen boy of their village, ambivalent towards Satsuki.
  • "Nanny" - Kanta's grandmother, who sometimes takes care of the girls.
  • Catbus or Nekobasu - a cat that has become a bus.

Plot

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. My Neighbor Totoro.

The movie is a slow-moving yet fascinating portrayal of Japanese rural life. It is set during a summer of the 1950s. A university professor from the city and his two daughters move into an old house near a forest, while his wife recovers from tuberculosis in a nearby convalescence home. His daughters discover "soot sprites", which their father rationalizes as makkurokurosuke — an optical illusion seen when moving from light to dark places (glossed as dust bunnies in the 1993 English dub; in the Disney version they are called "Soot Gremlins".).

Mei discovers a small Totoro, which leads her to find a large forest spirit living in a hollow under a Camphor Laurel by a small jinja. Mei names it Totoro. Her father tells her that this is the "King of the Forest". Not everyone can see the spirits of the forest, only the pure of heart. Mei is enchanted with them and determined to find the King of the Forest. One rainy night, while the girls are waiting for their father's bus which is running late, they encounter the giant Totoro who is looking rather forlorn with only a leaf for protection against the rain. When Satsuki gives him her umbrella, he's delighted at both the shelter and the sounds it makes as water hits it. This begins a series of encounters as the spirits allow the children to partake in their nightly activities.

Later, Mei and Satsuki are disappointed to learn that their mother's planned homecoming visit that upcoming weekend has been postponed because mother's condition has worsened. Satsuki understands why the visit was cancelled, but Mei does not, and a frustrated Satsuki yells at Mei and the girls end up not speaking to each other for several hours. Then, Mei gets lost while trying to bring an ear of healthy corn to her mother at the hospital, and a frantic Satsuki runs everywhere searching for her. Satsuki and the villagers get a major scare when a girl's sandal is found in a pond and they begin to fear that Mei has drowned, but Satsuki confirms that the sandal is not Mei's. Satsuki finally seeks Totoro's help. He is delighted to be of assistance, and with his help Mei is quickly found.

The movie features the Catbus, a grinning feline bus summoned by Totoro which rescues Mei and whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in hospital. When the cat bus finally leaves them it fades into the evening shadows, in the manner of Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat. In the movie's final scene, Professor and Mrs. Kusakabe discover Mei's ear of corn on the windowsill of Mrs. Kusakabe's hospital room, carved with the inscription "To Mommy," as the girls and the Totoros watch from a nearby tree, happy that mother seems to be feeling better.

Trivia

  • The name Totoro is Mei's mispronunciation of "tororu", Japanese for troll, which she saw in a story book (Three Billy Goats Gruff) and decided was the same kind of creature.
  • The main Totoro has become a mascot for Studio Ghibli, gracing the studio's logo at the start of their films.
DVD case cover for My Neighbor Totoro from the original 20th Century Fox release. The Walt Disney Company has planned a re-release with a new voice cast. The DVD Cover for Disney's recent dub of My Neighbor Totoro.
  • My Neighbor Totoro was released as a double feature with Grave of the Fireflies. There are two theories for this: one was that Totoro would not be successful. Another theory is that "Grave of the Fireflies" (directed by Miyazaki's longtime colleague Isao Takahata) was believed to be too depressing for audiences as a stand-alone product, and thus needed a lighter animation to accompany it. Incidentally, the late Yoshifumi Kondo provided character designs for both films.
  • The Cat Bus originates from the Japanese belief that if a cat grows old enough it gains magical shape-changing powers and is called a bake neko. The Cat Bus is a bake neko that saw a bus and decided to become one. Bake neko are mentioned in several Ghibli films.
  • Satsuki and Mei's mother's implied suffering from spinal tuberculosis (also known as Pott's disease) is somewhat autobiographical, as Hayao Miyazaki's mother suffered from the same illness.
  • Ken Jennings, the winner of the most games in the history of the TV game show Jeopardy!, carries a small plush "Totoro" figure in his pocket for good luck.
  • Satsuki and Mei were both born in the month of May. Satsuki is the old Japanese name for the month of May, and Mei's name comes from the English name.
  • In the Japanese version, their father's position in his university is not explicitly given by Satsuki as in the English dub.
  • The character of Totoro made a cameo appearance in one episode of the Gainax TV series Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo (His and Her Circumstances), which was likely director Hideaki Anno's way of paying tribute to Miyazaki (Anno worked as a key animator on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984 and considers Miyazaki a mentor). In fact, Gainax reportedly invited the animator who did the original key animation for Totoro to work on that scene, although they never revealed the animator's name.
  • During the closing credits, Miyazaki purposely inserted art of Satsuki and Mei playing with other human children and not with the Totoros. In fact, he asserted that the girls would never see the Totoros again (chiefly because he believed that if the girls retreated into the world of the Totoros, they would never return to their own world), but that the Totoros would always be around and watching over them. Pavilion reproduction of Satsuki & Mei’s House in Japan.
  • In limited stores (in North America and Japan), collectable "My Neighbor Totoro" toys are on sale.
  • In the word "makkurokurosuke" (used when calling the 'Soot spirits' in the Fox dub), makkurokuro would mean "pitch black black" and "suke" is a common element in boys names. In the Disney dub, they are referred to as "Soot Gremlins".
  • It is believed Hayoa Miyazaki made the film because he was tired of good-and-evil conflicts, and decided it was time just to have fun.
  • In 1993, Fox released the first english version of "My Neighbor Totoro", produced by John Daly and Derek Gibson (the producers of The Terminator) with co-producer Jerry Beck. Fox and Troma's rights to the film expired in 2004.
  • The Disney version is slated for DVD release on March 7, 2006, but it appeared in the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival and on television prior to this. The world premiere for the Disney version was on October 23, 2005 after the premiere of Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang. The Turner Classic Movies cable television network held the television premiere of Disney's new English dub on January 19, 2006, as part of the network's January salute to Hayao Miyazaki. (TCM aired the dub as well as the original Japanese with English subtitles.)
  • The 2005 World Expo in Japan featured a "Totoro" house which was a recreation of the house in which Satsuki and Mei lived in the movie.

Credits

Direction, Original Story & Screenplay
Music
Production
Executive Producer
Producer

Cast

The movie stars the following actors (listed in (Disney) English version/(Streamline) English version/Japanese version format):

  • Dakota Fanning/the late Lisa Michelson/Noriko Hidaka: Satsuki Kusakabe
  • Elle Fanning/Cheryl Chase/Chika Sakamoto: Mei Kusakabe
  • Timothy Daly/Steve Kramer/Shigesato Itoi: Professor Kusakabe
  • Lea Salonga/Alexandra Kenworthy/Sumi Shimamoto: Mrs. Kusakabe
  • Pat Carroll/Natalie Core/Tanie Kitabayashi: Nanny
  • Frank Welker/Hitoshi Takagi/Hitoshi Takagi: Totoro

This page about Totoro includes information from a Wikipedia article.
Additional articles about Totoro
News stories about Totoro
External links for Totoro
Videos for Totoro
Wikis about Totoro
Discussion Groups about Totoro
Blogs about Totoro
Images of Totoro

The movie stars the following actors (listed in (Disney) English version/(Streamline) English version/Japanese version format):. [1], [2]. Kusakabe's hospital room, carved with the inscription "To Mommy," as the girls and the Totoros watch from a nearby tree, happy that mother seems to be feeling better. This veil is never removed, even in front of family members. Kusakabe discover Mei's ear of corn on the windowsill of Mrs. Men begin wearing a veil at age 25 which conceals their entire face excluding their eyes. In the movie's final scene, Professor and Mrs. The men's facial covering originates from the belief that such action wards off evil spirits, but most probably relates to protection against the harsh desert sands as well; in any event, it is a firmly established tradition.

When the cat bus finally leaves them it fades into the evening shadows, in the manner of Lewis Carroll's Cheshire cat. Among the Tuareg of West Africa, women do not traditionally wear the veil, while men do. The movie features the Catbus, a grinning feline bus summoned by Totoro which rescues Mei and whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in hospital. Sexual interest in veiled women is veil fetishism. He is delighted to be of assistance, and with his help Mei is quickly found. An example of the veil's erotic potential is the dance of the seven veils. Satsuki finally seeks Totoro's help. Here, rather than the virginity of the bride's veil, modesty of the Muslim scarf or the piety of the nun's headdress, the mysterious veil hints at sensuality and the unknown.

Satsuki and the villagers get a major scare when a girl's sandal is found in a pond and they begin to fear that Mei has drowned, but Satsuki confirms that the sandal is not Mei's. Conversely, veils are often part of the stereotypical image of the courtesan and harem woman. Then, Mei gets lost while trying to bring an ear of healthy corn to her mother at the hospital, and a frantic Satsuki runs everywhere searching for her. Toward the end of the main temple ceremony, the congregation will each pass through the veil curtain into the Celestial Room through an elaborate series of rituals. Satsuki understands why the visit was cancelled, but Mei does not, and a frustrated Satsuki yells at Mei and the girls end up not speaking to each other for several hours. It often separates the temple congregation from the Celestial Room (most holy room of the temple). Later, Mei and Satsuki are disappointed to learn that their mother's planned homecoming visit that upcoming weekend has been postponed because mother's condition has worsened. Another type of veil in Mormonism is the veil of the temple, which is an actual cloth structure which is suspended from the ceiling.

This begins a series of encounters as the spirits allow the children to partake in their nightly activities. Immediately prior to the closing and sealing of the casket, the veil is lowered over the face of the deceased. When Satsuki gives him her umbrella, he's delighted at both the shelter and the sounds it makes as water hits it. During the viewing of the body, the veil remains lifted up and on top of the head of the deceased. One rainy night, while the girls are waiting for their father's bus which is running late, they encounter the giant Totoro who is looking rather forlorn with only a leaf for protection against the rain. However, Mormons who have completed the temple rituals will be typically buried in this clothing. Mei is enchanted with them and determined to find the King of the Forest. The veil is only lowered to cover the face of the woman during one part of the temple ritual and then is returned (thrown back over the top of the head).

Not everyone can see the spirits of the forest, only the pure of heart. This veil, along with the entire temple ritual clothing, is only worn inside the temple and is rarely seen. Her father tells her that this is the "King of the Forest". Mormon women also wear a veil as part of ritual temple clothing. Mei names it Totoro. Brides used to wear their hair flowing down their back at their wedding to symbolise their virginity, now the white diaphanous veil is often said to represent this. Mei discovers a small Totoro, which leads her to find a large forest spirit living in a hollow under a Camphor Laurel by a small jinja. An occasion on which a Western, non-Muslim woman is likely to wear a veil is on her wedding day, if she follows the traditions of a white wedding.

His daughters discover "soot sprites", which their father rationalizes as makkurokurosuke — an optical illusion seen when moving from light to dark places (glossed as dust bunnies in the 1993 English dub; in the Disney version they are called "Soot Gremlins".). It has been suggested that the practice of wearing a veil - uncommon among the Arab tribes prior to the rise of Islam - originated in the Byzantine Empire, and then spread among the Arabs. A university professor from the city and his two daughters move into an old house near a forest, while his wife recovers from tuberculosis in a nearby convalescence home. The boushiya is a veil that may be worn over a headscarf, it covers the entire face and is made of a sheer fabric so the wearer is able to see through it. It is set during a summer of the 1950s. The Afghan burqa covers the entire body, obscuring the face completely, except for a grille or netting over the eyes to allow the wearer to see. The movie is a slow-moving yet fascinating portrayal of Japanese rural life. The niqab and burqa are two kinds of veils that cover most of the face except for a slit or hole for the eyes.

. Many of these garments cover the hair, ears and throat, but do not cover the face (for example the dupatta, khimar and buknuk). The DVD release will be the first version of the film in the United States to include both Japanese and English language tracks, as Fox did not have the rights to the Japanese audio track for their version. A variety of headdresses worn by Muslim women in accordance with hijab (the principle of dressing modestly) are sometimes referred to as veils or headscarves. It features a new dub cast. In Eastern Orthodoxy, a veil called an epanokamelavkion is used by both nuns and monks, the former using it to cover their necks and shoulders as well as their heads. The film will be re-released by Disney on March 7, 2006. In Western Christianity, it does not wrap around the neck or face.

An ani-manga version of My Neighbor Totoro was published in English by Viz Communications starting on November 10, 2004. The nun's veil covers the top of the head and flows down around and over the shoulders. Troma and Fox's rights to this version expired in 2004. A similar veil forms part of a nun's headdress; this is why a woman who becomes a nun can be said "to take the veil". It was released on VHS and DVD by Fox Home Video. Mantillas are still worn by Spanish women during religious ceremonies. Troma Films produced a 1993 dub of the film co-produced by Jerry Beck. However, these veils are generally made of netting or another material not actually designed to hide the face from view, even if the veil can be pulled down, which is not always the case.

My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ - Tonari no Totoro) is a 1988 Japanese animated movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. Veils pinned to hats have survived the changing fashions of the centuries and are still common today on occasions when women wear hats. Frank Welker/Hitoshi Takagi/Hitoshi Takagi: Totoro. More pragmatically, veils were also sometimes worn to protect the complexion from sun and wind damage (when un-tanned skin was fashionable), or to keep dust out of a woman's face. Pat Carroll/Natalie Core/Tanie Kitabayashi: Nanny. They would also have been used, as an alternative to a mask, as a simple method of hiding the identity of a woman who was traveling to meet a lover, or doing anything she didn't want other people to find out about. Kusakabe. Sometimes a veil of this type was draped over and pinned to the bonnet or hat of a woman in mourning, especially at the funeral and during the period of "high mourning".

Lea Salonga/Alexandra Kenworthy/Sumi Shimamoto: Mrs. For centuries, women have worn sheer veils, but only under certain circumstances. Timothy Daly/Steve Kramer/Shigesato Itoi: Professor Kusakabe. It was not until the Tudor period (1485), when hoods became increasingly popular, that veils of this type became less common. Elle Fanning/Cheryl Chase/Chika Sakamoto: Mei Kusakabe. For many centuries (until around 1175) Anglo-Saxon and then Anglo-Norman women, with the exception of young unmarried girls, wore veils that entirely covered their hair, and often their necks up to their chins. Dakota Fanning/the late Lisa Michelson/Noriko Hidaka: Satsuki Kusakabe. .

The 2005 World Expo in Japan featured a "Totoro" house which was a recreation of the house in which Satsuki and Mei lived in the movie. Veils are articles of clothing, worn almost exclusively by women, which cover some part of the head or face. (TCM aired the dub as well as the original Japanese with English subtitles.). The Turner Classic Movies cable television network held the television premiere of Disney's new English dub on January 19, 2006, as part of the network's January salute to Hayao Miyazaki. The world premiere for the Disney version was on October 23, 2005 after the premiere of Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang.

The Disney version is slated for DVD release on March 7, 2006, but it appeared in the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival and on television prior to this. Fox and Troma's rights to the film expired in 2004. In 1993, Fox released the first english version of "My Neighbor Totoro", produced by John Daly and Derek Gibson (the producers of The Terminator) with co-producer Jerry Beck. It is believed Hayoa Miyazaki made the film because he was tired of good-and-evil conflicts, and decided it was time just to have fun.

In the Disney dub, they are referred to as "Soot Gremlins". In the word "makkurokurosuke" (used when calling the 'Soot spirits' in the Fox dub), makkurokuro would mean "pitch black black" and "suke" is a common element in boys names. In limited stores (in North America and Japan), collectable "My Neighbor Totoro" toys are on sale. In fact, he asserted that the girls would never see the Totoros again (chiefly because he believed that if the girls retreated into the world of the Totoros, they would never return to their own world), but that the Totoros would always be around and watching over them. Pavilion reproduction of Satsuki & Mei’s House in Japan. .

During the closing credits, Miyazaki purposely inserted art of Satsuki and Mei playing with other human children and not with the Totoros. In fact, Gainax reportedly invited the animator who did the original key animation for Totoro to work on that scene, although they never revealed the animator's name. The character of Totoro made a cameo appearance in one episode of the Gainax TV series Kareshi Kanojo no Jijo (His and Her Circumstances), which was likely director Hideaki Anno's way of paying tribute to Miyazaki (Anno worked as a key animator on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind in 1984 and considers Miyazaki a mentor). In the Japanese version, their father's position in his university is not explicitly given by Satsuki as in the English dub.

Satsuki is the old Japanese name for the month of May, and Mei's name comes from the English name. Satsuki and Mei were both born in the month of May. Ken Jennings, the winner of the most games in the history of the TV game show Jeopardy!, carries a small plush "Totoro" figure in his pocket for good luck. Satsuki and Mei's mother's implied suffering from spinal tuberculosis (also known as Pott's disease) is somewhat autobiographical, as Hayao Miyazaki's mother suffered from the same illness.

Bake neko are mentioned in several Ghibli films. The Cat Bus is a bake neko that saw a bus and decided to become one. The Cat Bus originates from the Japanese belief that if a cat grows old enough it gains magical shape-changing powers and is called a bake neko. Incidentally, the late Yoshifumi Kondo provided character designs for both films.

Another theory is that "Grave of the Fireflies" (directed by Miyazaki's longtime colleague Isao Takahata) was believed to be too depressing for audiences as a stand-alone product, and thus needed a lighter animation to accompany it. My Neighbor Totoro was released as a double feature with Grave of the Fireflies. There are two theories for this: one was that Totoro would not be successful. The main Totoro has become a mascot for Studio Ghibli, gracing the studio's logo at the start of their films. The name Totoro is Mei's mispronunciation of "tororu", Japanese for troll, which she saw in a story book (Three Billy Goats Gruff) and decided was the same kind of creature.

Catbus or Nekobasu - a cat that has become a bus. "Nanny" - Kanta's grandmother, who sometimes takes care of the girls. Kanta - A preteen boy of their village, ambivalent towards Satsuki. Small Totoro (Chibi Totoro) - The white, smallest (about 20 centimeters tall) one, with the power of invisibility.

Looks very similar to King Totoro. Medium Totoro (Chū Totoro) - The blue, medium-size (about 60 centimeters tall) one. Ō in that case means "large" but the English dub calls that Totoro "King Totoro". She tried to say "tororu", the Japanese word for troll.

Mei has a habit of mispronouncing things. King Totoro (Ō Totoro) - The grey, friendly forest spirit who is the largest of the three (at least 3 meters tall); when someone says "totoro", they are usually referring to him. Totoro - 3 Totoro appear in the film:

    . Professor Kusakabe - The girls' father.

    Mei Kusakabe - Satsuki's younger sister, pre-school age (4 years old). Satsuki Kusakabe - An 11-year-old girl.

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