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Gabriel Rivera
Gabriel Rivera

My Neighbor Totoro. BETTER

The girls discover a planned visit by Yasuko has been postponed because of a setback in her treatment. Mei is upset and argues with Satsuki, leaving for the hospital to take fresh corn to Yasuko. Mei's disappearance prompts Satsuki and the neighbors to search for her. In desperation, Satsuki returns to the camphor tree and pleads for Totoro's help. Totoro summons the Catbus, which carries Satsuki to Mei's location and the sisters emotionally reunite. The bus then takes them to the hospital. The girls overhear a conversation between their parents and learn Yasuko has been kept in hospital by a minor cold but is otherwise recovering well. The girls secretly leave the ear of corn on the windowsill, where their parents discover it, and return home. Eventually, Yasuko returns home and the sisters play with other children while Totoro and his friends watch them from afar.

My Neighbor Totoro.

Parents need to know that My Neighbor Totoro is a fine pick for the entire family. Although there are slightly creepy "dust sprites" that appear in the house at first, they eventually disappear. Totoro himself might look and sound a bit odd, but he's quite sweet and gentle. The protagonist girls have an ill mother with an unnamed disease, but the moments in the hospital aren't sad or depressing. Some parents may not feel comfortable with the amount of freedom the girls (as is the case with children in all of Hayao Miyazaki's films) have to wander off alone, either around their neighborhood, the surrounding forest, or on a long walk to visit their mother. Overall, this is a family film in the truest sense -- it appeals to moviegoers young and old alike.

In MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, it's 1958 Japan, and 10-year-old Satsuki (voiced by Dakota Fanning for the English-dubbed version), 4-year-old Mei (Elle Fanning), and their father (Tim Daly) move to the countryside where their mother is hospitalized with a long-term illness. As they get settled into their new home, the girls discover there are magical creatures, like dust sprites, that inhabit their house and neighborhood. One day, Mei sees two little rabbit-like creatures and follows them through their forest, where she meets a much larger version of the creature, whom she calls "Totoro." Eventually Satsuki also meets Totoro, who also introduces the girls to a magical soaring cat-bus. Totoro, who is "keeper of the forest," aids Satsuki and her father when Mei decides to walk to the hospital alone to present her mother with a fresh ear of corn.

Taking place in 1950s Japan, university professor Tatsuo Kusakabe and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei, move into an old house in the country to be closer to the hospital where their mother Yasuko is recovering from a long-term illness. Satsuki and Mei find that the house is inhabited by tiny animated dust creatures called Sootballs - small, dark, dust-like house spirits seen when moving from light to dark places. While the girls can see them, their father can't, however an elderly woman (whom the girls can call Granny) tells them she used to see Soot sprits when she was their age. She explains that they live in old empty house and cover the place with dirt, when a family moves into the house they move out and find a new home. Soon they all get to work cleaning the house and unpacking. Later on, Granny's grandson and their new neighbor Kanta comes by with a basket but acts shy around Satsuki. When the girls become comfortable in their new house and laugh with their father, the soot spirits leave the house to drift away on the wind. It is implied that they are going to find another empty house- their natural habitat.

Mei's disappearance prompts Satsuki and the neighbors to search for her, Satuski ask everyone she sees if they've seen her, they are in shock they Mei actually tried to walk over 3 hours to get to the hospital. It starts to become dark and Satuski and the neighbors are more worried than ever. Eventually, Satsuki returns in desperation to the camphor tree and pleads for Totoro's help. Delighted to be of assistance, he summons the Catbus, which carries her to where the lost Mei sits. Having rescued her, the Catbus then whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in the hospital. The girls perch in a tree outside of the hospital, overhearing a conversation between their parents and discovering that she has been kept in hospital by a cold and is otherwise doing well, their mother still can't believe the doctor would send a telegram over something this minor. The girls secretly leave the ear of corn on the windowsill, where it is discovered by the parents, and return home on the Catbus. When the Catbus departs, it disappears from the girls' sight. Granny is happy that Mei is safe and Kanta apologizes for how he acted.

The neighbor down the street from Mei and Satsuki's house, referred to as Granny, explains to the girls that Soot Gremlins often live in houses and that they're nothing to be afraid of. As long as the Gremlins think a house's inhabitants are nice, they will move out. 041b061a72


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