My Neighbor Totoro

Event has passed (Fri Dec 29, 2017 - Fri Dec 29, 2017)
Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA)
Film / Television
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One of the most endearing and internationally renowned animated films of all time, My Neighbor Totoro is a deceptively simple tale of two girls, Satsuki and Mei, who move with their father to a new house in the countryside. They soon discover that the surrounding forests are home to a family of Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures who live in a huge and ancient camphor tree and are seen only by children. Based on director Hayao Miyazaki's own childhood imaginings, Totoros look like oversized pandas with bunny ears and they take the girls on spinning-top rides through the tree tops and introduce them to a furry, multi-pawed Catbus—a nod to Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat. But beneath the film's playfulness and narrative simplicity lie depths of wisdom. (Fully subtitled)


My Neighbor Totoro
Hayao Miyazaki

Japan, 1988
English-language version

Recommended for ages 4 & up

Few films better capture the magic of childhood than My Neighbor Totoro, “a children’s film made for the world we should live in, rather than the one we occupy” (Roger Ebert). Two young sisters move to the countryside for a long, sleepy summer to be near their sick mother. They soon make a new friend, Totoro, who is kindly, a bit chubby, and overly fond of umbrellas. Totoro also grows magic trees overnight, hops aboard huge “catbuses,” and is probably imaginary. Creating a magical space where the natural, spiritual, fantasy, and human worlds combine, Totoro revels in—and embodies—a true sense of wonder. - Jason Sanders