If there’s one thing remarkable about Filipino households, it’s our close family ties, our love for family has always been deep-rooted in history. The film My Neighbor Totoro (1988) reminds us of the importance of family love, and how we find happiness amidst the challenges. It is a timeless classic that is reflective of how happiness can be found in simplicity. My Neighbor Totoro takes us to an imaginative world of a child’s eyes. It glorifies a child’s curiosity, and how happiness is profound in their imaginative adventures.
The film follows the story of Mei and her younger sister Satsuki as they move to a placer closer to their mother who’s suffering from an unknown illness.
Set in the countryside of Japan, it is a story of how the 2-girls befriended Totoro, a mythical gigantic cat-like creature referred to as “forest god”. As the film progresses, there is also a rising apprehension from their father’s eyes. Which depicted how an adult’s apprehension over the creative imagination of a child. Despite their limitations, the film showed how the sisters bravely went on with their adventures with Totoro.
This multi-awarded film garnered the public’s eye upon its international release in 1988. It instantly became a classic for Studio Ghibli, who is renowned for their traditionally hand-drawn animations. The film talks about the classic tale of friendship, brevity, and adventure which are oftentimes lost as we go through adulting.
This film reminds us of the things that shouldn’t have changed even with time.
It is also a film that reinforces how parents should trust their children and keep an open mind to their children’s ideas in support of their adventures.
After 32 years, this classic film reminds us of the things that are integral to finding happiness. It shows us how our homes provide a haven for us as we venture into life. While we relentlessly go on different adventures, there will be times where we get lost, we get dazed, this film is a reminder of how heartwarming it is to be at home. You can now watch My Neighbor Totoro on Netflix.