All member reviews for My Neighbor Totoro

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
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  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Common Sense Media says

Beautifully animated fantasy about friendship fit for all.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 138 reviews)
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Parent Written bysquili July 11, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Sweet, funny, unique

This is a terrific film. There is a bit of scary stuff with the talk of huanted houses and some loud growling and strange scurring creatures, but all that is side-stepped by the girls giggling and delighted reactions and their overall curiousity of the unknown. I found this movie to be delightfully sweet and wonderfully devoid of the usual fare of action-packed chases and predictable dramas. I love the strong girl message and the wonder and magic found in the mysterious creatures the girls befriend. The movie embraces and celebrates the magical world of childhood. I recommned this movie for the whole family.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written byDeborahMama April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

My 2-year-old loves Totoro best of all

My daughter needed a little hand-holding when Totoro (a friendly forest spirit) made loud noises, but this is her absolute favorite movie. Even though she didn't understand the whole movie at first (and may still not understand parts of it), she loves the imagery, the forest spirits, and the characters. I like that there is no villain -- too many kids' films for my taste feature the presence of absolute evil whose existence is never explained, and I'd rather not have my child see the world in terms of good and evil this way. Totoro has conflict, misbehavior, and scary bits, but all the characters have motivations we can understand and discuss.
Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written bydorland July 31, 2010
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
The fact that it gives a solid view of a past Japanese culture (that still survives on the same foundations today in many respects) makes it educational for older children. The role-model presented in the older sister should be an inspiration for younger girls looking for how to handle the younger sibling, especially the ones that are a handful. If more people looked and acted towards this way to each other, even in families themselves, so many issues we see today would be much more controllable in a social sense. While the soot sprites and initial encounters with the various Totor's and Catbus might be a bit scary to younger children it's also something that you can use to help children get past the bogyman phase on several levels as well as teach a spiritual aspect to nature that we so often try to push on young ones but don't give them the concrete connection they need to understand it. The tie to Shintoism and nature and ancestor spirits is yet another learning area for people unfamiliar with Japanese culture. This is one of my 1 year old and 4 year olds favorite movies and with the message and ideas it presents it's definitely one I don't mind them watching again and again.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 14 years old Written byMyWinterFirefly February 6, 2010
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Best Movie Ever

It's the best family movie ever made. And parents can actually watch it. It's so much better than anything Disney, it doesn't involve evil villains or too-cute animals. The story line is unique and the characters are normal children. The film is basically about being a child. This is still one of my favourite films. Also for older children you can get the japanese version with sub-titles so it can help them read in a fun way.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5 and 8 year old Written bycrazyannie September 5, 2009
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

A pleasure for everyone.

This movie has been a family favorite since the first time we put it in the DVD player. My husband and I think that either every artist on the movie had a 3 year old, or they imported some to watch for hours and hours --- the depictions of Mei were so *perfect* in capturing the zest for life and curiosity of that age. We enjoyed talking with our kids about Totoro as a spirit, as a guardian angel, and as part of a belief system different from, but just as magical, as our own.
Teen, 14 years old Written bymymembername October 16, 2010
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Beautiful

I saw this movie at a very young age. For nearly my entire life I have been in love with this beautiful, exquisite film. Seeing this film at toddler age, I vividly remember how I felt about the film. The only scary thing was the scene at the beginning, when they first move into the old house, and Mei and Satsuki are looking for more acorns and go up into the attic where there is a very startling scene about Mei finding dust sprites. But that my mother easily had fast-forwarded past. Besides that, I didn't understand any of the serious parts. Like the fact that their mother was very, very sick. In fact, when they said the mother just had a cold in the movie, I really believed that it was just a cold. Anyway I loved the movie too much to feel scared. Satsuki and Mei are wonderful characters, and their father is lovable and a little clueless to what the girls actually do during the day. At least it's not anything to cause worry. Just spending the day with a huge furry beast that protects them from harm. This movie is a very relatable, beautiful family film that isn't the kind of film made exclusively for youngsters. People of any age can appreciate the beautiful messages and intense love that this film has to share. Soon your kids will be collecting golden acorns and looking for cute little dust sprites and connecting with nature. And if not, at least they got to see a sweet movie that has all of that. But really, there's so many magical elements that this movie holds, I don't want to waste your time naming all of them, just see the movie!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 7 and 11 year old Written bySuzuki Mom August 19, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Go for the Vintage version for all ages

there is the "old" version and the newer Disneyized version. The Disney version is very dissapointing when compared to the nuances and little revelations of the vintage version. The older one is the translated Japanese version. The Japanese viewpoint on the reverence of nature is more apparent and more meaningful. Disney is almost insulting in its main streaming changes.
Parent of a 6 and 6 year old Written byRecordsMom August 15, 2009
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

What a kids' movie should be

A loving father is always a plus. No stupid adults is another. Add a sense of wonder and caring, and you have a movie that should be a cornerstone of a child's film literature. Children may need help understanding some of the emotional content, but that's not a bad thing. Messages: Trust. Wonder. Concern for the sick. Role models: Father who cares for his children. Neighbor who tells stories. A child who undertakes a daring journey to comfort her ill mother. An entire village who looks for the missing girl.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 5 year old Written byskwarepeg November 6, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Well-made, endearing film for kids & adults

My daughter and I both love love love this movie. We can both watch it over & over.... My doing so says more than hers, though, I suppose. ;) The animation, the story, the relationships, the imagination behind the story and characters/objects... all make this a heart-warming, timeless, endearing film. I wish every movie for children were at least a little bit more like this. I also fell in love with Elle Fanning (see her in _Phoebe in Wonderland_ -- not for kids) from this movie. She and sister Dakota do the voices for Satsuki (Dakota) and Mei (Elle). I was concerned the ill mother or Mei running off might be bothersome for my sensitive daughter, but it is handled so sensitively -- and not at all "Hollywood-ized," exploited, or otherwise over-dramatized -- that she just rolls with it. I highly recommend it as a quality movie for both parents and kids.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byAdept August 20, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Stunning Animation

Totoro is probably one of the greatest kid movies ever made. It doesn't have a complicated plot, instead it focuses on two girls moving to a new place. The Japanese culture is depicted beautifully in this film, from the family bath, to the rice fields. The only concerns I would have are some of the messages presented. Satske, Mei, and their father "thank" the camphor tree in the woods for it's protection. Be ready to answer questions about that...also the family does bath together. but really. those are just assets of the culture presented by the film-- I loved every moment of it. This is one of the most beautiful movies I've ever seen-- if you love animation of any kind, then you cannot miss this film for anything.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old December 13, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

a fun movie with brief peril and sadness.

The movie may look like there is nothing bad about it but there is there is some peril when a little girls goes missing and charecters are sad a lot of the time because there mother is dying. For that i recomen it to only somewhat mature 4 year olds.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 16 years old Written byBlueDragonMaster98 May 31, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Very good

Fun and nearly perfect. There is a lot of loud laughing in the Japanese version (I didn't watch it in English). However, some Japanese bathing methods may be strange to Americans, as all three of them are in the bath naked (the father and two daughters). Nothing sexual, but the oldest is cleaning herself outside of the tub, and dumps water over herself. You can tell she is naked. She then jumps into the tub where her younger sister is as well as their dad. It's a short scene, just keep in mind that the customs of Japan and Asia (or anywhere else) are not that of the US. Note- I try to keep myself out of any statistics, meaning- I do not say we or us; it sounds a bit conceited sometimes.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byTacoBall March 28, 2011
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Totoro is truly a gem!

It's too bad movies like this are so rare today--imaginative, tender, beautifully animated stories without any violence, sex, (intended) potty humor or the adult jokes moviemakers sneak into children's movies. The reason I say intended is because the girls wear short dresses that often lift up when they run, and there is one scene of the family bathing (nothing explicit shown, of course, but still enough to make young viewers giggle). My 6 year old sister watched this without asking a single question, which I think really says a lot. The characters are lovable and very real, there are many funny moments to balance out the few sad ones, and the ending was a happy one. The story moves a bit slowly and there are no special effects, but it's never boring. I would recommend for preschoolers and up.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 3 year old Written byBob Loblaw August 11, 2009
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Great for 3 year olds and parents alike!

What a wonderful film! Not only is it my 3 year old daughter's favorite movie, but it holds up to repeated viewings by Dad as well. It's hard to find movies that are appropriate for toddlers - to find one that adults can watch as well is even harder! I know there are some concerns about the scene where the father is bathing with his girls - all I can say is that there is absolutely nothing sexual about it, and I'm guessing (as I'm not Japanese) that this is simply a cultural difference. In any case, I don't feel it's anything to be concerned about.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 7 and 9 year old Written bydavidmal770 March 15, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Universal appeal without the cheap gags

Miyazaki's movies all cherish imagination and wonder. This one is no different. There seems to be a new trend in children's movies of trying to pull in the grownups by adding adult situations/humor into a child's world. Miyazaki's movies prove that you can have universal appeal simply by solid storytelling. Not cultural Lady Gaga jokes.
What other families should know
Great messages
Adult Written bybabysitter89 March 28, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

One of my favorites!

I love this movie, and watched it countless times as a kid. But I think this review downplays the emotional intensity of it just a bit. There are parts when the younger sister goes missing, and also when the mother's health is very uncertain, and these moments were quite scary. It has a happy ending and all these conflicts are resolved, but I was glad that I was there to reassure them, in the moment, that everything would be okay.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Kid, 7 years old February 6, 2011
AGE
4
QUALITY
 
I loved it, but toddlers could freak out when Satsuki thinks her mom will die. Violence is totally NOT an issue, and only 1 insult when Satsuki tells Mei to "Stop being a baby and just grow up!!" Preschoolers and kindergardners will posetivly love it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byTomDarla October 12, 2009
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Wonderful film for all ages

Our kids (5 and 2) absolutely love Totoro and have watched it countless times already. It is so unlike other movies for children, devoid of the typical violence and special effects, yet is wildly imaginative and engaging. It's a very tranquil movie, perfect with popcorn before bed.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymyab September 17, 2010
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

A Don't Miss Movie w/ Positive Messages

An excellent film for family movie night. A loving father who works hard, siblings, friends, and neighbors who care for each other, and the idea that not everything that looks different is a monster. Beautiful animation, scary situations handled gently and sensibly, and lots of imaginative characters and happenings that are enchanting. Nothing objectionable for any age; even the mother's illness is dealt with carefully. I say 5 years up because the softness of the story might seem boring to a much younger child. Watch this and you won't be disappointed.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of an infant and 5 year old Written bylibrarianpm November 12, 2008
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Will spark the imagination of your child!

My 5 year-old daughter has been enchanted by this film for over 2 years, and the rest of the family still looks forward to watching it after countless viewings. It is so refreshing to have an animated film featuring girl characters (the 2 sisters) who are not Disney princesses. And the story is just a sweet fantasy, with very little to scare young ones (mostly when the younger sister wanders away.) Incredible score, too, hard to believe the music was never released in the US. Please give it a try, especially if you have daughters.

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