My name is Megan Nevels, and I am a self-proclaimed, undeniable My Neighbor Totoro enthusiast. I am a collector of all things Totoro, and I love sharing the beauty of this film any time I get the chance. I watch it regularly and never grow tired of it. But why, you might ask, would an adult feel so strongly about an animated film that she would fill every room in her house and even her desk at work with Totoro-related objects? This question has plagued many people in my life, but it is only ever asked by those who haven’t had the chance to experience the film. A common answer I like to give is that Totoro reminds me that imagination is necessary for life at any age.
Screening at the Skirball on Sunday, December 27, My Neighbor Totoro is an animated storytelling masterpiece by Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the story of two young sisters who move with their father to a new village in Japan in order to be closer to their sick mother. The youngest daughter, Mei, discovers a creature named Totoro who takes the girls on incredible adventures. One can argue that Totoro acts as a coping mechanism for the girls, or that he represents the excitement for life that adults sometimes lose as they grow up. However you read into Totoro’s existence, he is always magical, kind, and supportive.
This is a film that asks you to open your eyes a little bit wider and see what you’ve been missing all along. It asks you to listen better, to say yes rather than no, Continue reading