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How to Draw Totoro from My Neighbor Totoro: Step by Step Directions

Updated on August 14, 2015

My Neighbor Totoro

Who is Totoro?

Totoro is an anime character from Japan's highly acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki. My Neighbor Totoro was released in 1988. Totoro is a large, soft, being that is befriended by two sisters Satsuke and Mei, who just moved out in the country. Their new home is near a mystical forest full of spirits where they find Totoro lounging one day. Totoro becomes a source of comfort as the girls struggle with grief and loss due to moving out in the country and meeting new friends and going to a new school. More so the girls are facing their mother's hospitalization because she is significantly ill by a mysterious illness. The fantasy and whimsy of Totoro and the Spirit forest grounds the anxiety and confusion of the unknown. The hospital is in the city, and seeing their mother is limited. Totoro, fills a void, and provides comfort that a child's imagination can provide, but the child's trust in the Spirit world manifests the needed hope.

Children all over the world recognize Totoro. Learning to draw Totoro and bringing him to life can evoke feelings of comfort and hope symbolized in the movie My Neighbor Totoro.

Who is Hayao Miyazaki?

Hayao Miyazaki is a genius. He provides animation films for children with beauty and creativity captivating children of all ages. More importantly, his films do not 'dumb down' children's innate intelligence and emotional intelligence. His themes connect his views to their Spirit and Soul, death and loss, ecology, respect for the environment and differences in others.

He tackles complex human experiences and provides a fairy tales that is visually alluring. Adults and children alike are mesmerized and entertained by his storytelling.

Draw Something: How To Draw Totoro Step By Step


Carly Sullens 2012. All Rights Reserved.


Submit a Comment

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    edas88, thank you for commenting and stopping by. It is hard to explain 'how to draw,' to other people when you are an innate artist. It took me some time to figure out how to make this hub and explain how to draw step by step.

  • edas88 profile image


    5 years ago

    Oh, this is lovely! I just love these simple tutorials - I am tragically unable to produce one! Although I draw for years and enjoy it immensely, whenever someone asks me how to draw something, no matter how simple, I'm like, "Where do I start?" Voted up!

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Thank you Janine. As always I appreciate you stopping by and commenting. I enjoy going to Hollywood Studios at Disney, they have a place there where they teach you how to illustrate Disney characters. It is a lot of fun.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Learn Things Web, I am so glad your 7 year old is excited to draw Totoro. I am glad I could provide some simple instructions to support her in her passion. It is indeed a beautiful movie.

  • CarlySullens profile imageAUTHOR

    Carly Sullens 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

    Nellieanna, I highly recommend this movie for anyone. I truly enjoyed it as an adult, maybe even more so than my children. However, any time we see Totoro, though rare, we all gleam and want to hug him.

    It would make a wonderful holiday present. All of his movies are highly recommended.

  • Nellieanna profile image

    Nellieanna Hay 

    6 years ago from TEXAS

    How adorable and interesting! It's so out of the ordinary! (at least it is to me! :-) I hadn't heard of Totoro before but now I feel I know him!

    I should send it to some of my great-grandchildren and my youngest grandchild! I'll tell some other grandparents about it, too!

  • Learn Things Web profile image

    JC Jehan 

    6 years ago from California

    My kids love this movie. My 7 year old, who loves to draw, just screamed with excitement when she saw this. Definitely shared. I hope more people learn about this beautiful movie.

  • Janine Huldie profile image

    Janine Huldie 

    6 years ago from New York, New York

    Carly, I loved your step by step instructions here and reminds me of when Kevin draws Mickey Mouse and other cartoon characters from scratch. He does it just like this in a step by step method. Really very interesting and am constantly amazed at those like yourself who are so artistically talented. Have of course voted up and shared too!!


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