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My Neighbour Totoro

Updated on August 31, 2013

A Simply Delightful Film

A delightful anime film by Studio Ghibli, My Neighbour Totoro is a story that follows the two young daughters of a university professor and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan.

Despite being a gentle tale where the girls befriend and play around with the spirits, this film does have its climax and tension when the story focused on the search for the younger sister who got lost.

This charming story that is based on experience, situation and exploration will definitely capture your heart like it did mine. =)

*Warning: Spoilers!!*

Characters in the film

This sweet film introduces many characters that are pure-spirited, many of them having an open mind, as well as an open heart. One might argue that it is unrealistic, but it does bring forth through this unrealistic-ness the idea of hope, dreams and freedom.


Being the elder sister of the two girls, Satsuki is a matured child for her age. She takes great care of her father and younger sister Mei in the absence of her mother, and always prepare meals for them.

Despite being mature, she is also a very playful girl who spends her time with Mei in her explorations after she gets off from school.

When Mei got lost, Satsuki went to request for Totoro's help and eventually found her missing sister.

Personally, I feel that Sastuki is a sweet and innocent child who is taking on a large responsibility. She has reached the age where she understands clearly the meaning of death, and when her mother has to extend her stay in the hospital, Satsuki was extremely worried. Despite being matured, Satsuki still possesses an open heart, believing in spirits like her sister Mei does. It is through this wise yet playful characteristic that Satsuki has captured my attention.

The matured Satsuki who is always on the look out for her family =)

The matured Satsuki who is always on the look out for her family =)
The matured Satsuki who is always on the look out for her family =)

Taking care of Mei *sweet*

Taking care of Mei *sweet*
Taking care of Mei *sweet*


The younger sister of the two, Mei is a cute and adventurous little girl who captured everyone's heart. With her father and sister away for work and school all the time, Mei spends a lot of her time wandering around and making her own explorations.

During one of her explorations by herself, Mei spotted a pair of white ears in the grass, which she followed and eventually found Totoro. At first,no one believed her when she shared her experiences of seeing Totoro and she got angry. However, Satsuki believed her in the end and they had their many adventures with Totoro together.

Once, Mei was worried over her mother's health and wanted to deliver a stick of corn to the hospital. However she got lost and was eventually found because of Totoro's help.

With her pure and innocent character, it is no wonder that Mei's character overpowers that of Satsuki and won many viewer's hearts, including mine. =)


Totoro is an enormous forest spirit that is the main character of the film. He is always found taking a nap in his home, lying on his back peacefully.

Despite his gigantic appearance, Totoro is soft hearted and is able to understand Satsuki and Mei. He brings them on several adventures and also learns about the world by spending time with the girls.

Whenever the girls are in trouble, Totoro will be there to help them, and cheer them up. With his loud roar, Totoro is also able to summon the cat bus, which is one of his transport modes.

The character Totoro plays a very important part in this film, being the main icon that represents hope, freedom and dreams, making him a very lovable character.

Totoro with an umbrella. Cute!

Totoro with an umbrella. Cute!
Totoro with an umbrella. Cute!

Small Forest Spirits

These two other forest spirits are just too cute for the eyes! They are always seen hanging around Totoro and are the ones who lead Mei into their home.

Often, they are seen to be following Totoro's actions, which makes them a really lovable trio.

Cat Bus

A cat bus that moves like the wind and is unseen by humans. It is on the beck and call of Totoro, and acts as a bus to carry Totoro around.

When Mei was missing, Totoro sent for the cat bus to help Satsuki, and it was because of the cat bus that Mei was found.

House Spirits

Tiny house spirits that inhabits Satsuki's house. They are usually seen when moving from light to dark places. When Satsuki and Mei first saw them, they were really afraid.

The house spirits drifted away from the house after the girls became comfortable in their new house.

Satsuki and Mei's Father

A university professor, Satsuki and Mei's father is always buried in a pile of books, often leaving the girls to play on their own.

However, he does take care of the girls well and would listen to their rants on their adventures with Totoro.

Satsuki and Mei's Mother

The girls' mother is a sickly patient who stays in a hospital at the countryside near their new house.

Satsuki and Mei have been waiting for the day that their mother can return home. However, their mother's situation never seems to get better and always has to extend her stay in the hospital.


Kanta is the shy neighborhood boy who always dons a policeman's cap. When he first meets Satsuki, he scares her by telling her that her house is haunted. He also taunts her when they meet.

However, one soon realises that he is actually a boy who is really kind at heart; He once offered Satuski and Mei his umbrella during a heavy downpour and ran home drenched. He also helped Satsuki to look for Mei when she was lost.

Kanta's Grandmother

Kanta's Grandmother is a kind neighbor who helped Satsuki's family unpack and clean up their new house when they moved in. She often goes to their house to help out with daily chores.

She also helps to take care of Mei when Satsuki and her father are not around. When Mei got lost, she was extremely worried and sent for the whole village to help search for Mei.

My feelings about this film..

My Neighbor Totoro is definitely a film that's ranked at the top of my list. Its heartwarming and captivating elements makes it a film not to be missed. This film focuses a lot on the idea of hopes, dreams and freedom, a very distinct characteristic found in Studio Ghibli films.

My Neighbor Totoro captivates by bringing its viewers right into the story, giving them a chance to experience the fantasy that they've always wanted. It is truly an unforgettable story that reminds us to always keep on believing.

Do you believe in the Spirits of Nature?

See results

Check out these cool stills from the film =)

Lovely graphics =)

Mei washing her feet. Too cute!!

Mei washing her feet. Too cute!!
Mei washing her feet. Too cute!!

Chasing the spirit!

Chasing the spirit!
Chasing the spirit!

Totoro giving them a present =) I want one too!

Totoro giving them a present =) I want one too!
Totoro giving them a present =) I want one too!

Chanting for the acorn trees!

Chanting for the acorn trees!
Chanting for the acorn trees!

Jumping on Totoro! I wish I can try it! =P

Jumping on Totoro! I wish I can try it! =P
Jumping on Totoro! I wish I can try it! =P

The cat bus arrives to help!

The cat bus arrives to help!
The cat bus arrives to help!

A happy ending =)

A happy ending =)
A happy ending =)

Totoro Cosplay

Totoro Cosplay
Totoro Cosplay

Do you love Totoro as much as I do? =)

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    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      6 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Another fun lens you've made. Thanks for introducing me to a world I didn't really know anything about.


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This is a really good movie. I have watched it in Chinese and then bought it in English. Much prefer the Chinese version, but my kids don't understand it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Fantastic lens, great job! Squidlike

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We have not seen this, but we have a few other films that are similar, such as "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Castle in the Sky." As a parent, I love the gentle stories. They prove that their doesn't have to be an evil villain for a story to work.

    • reflectionhaiku profile image


      8 years ago

      Yes, we do. This is the film that I frequently recommend to people with young children. My six-year old brought it to school on a party event and the whole class liked it. Thanks for this great lens!

    • Milkcananime profile imageAUTHOR

      Max Wong 

      8 years ago from Singapore

      @poptastic: im so glad to know of someone out there who loves totoro like i do! thanks a lot for the bless! ^^

    • poptastic profile image

      Cynthia Arre 

      8 years ago from Quezon City

      Yes I do. This is a wonderful and information-packed tribute to the anime. *blessed by an angel* and lensrolled to my Ghibli Museum lens. (:


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