Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

My Neighbor Totoro (1988)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

My Neighbor Totoro (1988, Jp.) (aka Tonari no Totoro)

In director Hayao Miyazaki's fanciful and imaginative anime tale about friendship between two young daughters in late 1950s Japan - the director's breakthrough film:

  • the two main characters - young protagonist sisters: 10-year-old Satsuki and 4-year-old Mei, daughters of Anthropology Professor Kusakabe in Tokyo, living in the rural countryside while their mother was recuperating in a hospital of an illness
  • in the mystical forest around the farmhouse, Mei discovered a menagerie of small, friendly house 'sprites' (or spirits), known as Totoros (gods of the forest) (pronounced toe-toe-ro); the three spirits were: (1) a translucent, small white creature (a Chibi Totoro), and (2) a medium-sized blue creature (a Chuu Totoro); and the third gray creature (an Oh Totoro), the biggest and eldest, the King or Guardian of the Forest, who was found sleeping inside a large camphor tree
  • one rainy night, as the two sisters (Mei was clinging onto Satsuki's back) waited at a bus stop, Oh Totoro revealed himself with only a leaf on his head for protection against the rain; Oh Totoro handed the girls a package (filled with acorns) before he left
  • after planting the acorns in a garden, the girls watched one night as the seedlings sprouted and a new forest of acorn trees quickly grew up
  • the first appearance of the "cat bus" - a 12 legged, feline vehicle, one of the magical and whimsical creatures in the forest; it had a wide mouth and face, was striped, and slightly resembled the "Cheshire Cat" in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland
The "Cat Bus"
  • the later reunion of the two sisters, who were transported in the bus to the hospital to see their ill mother Yasuko

(l to r): Mei and Satsuki

Two Small, Rabbit-Eared House Spirits or Totoros

At the Bus Stop: Oh Totoro

The Fast-Growing Acorn Trees in Their Garden

Satsuki and Mei On The Way to Hospital to Visit Their Mother


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