MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO: A Visual Appreciation

I first noticed My Neighbor Totoro as an grownup. However I grew up within the 2D animation age, with the movies of the Disney Renaissance period shaping my youth and teenage years. I’ve spent hours since then admiring frames, trying on the composition of the fastened backgrounds and the shifting characters and the way they mix. Every layer of the body has to come back collectively simply so so as to add depth and a contact of realism, even in a fantastical setting. Studio Ghibli movies excel at presenting tales that reside comfortably in a magical realm and on the planet outdoors our doorways—Totoro particularly. At the same time as an grownup, I type of believed I’d discover Totoro within the woods on my subsequent tenting journey. And that’s due to the film’s knock-you-off-your-feet visuals.

To rejoice Hayao Miyazaki‘s movie’s thirtieth anniversary, let’s have a look at a few of the most spectacular pictures.

Landscapes and Backgrounds

It doesn’t matter if it’s the countryside, the forest the place Totoro takes naps, or a messy home, the backgrounds in My Neighbor Totoro are lived in and vibrant. Some are detailed (notice the rigorously shaded grime on a few of the indoor surfaces), however typically an impressionist-like strategy softens the perimeters and provides a touch of thriller and creativeness–particularly with the photographs centered on nature.


A single line on a face can talk a world of data in animation. If these strains aren’t in the correct place, you lose response and emotion, and subsequently, story. The expressions on the faces of Kusakabes convey inside battle, pleasure, worry–you don’t need to guess about what they’re considering. The numerous appears to be like of Mei are a wonderful examine in character expression.


Totoro and Catbus are the clear creature stars of My Neighbor Totoro, however the animators lavished simply as a lot consideration on on a regular basis, actual critters like toads and bugs. As a result of they don’t deal with them in another way, it provides to the sensation that you just simply may spy Catbus the following time you’re ready on the bus cease.

When you shut your eyes and consider My Neighbor Totoro, what picture involves thoughts? What scene is your favourite? Inform us within the feedback.

Pictures: Studio Ghibli, screencaps by way of Animation Screencaps

Amy Ratcliffe is an Affiliate Editor for Nerdist. Observe her on Twitter.

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