My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ Tonari no Totoro) is a 1988 Japanese animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten. The film—which stars the voice actors Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, and Hitoshi Takagi—tells the story of a professor's two young daughters (Satsuki and Mei) and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in postwar rural Japan.
In 1989, Streamline Pictures produced an English-language dub for exclusive use on transpacific flights by Japan Airlines. Troma Films, under their 50th St. Films banner, distributed the dub of the film co-produced by Jerry Beck. This dub was released to United States theaters in 1993, on VHS and LaserDisc in the United States by Fox Video in 1994, and on DVD in 2002. The rights to this dub expired in 2004, so the film was re-released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment on March 7, 2006 with a new dub cast. This version was also released in Australia by Madman on March 15, 2006 and in the UK by Optimum Releasing on March 27, 2006. This DVD release is the first version of the film in the United States to include both Japanese and English language tracks.
Exploring themes such as animism, Shinto symbology, environmentalism and the joys of rural living, My Neighbor Totoro received worldwide critical acclaim and has amassed a worldwide cult following in the years after its release. The film has grossed over $41 million at the worldwide box office as of September 2019, in addition to generating approximately $277 million from home video sales and $1.142 billion from licensed merchandise sales, adding up to approximately $1.46 billion in total lifetime revenue.
My Neighbor Totoro received numerous awards, including the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize, the Mainichi Film Award and Kinema Junpo Award for Best Film in 1988. It also received the Special Award at the Blue Ribbon Awards in the same year. The film is considered as one of the top animation films, ranking 41st in Empire magazine's "The 100 Best Films of World Cinema" in 2010 and being the highest-ranking animated film on the 2012 Sight & Sound critics' poll of all-time greatest films. The film and its titular character have become cultural icons and made multiple cameo appearances in a number of Studio Ghibli films and video games. Totoro also serves as the mascot for the studio and is recognized as one of the most popular characters in Japanese animation.
Two young girls, 10-year-old Satsuki and her 4-year-old sister Mei, move into a house in the country with their father to be closer to their hospitalized mother. Satsuki and Mei discover that the nearby forest is inhabited by magical creatures called Totoros (pronounced toe-toe-ro). They soon befriend these Totoros, and have several magical adventures.
Sound Effects Used
- Anime Cicada Chirping Sound
- Anime Clock Chimes Sound 1
- Anime Pop Sound 11 (various pitches)
- Disney - V.I.N.CENT. BEEPS
- Miscellaneous Anime Sound 160
- SKYWALKER, WIND - FALLING DOWN (Heard when Totoro sneezes.)
- SKYWALKER, WIND - HEAVY WIND WHISTLING
- Sound Ideas, PLINK, CARTOON - SOUR PLINK (Heard twice.)
- Sound Ideas, PLUCK, CARTOON - VAROOP
- Sound Ideas, RICOCHET - CARTOON RICCO 01 (Heard twice.)
- Sound Ideas, RUN, CARTOON - BLOP GALLOP, SHORT (Heard once when Totoro runs into the Top Tree holding Satsuki in his Left hand.)
- Sound Ideas, SKID, CARTOON - BROKEN SKID (Heard twice.)
- Sound Ideas, WIND - FOREST WIND, LEAVES STIR, WEATHER
- Sound Ideas, ZIP, CARTOON - BIG WHISTLE ZING OUT (Heard once when one of Totoro's servants run on-screen.)
- Totoro Roar
- Totoro Sneeze
- Totoro Stomp