My Neighbor Totoro is probably my favourite Studio Ghibli film ever. It also the most widely known and the one that gave the studio its mascot.
For those of you who don’t know this masterpiece yet, here’s the story:
Satsuki, her father and her little sister Mei move to the country to be closer to their mother (or wife, respectively) who is recovering from a serious illness in a hospital not far away. It’s said that their new old house is haunted so the family drives away the ghosts – which are actually just susuwatari – little dust sprites – with laughter.
While their father is working on his studies and Satsuki is at school, Mei is bored and starts following a small white animal with rabbit-like features. It keeps loosing nuts that it seems to carry somewhere. In the attempt to collect them the little girl falls down a hole between the roots of an old tree. Deep down below she meets Totoro, a friendly woodland spirit who starts to brighten up the girls’ days until their mother’s return.
But when Mei runs off after a fight with Satsuki over their mother’s well-being, the older sister needs Totoro’s help in a different way…
Of course the similarity to the beginning of Alice in Wonderland is quite obvious
As always in Miyazaki’s movies, the details of the backgrounds and scenery are astounding. As are the animations at the beginning (sorry it’s in English, but I couldn’t find one in Japanese with the right video, too) and the end, there’s so much effort put into these little things!
I also happened to stumble upon a piano version of the movie’s opening theme, it’s really worth listening.
The inspiration that comes from My Neighbor Totoro is more of a Mori Girl kind than of a Lolita one. I myself especially like the acorns and nuts motive and the smallest woodland spirit, but I would love any of the animation pieces from the opening or pictures from the ending as a print.