I tried watching this film once, got a little tired of the sisters’ incessant yelling, left off halfway, and picked it up again recently. This time, prepared as I was for the sisters’ yelling, I took it in my stride, and it were my friends’ turns to be annoyed. I’m not sure how to review this film, or even describe my viewing experience. It’s just so… unconventional. I think Roger Ebert’s review puts it best. After watching the film in its entirety the second time round, it dawned on me that this is a film made for viewing when you’re in that special mood – that contemplative, nostalgic mood, because what it evokes is a fantastical harkening back to a childhood in simpler days, in simpler times. The totoros are cute in an innocent, child-like, nostalgic way, and not the wide-eyed bumbling way that American animated characters are cute in. It’s not too much to say that the music is hypnotic, because indeed you get the feeling that you might just stay glued to your seat forever, alternately listening to and humming the tune if you listen too long.
That special mood doesn’t come easy for one like me who was born and bred in the modern city, but anytime you feel a semblance of that mood… you know what to slip into the player.
Rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Rating on IMDb: 8.2
Viewing history: Seen 1x. Library DVD.