My Neighbor Totoro (1988) dir. Hayao Miyazaki

The second Miyazaki film I've seen (after the infamous Spirited Away) and it had me gripped all the way, exactly like Spirited Away. This for sure will be the start of my Studio Ghibli journey.

The movie opens with a friendly child-like Song about Totoro, and as the first act plays out, you are delighted with of the most simple, gorgeous, gripping children movie you'll ever see. And here, I'm not saying a children movie as a negative!

The story is about two girls, Stuski and Mei, moving to rural Japan with their father, while their mother is in the hospital. As they battle the fact that their mother is sick, and the fear of living in a new place, they start letting their imagination roam free.

By doing this, we are delighted with a gorgeous, expertly crafted, deeply personal piece of cinema. While the movie is relatively "action-free", and the plot could be summarized in a couple of lines, the movie it's beautiful frames will grip you from start to the finish with it's beautiful frames, wonderful music and personal story.

I was not surprised that this movie was largely, auto-biographical, and you will definitely feel it. Miyazaki has to change the character to two girls, in order not to make it too personal. I still prefer Spirited Away over this, but part at me just enjoy these very simple films.

This will definitely be rematched many many times again. 8/10.