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My Neighbor Totoro (Two-Disc Special Edition) - animated DVD / family and children's DVD / Disney review
MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO (TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION) Rated G by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 5 stars
Featuring: Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Hitoshi Takagi, Shigesato Itoi, Sumi Shimamoto
Director: Hayao Miyazaki Studio: Disney Presents Studio Ghibli
DVD release: 02 March 2010 Feature runtime: 86 minutes / 2 discs
Format: Animated, Color, Dubbed, DVD, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
DVD Features, Volume 1: Aspect ratio 1.85:1, Audio tracks (Dolby 2.0 Surround - English, French, Japanese), Subtitles (English SDH, English, French), Original Japanese storyboards, Creating My Neighbor Totoro, Creating the Characters, The Totoro Experience, Producer's Perspective: Creating Ghibli, The Locations of Totoro, Scoring Miyazaki, Original Japanese trailer, Behind the Microphone, Creating Ponyo, Creating Kiki's Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky: Character Sketches, Enter the Lands

Still shot - MY NEIGHBOR TOTOROHayao Miyazaki's MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO, newly re-released in a packed-full-of-goodies two-disc special edition from Studio Ghibli and Disney, tells the story of two Japanese girls who move out of the city and find that their new home is not what they were expecting. Along with the excitement of exploring their new lodgings, Satsuki and Mei discover that a nearby forest houses several forest spirits. As they explore their new environment, they befriend these forest creatures and meet a magical new spirt named Totoro.

Silent and intimidating,Totoro's gruff exterior is only the outer shell of a kind and generous forest spirt. Their forest explorations introduce them to fantastic new creatures both comical and inspiring in nature. They embark on a wonderfully creative adventure as their new friends lend a hand in their day-to-day lives.

Anyone familiar with Miyazaki's films will notice the running theme of respect for nature and family. This film has that in spades: Totoro and his friends are benevolent forest spirits with great concern for nature. Family also plays a large part of this film as the two sisters have to rely on each other throughout. They are together most of the time, and some young boys might be put off by two female main characters. However, anyone sticking around will be rewarded with a surprisingly emotional journey featuring great music and storytelling, not to mention the beautiful landscape and scenery that composes this film. MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO is not to be missed; fans of any style of animation will find it inspiring and enchanting, and parents looking for a wholesome family film will be hard pressed to find a finer example.

Special features include documentaries and interviews with Hayno Miyazaki detailing the films journey and inspirations. Additional interviews from Studio Ghibli help paint a picture of its influence on Japanese pop culture.
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reviewed by Ryan Strampe
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