Characterism In My Neighbor Totoro

907 Words 4 Pages
Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli, is one of the most widely acclaimed animation directors of all time. While Studio Ghibli is often nicknamed, “The Disney of Japan”, it more than stands on its own and, in my opinion, is superior in terms of storytelling and visuals. He is most known for his movie, My Neighbor Totoro, whose titular creature has become the mascot for the studio and an icon in Japanese media. While most reviews you would find for this movie are overwhelmingly positive, there are always a few rotten tomatoes in the basket. A reviewer from The New York Times, Stephen Holden, wrote that he thought the movie was without any real conflicts and, “crosses the line from sweet to saccharine”(Holden). He fails to realize, …show more content…
This is not the case, however, as Mei is stubborn and curious a point where it puts herself in danger. Satsuke can be mean and condescending to her sister, which causes one of the major conflicts in the movie. For example, toward the end of the film, Satsuke calls Mei stupid for wanting her mother to come home even though she is still sick. This causes Mei to cry and run away, which in turn results in the entire village searching for her and eventually believing she had drowned. This is not the behavior of the typical, “1950’s television …show more content…
The trope that anything remotely “ugly” has to be evil in some way is damaging to society and the film shows that just because something is frightening, it can be just as kind as anything else. The sweetness of the movie is there to demonstrate the wonder and joy that can come from being a kid, and to add unnecessary turmoil between the titular character and main girls would be completely against the point. Totoro lets the girls escape from their daily lives, filled with boring school lessons, and worries about their sick mother. It shows children that even when things are tough in their day to day lives, as long as they are positive, they can always find escape in nature and their imaginations. It offers the audience escape from whatever they are going through in their daily lives as well, and shows that everyone can use a sugary childish adventure every once and

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