Capsule Reviews Of Movies My Toddler Wanna Watch Over And Over: My Neighbor Totoro

There's never a scene where an adult disbelieves a kid that magical creatures live in the woods. Of COURSE there are forest spirits, the divine is just part of everyday life! It's a deeply Shinto worldview

Rewatching gives me nostalgia for when I got into anime, separate nostalgia for when I lived in rural Japan, AND it's about father-daughter relationships and now I'm sharing it with my daughter. So many FEELS!

More about Totoro:

The dominant Hollywood "save the cat" theory of plotting is that stories are all about conflict. Writers hear that and think they must write characters punching, or at least yelling at, each other.

Totoro has no such conflict but not one second is boring. The theory is incomplete! Study how Totoro keeps the viewer's interest and you learn a lot about storytelling outside the hollywood paradigm.

Of all the movies for a kid to wanna watch on repeat, Totoro is one of the best.


Maybe there should be an online analog of the movie for the 21st-century. It should be a better way to introduce literacy, information processing skills, and internet skills to kids than what Hollywood spews out.

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