Blu-Ray Review – My Neighbour Totoro
After months, and even years, of speculation, Studio Ghibi fans have finally had their patience rewarded with the release of one of the most acclaimed and beloved films in their collection. My Neighbour Totoro is here on Blu-ray ray and, first and foremost, it looks gorgeous. The transfer into HD is an effective one. The [...]
After months, and even years, of speculation, Studio Ghibi fans have finally had their patience rewarded with the release of one of the most acclaimed and beloved films in their collection. My Neighbour Totoro is here on Blu-ray ray and, first and foremost, it looks gorgeous. The transfer into HD is an effective one. The 1988 classic looks sharp and expresses a clarity and bold colour palette to please audiences visually.
However, aside from the wonderful aesthetic, I found my heart racing when the film began in a defaulted English dub. Upon entering the in-movie menu and changing to Japanese language with English subs, it wouldn’t seem to switch. Eventually, realising that the film needed to be restarted, I could then watch it in its true, intended glory. Panic over. This, however, isn’t to completely discredit the English dub, though. Personal preference determines original Japanese voices, but the English attempt isn’t one of the worst Ghibli has to offer; it completely depends what mood you’re in, and how you wish to watch it.
The film itself is wonderful, and if you haven’t yet experienced the magic of it, then I suggest you do so immediately. The story centres on two young girls who, along with their father, move to a new home in the country to be nearer their sick mother. Fantasy, imagination and magical goings-ons ensue when they embark on playful adventures with some forest spirits that live nearby.
Hayao Miyazaki delivers a touching, warm and very sweet story that looks at the majestic nature of fantasy, as well as how children cope with change and various family issues. It proves to be perfect escapism for both viewer and character when they come face-to-face with many fantastical creatures; notably the larger-than-life Totoro who lives beyond the shrubbery at the end of their garden.
My Neighbour Totoro is anime that appeals to all audiences: kids will love the elements of the story beyond the constraints of the garden, as new and interesting characters are whimsically introduced. Adults will be able to recognise subtext and decipher ideas of childhood fantasy, imaginary friends and the nostalgia of being young.
Certainly one of my personal favourites (along with Spirited Away and Pom Poko), it’s a delight to finally see on Blu-ray. The transfer is well achieved, and the sound is pleasing. Extra-wise, there’s a significant list of sections to click through, ranging from creative features such as ‘Creating My Neighbour Totoro’, ‘The Totoro Experience’, as well as ‘The Locations of Totoro’. There’s an interesting array on offer and, overall, the Blu-ray package is a pleasing one that accompanies a hugely accessible, superb movie.