Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006

My Neighbor Totoro

Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki has a knack for inducing wonder in children and adults. In this movie, two curious sisters (voiced by Dakota Fanning and her younger sister Elle) move to the country to be closer to their ailing mother who is hospitalized nearby. At the new house, the siblings meet a cast of unusual forest sprites — including a giant bunny-like creature named Totoro — who lead them on several incredible adventures. Miyazaki's genius lies in seamlessly mixing characters that feel wholly human with peculiar and fantastical apparitions. The end result is a tripped-out daydream that feels like a refreshing blast of innocence.