This post is by V Renée from No Film School
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You’d be hardpressed to find a person who has seen Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 animated fantasy film My Neighbor Totoro and didn’t absolutely love it. Even if dedicated Studio Ghibli fans were left out of the equation, audiences both young and old have fallen in love with the likes of Satsuki, Mei, and Catbus, but no character has captured hearts and imaginations quite like the big, furry, forest keeper Totoro.
In this video essay, the team over at ScreenPrism explores architecture of Totoro’s character to explain how the woodland creature works on a narrative level, why it has become such a huge cultural icon, as well as how we could all benefit from having a neighbor like Totoro around to lift our spirits.