Blu-ray Review “My Neighbor Totoro”

totoroActors: Dakota Fanning, Elle Fanning, Tim Daly, Pat Carroll, Lea Salonga
Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
Rated: G (General Audience)
Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 21, 2013
Run Time: 88 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“My Neighbor Totoro” is my favorite Studio Ghibli film, hands down and also one of my favorite films are all-time. There is something about this film that is so simple so contains a much deeper message. The film is very magical, sweet and just plain funny. The character of Totoro is one of my favorites and also ended up becoming also the logo for Studio Ghibli. It is crazy to think that this film is not celebrating its 25th anniversary. I remember watching this film as a kid and now I get to share this film on Blu-ray with my own daughter. She is already in love with this film and its characters. The film doesn’t show it’s age at thanks to an all new HD digital transfer, courtesy of Disney. If you are a Ghibli fan, this is an amazing release. I am sure that we will be watching this film on loop for many years to come.

Official Premise: Follow the adventures of Satsuki and her four-year-old sister Mei as they discover their new neighbor is a mysterious forest spirit named Totoro who can only be seen by the eyes of a child. As Totoro introduces the girls to his extraordinary friends, they embark on the journey of a lifetime. Featuring the voice talents of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, My Neighbor Totoro is an amazing animated adventure the whole family will fall in love with.

“My Neighbor Totoro” arrives for the first time on a Disney combo pack, with the film available on Blu-ray and DVD. It has never looked better and I was blown away but the clarity of this 25 year old animated film. The color lines looks beautiful and it looks like it was made yesterday. There are two audio tracks included on this release, both which are DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. The Japanese track was what I grew up with and love. But now that I have my own daughter, who is just 1 years old, she can’t read just yet so we have been stick with the English track. I have to say I am a little disappointed since I would have loved to see Disney give this film the 5.1 treatment. That being said the 2.0 tracks are not bad at all for this simple film. Joe Hisaishi sounds great and the dialogue is very clear still.

The special features are great and definitely worth checking out for any fan of the film. There is a featurette called “Behind the Microphone”, which shows our cast behind-the-scenes who gave these great characters life. My favorite extra is “Behind the Studio”, which consists of six featurettes, including “Creating “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Creating the Characters”, “The Totoro Experience”, “Producer’s Perspective: Creating Ghibli”, “The Locations of Totoro” and “Scoring Miyazaki”.  These really give us a great insight into the behind-the-scenes for the film. There is a little bit of everything included here.  They are not the longest extras but still worth checking out. Lastly there are the original Japanese Trailer, as well as the original Japanese Storyboards.

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