I never thought that I’d get the chance to see a Studio Ghibli film on the big screen, however, Studio Ghibli Fest has made that a reality. My local cinema is participating so I will get a chance to see 6 of their movies starting with My Neighbor Totoro.
Tonight I got a chance to see and enjoy Totoro, and I really had a lot of fun. It was clear that a lot of folks in the audience had either never seen it or hadn’t seen it in a long time. There were a lot of genuine laughs, especially around Mei and Totoro.
The film reminds me of being a kid, being full of wonder, and how even simple things can feel like an adventure. Watching sisters Satsuki and Mei run about the house filled me with nostalgia, I found myself remembering some of the times with my own sister. Even the neighbor boy Kanta reflected parts of myself and other kids I knew at the time: shy, dutiful, etc. When they hear that their mother has caught a cold it turns their world upside-down and they fear the worst - even the small things are amplified for their small innocent hearts. I also enjoyed how the family pays their respects to the spirits, and even if the adults had lost touch with those beliefs, it was all too real for the sisters as they spend time with Totoro. I left the theater feeling happy and light-hearted.
The movie was presented with subtitles on the theater’s 4k digital projectors and it looked really good. There were little to no noticeable film grains, and the colors were smooth. The animation popped right off the screen - one memorable scene was when the girls clung to Totoro’s chest as he flew through the sky. I’m hopeful and excited to see the next 5 movies of the festival.