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Animation Addicts Podcast 151: ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ – Cat Bus. Why Didn’t I Think of That?

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Chelsea and Morgan are left with more questions than answers in this review of Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro.

Highlights

  • Patron shout out!
  • General info (from Box Office Mojo, IMDB, & Wikipedia and the great and powerful internet)
  • Cultural impact and critical reception
  • Trailer reaction
  • We watched the Disney 2005 dub
  • The film is partially autobiographical
  • The theme song: Chelsea wants Owl City
  • Lost in translation
  • Are these spirit legends real or is he just a good dad?
  • Well, that escalated quickly.
  • “What is the theme/lesson this story is supposed to be teaching?”
  • So many questions
  • Cat Bus. What, where, when, why, how?
  • Real, but not real. Commit!
  • Don’t forget to use the hashtags #AnimationAddicts and #AnimationAddicts151 when talking about this episode on Twitter!

Runtime: 00:53:04, 40.1 MB

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About Chelsea Robson

Chelsea Robson, Co-host of the Animation Addicts Podcast, studied studio engineering and is a singer/songwriter and is know as "The World Traveler of the Podcast." She speaks fluent Portuguese, loves being outdoors, hiking small mountains, riding horses, and talking about human nature.
  • Phoenix Wright

    I absolutely adore this movie, and I’m sad you guys didn’t like the movie as much. The problem here might have been that you guys expected it to be much different than it actually is. I think you guys might have been expecting for there to be a much more in-depth plot and higher stakes, when it actually just feels like a calm piece of life. One thing you guys said was that you didn’t think it had much replay value, when I think that it gets better every time I watch it. I’d say you guys should watch it again eventually because you now know what to expect and them maybe you can appreciate it for what it is more, if that makes any sense. But anyway its always great to here your guys’ opinions

    • Chloe Westenhaver

      I totally agree with you! I was bummed, and frankly shocked by the reviews. To each their own, but I adore this movie. It has a beautiful balance of whimsy and magic mixed with everyday life and what it means to be a young child. I love how Miyazaki’s films take it slow and display the beauty of real people, but add mystical elements and take you to another world. I didn’t grow up with this movie, but when I saw it a few years ago for the first time, it made me so happy and just warmed my heart. I would’ve loved it as a kid, but I was grateful to experience it for the first time as an adult too. I agree that it gets even better with each new viewing, and is such a beautiful film.

    • I think the problem here was that Totoro had been so overhyped in my mind, that I guess I was expecting more and that affected how I saw and reviewed it. I agree with you that I need to re-watch it after a month or so, knowing what I was getting into, my thoughts on it would change.

      I enjoyed the film fine enough, I just didn’t love it and gush over it like it seems everyone else does.

  • Hannah Wilkes

    Loved this episode! I haven’t watched My Neighbor Totoro in years but I’ll have to check it out again.

  • k

    There was a fan theory that May actually did drown (May doesn’t have a shadow after that) and Totoro and the catbus are taking her to the other side but before they did that they let her see her mother for the last time (therefore she can’t see them). And what we see in the epilogue is the father imaging what could have been if no one died.
    Fun theory!

    • Ruise

      It’s not true at all, but I agree that it is a fun conspiracy theory. It would be terrible if she actually did drown, but it’s fun to imagine “what if?”

    • Fun theory! Someone dies! 😆

      Why do all the crazy fan theories always center around someone really being dead? 🤔

  • Ruise

    It’s called magical realism jeez you guys. It’s not a difficult film to understand! You guys are actually the second and third reviewers I’ve heard who really disliked Totoro and yeah it’s perfectly fine for you to have your own opinions even though you’re incorrect. 😉 The more lowkey Ghibli films such as Ponyo, Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Arrietty are my favorites, along with Spirited Away of course. I thought Princess Mononoke was good, but like you guys with this movie, I have absolutely no desire to rewatch it. Princess Mononoke’s vibe is more along the lines of R-rated Hollywood movies and HBO dramas, it’s just not whimsical or fun enough for me.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Ruise! I believe that if I were to watch this film in a few months, I’ll have a different opinion of it. I’m going to give myself a month and then rewatch and report back on the podcast about my thoughts after then.

  • Rachel Wagner

    This is joy in movie form. I’m surprised you couldn’t’ get swept away in it.