My Neighbor Totoro (Mania.com)
Review Date: Saturday, January 11, 2003
Release Date: Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Due to little choice, I listened to the English track. There isn't much to the track since it is an old stereo mix and isn't great quality . At some points the character's dialogue completely drowns out the background music, but other than that there were no dropouts or distortions that I caught.
The transfers for this film must be the vhs ones that Fox used in '93. The video has a slight grainy look and has quite a bit of shaking occuring, especially in the beginning of the film. The movie is presented in full frame, which is not my preference.
This is one of the barest menus I have ever seen. All it consists of is the package artwork. No sound, or anything else. Very sad.
The artwork that Fox used seems a bit strange. It looks to me that they made thier own images for the case, which looks very awkward. The back also says that the audio track is dolby surround but when I went in and checked it's only stereo.
What would you do if you found ghosts and spirits living in your backyard? Satsuki and Mei decide to make friends with them and it becomes a summer they won't forget.
Satsuki and Mei have just moved into a new house in the Japanese countryside. The first thing they do is go ghost hunting and find little soot spirits crawling around their house. Satsuki soon begins school and Mei is left home with her father. She spots a totoro and chases it to the ancient camphor tree that is near her house. Inside she finds a giant totoro. She tells her mother (who is in the hospital) what she saw. Soon after Satsuki meets Totoro. When Mei hears her mother might not be coming home she runs away and Satsuki gets Totoro's help to find her.
This movie is great for children and the young at heart. It was interesting seeing everything through the perspective of a child. Jo Hisaishi has made a very soothing and relaxing orchestration for this film. Another thing I enjoyed in this movie is that Japanese traditions and talk of spirits wasn't lost in the localization. For an English dub track, the acting was well done for all the character, unlike other movies I've seen (poke... aahumph...mon).
Like I said, a fabulous movie for children and adults. I can't wait until a special edition comes out. For me a Japanese track would be much more preferable.
Samsung 27" TV, Zenith DVD2001C
Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: C
Video Rating: C-
Packaging Rating: F
Menus Rating: F
Extras Rating: F
Age Rating: 3 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Other
Running time: 87
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: My Neighbor Totor