My Neighbor Totoro(1988)
Neighbor Totoro (Â¤ÃˆÂ¤ÃŠÂ¤ÃªÂ¤ÃŽÂ¥ÃˆÂ¥ÃˆÂ¥Ã, Tonari no Totoro?), or My Neighbour Totoro on UK DVD box titles, is a 1988 film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and produced by Studio Ghibli. The movie won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize in 1988.
Troma Films, under their 50th St. Films banner, produced a 1993 dub of the film co-produced by Jerry Beck. It was released on VHS and DVD by Fox Video. Troma's and Fox's rights to this version expired in 2004.
An ani-manga version of My Neighbor Totoro was published in English by Viz Communications starting on November 10, 2004.
The film was re-released by Disney on March 7, 2006. It features a new dub cast. This DVD release is the first version of the film in the United States to include both Japanese and English language tracks, as Fox did not have the rights to the Japanese audio track for their version.
In the film, Mei refers to Totoro as an obake. At another point in the film, Satsuki talks to Mei about what she has just met. Mei says "totoro" and Satsuki asks whether she means a troll. Mei responds in the affirmative and repeats "totoro", which seems to imply that totoro is a childish mispronunciation of the phonetic japanese pronunciation of troll (torÂ¨Âru). This would fit with other features of the film which mix traditional with modern/western influenced elements (eg. the house, the cat-bus, totoro's umbrella). Whether the Westernisation is in the perceptions of the urbanised family who are the main focus of the film remains a moot point because the film is deliberately vague about the distinction between perception and reality.
My Neighbor Totoro was released by Studio Ghibli as a double feature with Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies in August, 1988. There are two theories for this: one was that Totoro would not be successful. Another theory is that Grave of the Fireflies was believed to be too depressing for audiences by itself, and thus needed a lighter animation to accompany it. The late Yoshifumi Kondo provided character designs for both films.
In 1993, Fox released the first English-language version of My Neighbor Totoro, produced by John Daly and Derek Gibson (the producers of The Terminator) with co-producer Jerry Beck. Fox and Troma's rights to the film expired in 2004. Disney's English-language version premiered on October 23, 2005; it then appeared at the 2005 Hollywood Film Festival. The Turner Classic Movies cable television network held the television premiere of Disney's new English dub on January 19, 2006, as part of the network's salute to Hayao Miyazaki. (TCM aired the dub as well as the original Japanese with English subtitles.) The Disney version was released on DVD on March 7, 2006.
As is the case with Disney's other English dubs of Miyazaki films, the Disney version of Totoro features a star-heavy cast, including Dakota and Elle Fanning as Satsuki and Mei, Timothy Daly as Mr. Kusakabe, Pat Carroll as Granny, Lea Salonga as Mrs. Kusakabe, and Frank Welker as Totoro and Catbus. The songs for the new dub retained the same translation as the previous dub, but were sung by Sonya Isaacs.
Miyazaki made a 13-minute "sequel" to the film, "Mei and the Kittenbus", that has not yet been distributed or broadcast. It is shown exclusively in the Ghibli Museum and initially was only shown for a short time . It reappears at intervals there, most recently from October through mid-November 2006.
In the first Digimon Movie, "Digimon Adventure (The Movie)", there is a Totoro object that can be seen during the bubbles scene. This scene was shortened in the English version and the Totoro cannot be seen.
Episode XXXIII of Samurai Jack has Jack encountering an annoying creature whose design is clearly influenced by the big Totoro. The episode also includes an artifact called the Crystal of Cagliostro, an apparent allusion to Miyazaki's earlier film The Castle of Cagliostro.
Appa from Avatar: The Last Airbender was strongly inspired by the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro.
In Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: Brief Lives, Delirium blows bubbles into a number of impossible shapes, one of which is Totoro holding an umbrella.
The Cartoon Network short, "Buy One Get One Free" (aired as part of the What a Cartoon show), is a short about a cat who is tempted into throwing a party in his owner's apartment. In one shot, a cat resembling Totoro can be seen at the party.
The main Totoro has become a mascot for Studio Ghibli, gracing the studio's logo at the start of their films.
There is a real park in Higashimurayama, Tokyo and Tokorozawa, Saitama named Hachikokuyama which was used as the inspiration for the mountain where Satsuki and Mei's mother was hospitalized.
Matsugo, the area where Mei and Satsuki live, is a real district of Tokorozawa, Saitama.
When the Catbus is about to take Mei and Satsuki to the hospital, the destination sign displays several real locations in Tokorozawa. In the final display, the final character of Ã†ÃŸÂ¹ÃºÃ‰Â½Â²Â¡Ã”Âº appears upside-down.
Asteroid 10160 has been named "Totoro" by Takao Kobayashi. The name was approved by the International Astronomical Union.
The 2005 World Expo in Japan featured a "Totoro" house, a recreation of Satsuki and Mei's house in the movie.
Ken Jennings, the winner of the most games in the history of the TV game show Jeopardy!, carries a small plush "Totoro" figure in his pocket for good luck.
"Kaze no TÂ¨Ârimichi", one of the main themes in the soundtrack of Totoro, appears in a rearranged version as "Tororo-kun Is My Neighbor" in the Nintendo 64 game Goemon's Great Adventure, where it is played in the Mokeke Forest stage.
Pat Carroll, the voice of Granny in the Disney dub, was also the voice of Ursula in the animated Disney film The Little Mermaid.
The type of flute played by the "Totoros" is called an Ocarina