My first ever foray into the wonderful world of Studio Ghibli Movies. I watched a dubbed version, but that didn’t ruin the magic for me one bit.

Certificate: U

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Screenwriter: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Hitoshi Takagi, Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto

Genre: Animation, Fantasy

Runtime: 86 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

I have heard so many people talkm about the magic of the movie put out by Studio Ghibli, so when Netflix started to release them in the UK, I jumped at the chance to begin watching them one at a time.  And I was not at all Disappointed.

When two young girls move to the country with their father, they begin to see strange spirits that live in the forest that surrounds their house, and they make friends with them. 

This story was just delightful in its simplicity and magical in it’s delivery.  I really wish I had seen these films when I was a child, they are perfect for young kids, I know I would have loved them.  I would highly recommend them for anyone with you children.  The versions available in UK Netflix are dubbed so there is no need to worry about a language barrier, or them not being able to read subtitles.

Considering this film came out in the 80s, the Animation is amazing and so beautiful to look at as I am sure is the case with all Studio Ghibli films.  I was expecting it to look a little aged as the films are over 30 years old now, but they are just as amazing to look at as they would have been back then.  And the animations themselves, along with the soundtrack, give the whole film a really magical, whimsical feeling.

As always with Japanese animations, sometimes the story does get a little silly, but they are designed for kids, so silliness isn’t really a problem here, but just bare that in mind if like me you are watching these for the first time as an adult.

There is a sad, emotional story buried under all the whimsy.  The girls mother is very sick in Hospital and they are dealing with the fact that she may not get better.  I would have liked to have seen that explored a little more, but I did enjoy the narrative between the two sisters.  Their relationship was portrayed beautifully.

I highly recommend if you haven’t already seen this film, you do it as soon as possible.

My Neighbour Totoro is now available on UK Netflix.