Have you seen the most-recent Disney DVD release of My Neighbor Totoro, a Hayao Miyazaki tour de force? No? Well then, get thee to Netflix or BestBuy or your DVD procurement method of choice. My Neighbor Totoro is a sweet, gentle, engaging movie about forest spirits that come into the lives of two young girls. Fans of Spirited Away will see similarities in imagery, and a similar Shinto tone.
(My reference to the Disney release is not gratuitous…it’s actually quite important. You don’t want the Fox DVD release, which is a pan-and-scan. This is a gorgeous movie, and you need every single pixel, I swear to you.)
The very-real Sayama Forest, which provided inspiration for the spiritual and aesthetic grounds of the movie is now endangered. The Totoro Forest Project, a non-profit organization, is working for its protection, and is having both a special exhibit at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum and a charity auction at Pixar Animation Studios Campus. Dude, I cannot tell you how badly I would like to be at both events!
Tip o’ the hat: Collateral Damage, aka Mr. Broke Hoedown.