A family meets their new forest spirit neighbors.
Length: 86 mins
Two sisters and their dad move to the countryside in order to be closer to their mom who has been in the hospital for a long time. Mei, the younger sister, is exploring in the forest and meets several spirits including Totoro, a large, furry (and adorable) troll. The movie follows the family adjusting to their life in the country, occasional supernatural adventures, and hoping that their mother will get well.
I love any movie that Hayao Miyazaki makes. This is a cute and heartwarming film. What really stood out to me is what great parents the mom and dad are (which is how I know I’m getting old, lol). They are gentle, understanding, and treat their children like they are their own people with their own ideas and opinions. Instead of dismissing their daughters claims of living in a haunted house or seeing forest spirits and parents just say how they’ve always wanted to live in a haunted house and take them into the forest to properly greet the forest spirits.
There is also an interesting fan theory that Totoro is the god of death (contains SPOILERS!) https://www.tofugu.com/japan/totoro-conspiracy-theory/