Sunday, July 23, 2006

Like a good neighbor...

Subject: Cinema
"My Neighbor Totoro", a classic from Hayao Miyazaki, has recently been re-mastered, re-translated, and released as part of the ongoing project by John Lassiter to bring his and other Ghibli works over and give them the treatment they deserve.

"Totoro" has been around for a while in a dubbed, pan-and-scan format, and that DVD was considered to be quite sub-standard, so I've held off from watching it. I finally picked it up during the last DDD sale, and got a chance to try it last night.

Miyazaki's magic is in the details. And the details are magical, to say the least. Every little aspect of every frame and every show shows an attention to the little things, yet the primary focus and direction are never lost; it's a masterful balance.

It's a wonderfully imaginative, yet simple tale. It's very much geared for children, but it still maintains an intelligence and maturity to it that makes it accessable to all ages. The characters all have a spark of life in them, and you can't help but connect with them.

I suppose what I wrote there is something I write every time I watch a Miyazaki film. In fact, it's probably what everyone says about him. But, hey, it's true!

So while this doesn't usurp "Porco Rosso" as my favorite Miyazaki work, I found it quite enjoyable, and I'm glad it's in my collection.

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