Returning to normal life after a lot of travel, I haven’t yet had a chance to catch up on the films in theaters I want to see — top of list right now is Ready Or Not, followed by Blinded By the Light and The Peanut Butter Falcon — but I did make time for one impulse visit to the cineplex this week: To see the anime classic My Neighbor Totoro for the first time. This was one of those movie-going experiences that reminded me of how lucky I am to live in a place with access to several good theaters; it’s a movie with gorgeous visuals, so seeing it on a big screen made a difference.
I do have one complaint about that trip, though. My Neighbor Totoro was being presented as part of a program called Studio Ghibli Fest, which I guess was aimed at fans of Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki’s animation studio) who’ve seen movies like Totoro 100 times already; as a result, the movie was introduced by an American animator who talked at length about all the things he liked about My Neighbor Totoro — including several lengthy clips and some light plot details that would have been nice surprises. I don’t feel strongly enough about this to cry “spoilers!” and let slip the dogs of war, but come on. We’re about to see the movie. Let us watch it on our own terms!