Jenny Richter

Jenny Richter

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


My Neighbor Totoro is a beloved animated film that has captivated audiences since its release in 1988. Directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki, this Japanese masterpiece has become a timeless classic, enchanting both children and adults worldwide. Set in the rural countryside of Japan, the film follows the magical adventures of two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, as they befriend the iconic creature known as Totoro.

With its enchanting storyline, stunning animation, and heartwarming characters, My Neighbor Totoro has left an indelible mark on the world of cinema. In this article, we will delve into 34 fascinating facts about the movie, ranging from behind-the-scenes trivia to the film’s impact on popular culture. So, sit back, relax, and join us on a journey through the enchanting world of My Neighbor Totoro!

Table of Contents

Director Hayao Miyazaki brought Totoro to life.

Hayao Miyazaki, the renowned Japanese animator and director, created the iconic character Totoro for this film.

The movie was released in 1988.

My Neighbor Totoro” was released in Japan on April 16, 1988, and has since become a beloved classic worldwide.

The film is set in rural Japan.

The story takes place in the countryside of 1950s Japan, capturing the beauty and simplicity of rural life.

Totoro is not the main character.

Despite the movie being named after Totoro, the main protagonists are actually two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei.

The film explores the power of imagination.

“My Neighbor Totoro” celebrates the magic of childhood imagination and the importance of fostering a connection with nature.

Totoro is a forest spirit.

Totoro is a friendly creature known as a forest spirit, who becomes a guardian figure for Satsuki and Mei.

The movie incorporates elements of Japanese folklore.

Hayao Miyazaki drew inspiration from various Japanese folktales and myths in creating the fantastical world of Totoro.

The film showcases stunning animation.

The attention to detail and vibrant animation in “My Neighbor Totoro” showcases Studio Ghibli’s commitment to visual storytelling.

Totoro has become an international symbol.

Over the years, Totoro has become an iconic symbol of Japanese animation and a beloved character worldwide.

The movie emphasizes the importance of nature.

“My Neighbor Totoro” highlights the harmony between humans and nature, urging us to respect and preserve the environment.

Totoro has no dialogue.

Despite being a central character, Totoro does not speak any words throughout the movie, relying on gestures and expressions.

The film celebrates the innocence of childhood.

Through the eyes of Satsuki and Mei, the film captures the wonder, curiosity, and innocence of childhood.

Totoro has a distinctive roar.

Totoro’s roar, often imitated by fans, has become one of the cherished trademarks of the character.

The movie soundtrack is enchanting.

The enchanting soundtrack, composed by Joe Hisaishi, perfectly complements the whimsical and magical atmosphere of the film.

Totoro has inspired merchandise and memorabilia.

Totoro’s popularity has led to a wide range of merchandise, from plush toys to clothing, captivating fans worldwide.

The film showcases Ghibli’s attention to detail.

Studio Ghibli is known for its meticulously crafted animation, and “My Neighbor Totoro” is no exception.

The movie is suitable for all ages.

My Neighbor Totoro” is a family-friendly film that appeals to both children and adults with its heartwarming story.

Totoro has become a cultural phenomenon in Japan.

Totoro’s lovable design and endearing personality have made him an enduring symbol of Japanese culture.

The film showcases the importance of community.

“My Neighbor Totoro” emphasizes the power of communities coming together to support one another.

Totoro has distinct markings.

Totoro is recognizable by his round body, grey fur, white belly, wide smile, and signature leaf-shaped ears.

The movie has a universal message.

The themes of friendship, family, and resilience in “My Neighbor Totoro” resonate with audiences around the world.

Totoro has become a symbol of comfort.

Totoro’s warm and welcoming presence has made him a beloved character known for bringing comfort to those who encounter him.

The film encourages a sense of wonder.

“My Neighbor Totoro” reminds viewers of the importance of maintaining a sense of wonder and awe in everyday life.

Totoro makes a cameo appearance in other Studio Ghibli films.

Totoro has made cameo appearances in various other Studio Ghibli films, further solidifying his status as an iconic character.

The movie showcases the beauty of Japanese landscapes.

The lush and picturesque backgrounds in “My Neighbor Totoro” pay homage to the stunning natural landscapes of Japan.

Totoro has become a beloved symbol of childhood nostalgia.

For many, Totoro represents a nostalgic connection to their own childhood and the innocence of youth.

The film portrays the resilience of children.

Satsuki and Mei’s resilience and bravery in the face of challenges serve as an inspiration to viewers of all ages.

Totoro is often associated with rain and umbrellas.

The image of Totoro waiting at a bus stop under an umbrella in the rain has become an iconic representation of the film.

The movie has received universal acclaim.

“My Neighbor Totoro” has received widespread critical acclaim for its storytelling, animation, and emotional depth.

Totoro has become a beloved mascot for Studio Ghibli.

Totoro is often seen as the unofficial mascot for Studio Ghibli, representing the magic and charm of their films.

The film encourages a connection to nature.

“My Neighbor Totoro” promotes the idea of cherishing and protecting the natural world around us.

Totoro has inspired fan art and cosplay.

Countless fans have created their own artwork and cosplayed as Totoro, showcasing the character’s enduring popularity.

The movie has a dedicated fan base worldwide.

“My Neighbor Totoro” has garnered a devoted fan base who continue to celebrate and appreciate the film’s timeless beauty.

Totoro has become a symbol of joy and wonder.

Totoro’s contagious joy and sense of wonder have made him an iconic character that brings smiles to faces all around the world.

So there you have it, 34 delightful facts about the movie “My Neighbor Totoro”. Whether you’re a longtime fan or encountering Totoro for the first time, this film is a true gem that captures the magic of storytelling and the power of imagination. Join Satsuki, Mei, and the enchanting Totoro on their unforgettable journey through a world filled with wonder and adventure.



In conclusion, “My Neighbor Totoro” is a beloved movie that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. With its beautiful animation, moving storyline, and memorable characters, it has become a timeless classic. Through the magical world of Totoro, director Hayao Miyazaki explores themes of friendship, family, and the wonders of childhood. The film continues to inspire and enchant viewers of all ages, serving as a reminder of the power of imagination and the importance of cherishing the simple joys in life. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or new to the world of Studio Ghibli, “My Neighbor Totoro” is a must-watch movie that will leave you with a sense of wonder and a smile on your face.


1. Who is Totoro?

Totoro is a friendly forest spirit and the titular character of the movie “My Neighbor Totoro.” He is depicted as a large, furry creature with a wide grin, leaf-shaped ears, and a little pouch. Totoro becomes a trusted friend to two young sisters, Satsuki and Mei, and accompanies them on their magical adventures in the countryside.

2. Is “My Neighbor Totoro” suitable for all ages?

Yes, “My Neighbor Totoro” is a family-friendly movie that can be enjoyed by viewers of all ages. It is known for its wholesome and heartwarming story, devoid of any explicit or disturbing content. The film offers a delightful experience for both children and adults, making it a perfect choice for a family movie night.

3. What is the significance of the Catbus in the movie?

The Catbus is another magical creature that appears in “My Neighbor Totoro.” It is a cat-like creature with a bus-shaped body and glowing, wide eyes. The Catbus serves as a means of transportation for the characters, allowing them to travel swiftly through the forest. It represents the boundless possibilities of the imagination and adds an extra element of wonder to the film.

4. Is “My Neighbor Totoro” a standalone movie or part of a series?

“My Neighbor Totoro” is a standalone movie and does not have any direct sequels or prequels. However, it is part of the collection of films created by Studio Ghibli, an esteemed animation studio known for its magical storytelling and stunning visuals. Each film from Studio Ghibli stands on its own and offers a unique and enchanting cinematic experience.

5. What is the cultural significance of “My Neighbor Totoro”?

“My Neighbor Totoro” holds immense cultural significance in Japan and has gained a global following as well. The film showcases elements of Japanese mythology and nature, emphasizing the importance of preserving and appreciating the environment. Its relatable characters and timeless themes have made it a symbol of childhood innocence and wonder, resonating with audiences from diverse backgrounds.