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My Neighbor Totoro (となりのトトロ , Tonari no Totoro) is an animated film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, produced by Toru Hara and animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten. It premiered alongside Grave of the Fireflies as a double-feature on April 16, 1988.

The film, which is set Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, tells the story of a professor's two young daughters (Satsuki and Mei) and their interactions with friendly wood spirits in post-war rural Japan. It stars the voice actors Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, and Hitoshi Takagi.

My Neighbor Totoro received critical acclaim and has amassed a worldwide cult following in the years after its release. It won the Animage Anime Grand Prix prize and the Mainichi Film Award and Kinema Junpo Award for Best Film in 1988. It also received the Special Award at the Blue Ribbon Awards in the same year.

The film and its titular character, Totoro, have become cultural icons. The film has grossed over $41 million at the worldwide box office as of September 2019, in addition to generating approximately $277 million from home video sales and $1.142 billion from licensed merchandise sales, adding up to approximately $1.46 billion in total lifetime revenue. The Art of My Neighbor Totoro was subsequently published by Tokuma.

The film's success help spurred conservation efforts in Sayama Hills in Saitama Prefecture called Totoro Forest Project,[1] led by the Totoro no Furusato Foundation. In 2008, a fundraising exhibition, which featured over 200 internationally acclaimed artists, was held and their works were later compiled in a book.[2] In 2018, Akemi Miyazaki, Hayao's wife, published The Place Where Totoro Was Born, featuring her illustrations highlighting the forests in Sayama Hills.[3]

In 2002, a short sequel, Mei and the Kittenbus, was released exclusively for the Ghibli Museum.

Poster Catchphrases[]

  • "This strange creature is still in Japan. Maybe." (このへんな生きものは まだ日本にいるのです。たぶん。)
  • "Pure feelings forever." (純粋な気持ちいつまでも。)


The Village in May[]

"It's like a haunted house!"
"It's rotten."
"It'll fall down. It'll fall down."
"Mei, look! There....Isn't it big? Father, a huge tree!"
"Right, it's a camphor tree."
"Oh, a camphor tree."
"Camphor tree."
—Mei, Satsuki and their father settle into their new home
Totoro 001

The Kusakabe moves into a peaceful home near a large camphor tree.

Taking place in 1950s Japan, university professor Tatsuo Kusakabe and his two daughters, Satsuki and Mei are moving into an old house in the country to be closer to the hospital where their mother Yasuko is recovering from a long-term illness. Satsuki and Mei find that the house is inhabited by tiny animated dust creatures called Soot Sprites - small, dark, dust-like house spirits seen when moving from light to dark places. While the girls can see them, their father can't, however an elderly woman that takes care of the house (whom the girls can call Granny) tells them she used to see Soot sprits when she was their age. She explains that they live in old empty house and cover the place with dirt, when a family moves into the house they move out and find a new home. Soon they all get to work cleaning the house and unpacking. Later on, Granny's grandson and their new neighbor Kanta comes by with a basket but acts shy around Satsuki. When the girls become comfortable in their new house and laugh with their father, the soot spirits leave the house to drift away on the wind. They are shown floating towards the Kamfore tree which is their true home.

A Haunted House![]

"Mother's looking good, isn't she?"
"Yes. The doctor was saying she'll be able to leave the hospital soon."
"Soon? tomorrow?"
"There she goes again with 'tomorrow'."
"Tomorrow is probably too soon, though."
"Mother says she wants to sleep together with Mei again."
"But you're a big girl now. Weren't you going to sleep by yourself?"
"With mother is okay."
—Mei, Satsuki and their father coming home after meeting their mother
Totoro 025

Mei discovers Totoro.

Soon they go to the hospital to visit their mom who is improving, the doctors say that she should be able to come home in 2 weeks. Satsuki tells her that their new house is haunted, and Mei was worried if she didn't want to come home because of this. The next day, Satsuki starts class at her new school with Mitchiko her new friend. While Tatsuo grades papers at home Mei goes off exploring, soon she sees two white, rabbit-like ears in the grass and follows the ears under the house. She discovers two small magical creatures who lead her through a briar patch and into the hollow of a large camphor tree. She meets and befriends a larger version of the same kind of spirit, which identifies itself by a series of roars that she interprets as Totoro. She falls asleep atop the large Totoro, but when Satsuki finds her, she is on the ground in a dense briar clearing. Despite her many attempts, Mei is unable to show her family Totoro's tree. Her father comforts her by telling her that this is the spirit of the forest, and that Totoro will reveal himself when he wants to. When they find the tree, the hole is gone, while Satsuki is disappointed, she is assured that she will see him if she's lucky.

Let's Go to the Hospital[]

"Granny, Mei..." "Well, she says she wants to go where you are, and she won't listen."
"But Mei, today's Father's day at the university and you promised to be a good girl and stay with Granny. I have two more hours, and Granny's busy too.
Granny: She was a good girl all day, right?
"Sigh.....Granny, I'll go and speak with the teacher."
—Satsuki is followed by Mei to class
Totoro wallpaper - black

The girls waiting for their father along with Totoro

One day, Satsuki leaves Mei with Kanta's parents and Granny for the day, however towards the end of the day, Granny and Mei are outside the school house. As it turns out, Mei had been crying and wouldn't stop until she saw Satsuki, she tells Mei she has to stay with Granny since their father is teaching at the University and she has school. Despite her assurance, Mei wants to stay with her sister, so after talking to her teacher, Mei is welcome to stay and is giving some crayons and paper, and she draws Totoro, but also talks loudly. Satsuki is slightly embarrassed. At the end of the school day it starts to rain, the girls make it run for it but Mei trips and gets mud on her face and dress. The girls wait in a temple until the rain lightens up, Kanta walks by and gives the girls his umbrella and runs home, the girls are grateful. At home, Satsuki works on her homework and Mei does some art. Soon it's time to pick up their father from the bus stop but first they drop off Kanta's umbrella, Kanta's mom is glad to hear Kanta didn't forget the umbrella he gave it to the girls. The girls head to the bus stop but their father is not on so they wait, Satsuki asks Mei if she wants to wait at Granny's but Mei says no. They continue waiting for their father's bus and grow worried as time wears on and it becomes dark. As they wait, Mei eventually falls asleep on Satsuki's back and Totoro appears beside them, allowing Satsuki to see him for the first time. He only has a leaf on his head for protection against the rain, so Satsuki offers him the umbrella she had taken along for their father. Totoro is delighted as both the shelter and the sounds made upon it by falling raindrops. He likes it so much he jumps and makes all the drops fall on the umbrella and lets out a roar which wakes Mei and the rain stops. Soon another bus comes but it's a bus-shaped giant cat (known as the Catbus), in gratitude, he gives the girls a bundle of nuts and seeds. Totoro boards the bus, taking the umbrella, Satsuki is in shock and wonders what they'll tell their father about his umbrella. Shortly after, their father's bus arrives and he explains the train was crowded so he had to wait for the for the next bus. The girls tell him what they saw and are in excitement as well, then they head home.

A Huge Tree in the Tsukamori Forest[]

"Father, hurry. Hurry!"
"The hole is gone."
"Was this really the place?"
"She says the hole is gone."
"Well, you can't see him all the time."
"We'll see him again? I want to meet him too."
"Well, if good fortune is with you. Isn't this a beautiful tree? It's been here since long, long ago. Back then, man and trees were friends. Father saw this tree and fell in love with that house. I'm sure Mother will like it too. Well, let's offer our greetings and get back home. We have to eat our lunch.."
—Mei and Satsuki telling their father about Totoro
Kusakabe sisters and Totoro

Totoro helps the girls grow a tree from seedlings in one night.

Satuski writes to their mom and tells her everything that happened that day The girls plant the seeds they got but they aren't growing and Mei watches them everyday waiting for them to sprout. A few days later, the girls sleep outside in the heat and are awaken at midnight to find Totoro and his two miniature colleagues engaged in a ceremonial dance around the planted nuts and seeds. The girls join in, whereupon the seeds sprout and then grow and combine into an enormous tree. Totoro takes his colleagues and the girls for a ride on a magical flying top. they become the wind blowing across the lawn and play a flute Totoro gives them from the tree. In the morning, the tree is gone, but the seeds have indeed sprouted which means they weren't dreaming after all.

Some time later, a postman comes to the house with a telegram but no one is home as the girls are helping Granny harvest some vegetables and Mei wants to give her Mom the corn she picked. Kanta arrives with the telegram for the girls and they find out that their Mom's hospital wants them to call the doctor. Kanta takes Satuski to his Uncle's house to use the phone, Mei follows them despite being told to stay with Granny. Mei gets separated and runs into a goat. Satuski contacts her father and says he'll call the number and get back to her. As it turns out a planned visit by Yasuko has to be postponed because of a setback in her treatment which means she won't be coming home that weekend. Satsuki, disappointed and worried, tells Mei the bad news, which Mei does not take well. This leads into an argument between the two, ending in Satsuki angrily yelling at Mei and stomping off. Mei starts to cry and Kanta walks with her, back at the house the girls go to different parts of the house to be alone. While Satuski helps Granny with the laundry she is assured their mom will be home next Saturday but Satuski points out that was the same news they got each time, Satuski becomes really upset and worried their Mom may die. After seeing her sister upset, Mei decides to go to the hospital herself to bring the corn to her mother.

Mei is Missing[]

"I'm sorry. It's just a little cold and the hospital had to go and send a telegram. The kids are sure to be worried. They shouldn't have done it."
"Well, the kids will be relieved when they hear. We've all come this far. Our good times are just put off for a little while, that's all."
"Those kids have to put up with so much. Satsuki's such a sensitive child, I feel sorry for her."
"You're right."
"When I get home I plan to really spoil them."
"Hey, hey..."
—Mei and Satsuki's father and mother discuss their children's misadventures
Totoro sisters on tree with catbus

With the help of Totoro and the Catbus, Satsuki finds her missing sister.

Mei's disappearance prompts Satsuki, Granny and all the neighbors to search for her, Satuski regrets yelling at Mei and while searching asks everyone she sees if they've seen her. No one Satsuki meets has seen her sister but are in shock that Mei (who is only 4 years old) actually tried to walk over 3 hours to get to the hospital. It starts to become dark and Satuski and the neighbors are more worried than ever, especially when Kanta told Satsuki they found a sandal in the pond and it could be Mei's. It is soon revealed after an inspection it's not Mei's which means she's all right but is still worried nonetheless. Eventually, Satsuki returns in desperation to the camphor tree and pleads for Totoro's help. Delighted to be of assistance, he summons the Catbus, which carries her to where the lost Mei sits. Having rescued her, the Catbus then whisks her and Satsuki over the countryside to see their mother in the hospital. The girls perch in a tree outside of the hospital, overhearing a conversation between their parents and discovering that she has been kept in hospital by a cold and is otherwise doing well, their mother still can't believe the doctor would send a telegram over something this minor. The girls secretly leave the ear of corn on the windowsill, where it is discovered by the parents, and return home on the Catbus. When the Catbus departs, it disappears from the girls' sight. Granny is happy that Mei is safe and Kanta apologizes for how he acted.

In the end credits, Mei and Satsuki's mother returns home, and the sisters play with other children, with Totoro and his friends as unseen observers.


Satsuki Kusakabe (草壁サツキ , Kusakabe Satsuki)
Noriko Hidaka (Japanese), Lisa Michelson (Streamline), Dakota Fanning (Disney)
The eldest daughter of the Kusakabe family. She wears a pale yellow sleeveless dress. Miyazaki originally planned for her to be 10-year-old fourth grader, but was changed to a 12-year-old sixth grader.
She is friendly and easy to get along with. She's dependable and cares deeply for her sister Mei. She does household chores on behalf of her overworked father, and has a curious and ecstatic demeanor. She has a delicate nature when thinking about her hospital-ridden mother, particularly after receiving a telegram that her condition was getting worse. She meets Totoro while looking for Mei, and encounters him again while standing in the rain. She shows little fear or hesitation when seeing the Catbus appear before her. Although raised in the city, she has no qualms moving to the countryside.
Mei Kusakabe (草壁メイ , Kusakabe Mei)
Chika Sakamoto (Japanese), Cheryl Chase (Streamline), Elle Fanning (Disney)
The second daughter of the Kusakabe family. Only 4-years old. She wears a white shirt with a collar, a dark pink sleeveless dress, and yellow shoes. Her outfit changes towards the end, and she wears a light pink sleeveless dress and red sandals as summer clothes.
In contrast to her hard-working sister Satsuki, Mei has a stubborn personality and carefree personality. She sometimes quarrel with her older sister, and tends to follow her lead out of loneliness and boredom. She doesn't attend kindergarten, and is often left at the care of her grandmother's home. She is naturally curious, which leads her to notice and follow the small-sized Totoros. The climax of the film finds her getting lost as she heads to her mother at the hospital. She is found thanks to the efforts of Totoro, Satsuki and the Catbus.
Her name came from the English name of "May".
Tatsuo Kusakabe (草壁タツオ , Kusakabe Tatsuo)
Shigesato Itoi (Japanese), Greg Snegoff (Streamline), Tim Daly (Disney)
Satsuki and Mei's father. Height 180 cm, 32-years old. He works at a university in Tokyo, and teaches archeology as a part-time lecturer and also does translation work (mainly Chinese) to earn a living. He has a habit of oversleeping, and is a little sloppy and unreliable, but is kind and calm. He said that he dreamed of living in a haunted house since he was little.
Being an adult, he has never met Totoro, but he does not doubt the sightings of his two daughters and considers him the Lord of the Tsukamori Tree. Actor Issey Ogata was originally going to play the character but had to turn down the role for various reasons. Itoi, who was in charge of casting and promotions, then played the role himself. Itoi would later be in charge of coining Ghibli movie poster catchphrases.
In the novelization by Giko Kubo (久保つぎこ), there is a scene where he sings Miyako Tsuzo Yayoi (都ぞ弥生), suggesting that he is from Hokkaido University.
Yasuko Kusakabe (草壁靖子:くさかべやすこ , Kusakabe Yasuko)
Sumi Shimamoto (Japanese), Alexandra Kenworthy (Streamline), Lea Salonga (Disney)
Satsuki and Mei's mother. She has a gentle personality. She was taken to Shichikokuyama Hospital. The production memorandum stated she was "hospitalized due to illness in the chest", however, her disease was not directly stated in the film. She recovers from her illness by the end of the film.
Totoro (トトロ(大トトロ), Large Totoro, referred to as Oh-Totoro)
Hitoshi Takagi (Japanese), Frank Welker (Disney)
A creature described to by the 'lord of the forest' (King Totoro in the North American Dub), Totoro has lived for thousands of years, and lives in the giant camphor tree. According to Miyazaki, Totoro is an animal, not a spirit. He coat is colored gray, and he usually sleeps under the Ochs tree in Tsukamori. He is only visible to children.
He has the power to quickly grow freshly sown seeds and can fly on a spinning top. He blows on an ocarina during moonlit nights. He also borrows Satsuki's father's umbrella while waiting with her during a rainy day at the bus stop.
The name "Totoro" is not derived from folklore, and when Mei asks for his name, he replies with a thick voice, "Duo, Duo, Volo" (ドゥオ、ドゥオ、ヴォロー). Mei interprets this as "Totoro".
Totoro's real name is "Miminzuku" and is 1,302 in age. He is two meters in height.
Catbus (ネコバス , Neko Basu)
Naoki Tatsuta (Japanese), Carl Macek (Streamline), Frank Welker (Disney)
A huge male cat whose body is like a bonnet bus. The part corresponding to the bonnet is the head, and his torso is hollow and filled with seats covered with soft fur. His eyes are headlights, and had mice on both sides of his head as marker lamps.
Medium Totoro (中トトロ , referred to as Chuu-Totoro)
Medium sized, blue-colored Totoro. It has the same chest pattern as the larger Totoro and is almost always seen with a bag
Actual name is "Zuku" (ズク) whose age is 679.
Little Totoro (小トトロ, referred to as Chibi-Totoro in the novelization)
Small, white-colored Totoro. It is often translucent and can disappear from sight. The hand is not usually drawn, but it grows out of the hair when blowing ocarina.
Actual name is "Min" (ミン) whose age is 109 years.
Granny (おばあちゃん , Obāchan)
Tanie Kitabayashi (Japanese), Natalie Core (Streamline), Pat Carroll (Disney)
Kanta's maternal grandmother. She manages the house by the Tsukamori Tree until the Kusakabe family moves. She lives with the neighboring Ogaki family. She loves Satsuki and Mei and treats them like her real grandchildren. She grows various vegetables and flowers.
According to the Roman Album, she's described to have a "funny personality", and in the film, she jokes with Satsuki that her new home is haunted. She mentions that the Susuwatari were visible to her when she was little.
Kanta (大垣勘太 , Ogaki Kanta)
Toshiyuki Amagasa (Japanese), Kenneth Hartman (Streamline), Paul Butcher (Disney)
Satsuki's classmate. He is a little shorter than Satsuki. He helps with his household errands. He enjoys playing with airplane models. He has a naïve and shy personality, and cares about Satsuki, despite not openly admitting his feelings to her. At first, Satsuki said terrible things about his home, but their relationship softened after he lent her an umbrella. He helps searching for Mei when she goes missing and even comforts Satsuki.

Work Motif[]


Hayao Miyazaki helped lead conservation efforts in Sayama Hills in Saitama. A large protected forested area came to be designated as "Totoro Forest No.1".

Despite the film's original proposal stating it was set in 30th year of the Shōwa era (1952 and 1958 in calendar dates), Miyazaki stated that he 'had no specific era in mind', and that "'s actually a lie to say it was set in the latter 1950's; the truth is that it is a story set in a time before television. At first I thought of having the radio broadcast Shinshokoku Monogatari (1954) in the story, but that seemed to blatant. I purposely got rid of that. I thought the earlier time frame would be handled by Grave of the Fireflies, which was on the same bill."[4] While Miyazaki stated that his film was set in an "era without the development of television",[5] an interview on the film's Roman Album states that a reference to a Shigeru Suguira manga is scribbled on Kanta's notebook (Suguira's work gained prominence during World War II). "That was put in by the original artist, Masako Shinohara (篠原 征子), as her personal preference. Anyone who recognizes that drawing is pretty old by now [laughs]."

Miyazaki, who once studied animation at Seiseki Sakuragaoka (聖蹟桜ヶ丘), a hilly area that would go on to inspire the locations seen in Whisper of the Heart, decided to set the film at Tokorozawa, a western Saitama city. According to The Place Where Totoro Was Born, Art Director Kazuo Oga cited that his backgrounds were inspired by a variety of locations, including his hometown of Akita and Sayama Hills in Saitama. Additionally, the name "Jinya Inn" (元湯・陣屋), a hot springs inn run by a relative of Miyazaki at Tsurumaki Onsen in Kanagawa Prefecture, is mentioned in the film.[6]

House Totoro

Miyazaki explains that the house in the film was once owned by a tuberculosis patient and that Granny was their caretaker until the patient passed away. Evidence could be seen in how open parts of the house was designed.

Miyazaki elaborated on this, "It is a combination of the area near Seijo Sakuragoaka where Nippon Animation is located, the area surrounding the Kanda River where I grew up, and the landscape of Tokorozawa where I live now. And the art director Kazuo Oga is from Akita in the north, so it looks a bit like Akita as well."[7] Miyazaki also stated that rather than going abroad to hunt for locations like his previous works, he was, "...happy to make a movie full of fragments of landscapes I had seen in Japan, or remembered, or had seen in my childhood. For example, the large camphor tree in Tsukamori, the forest-although there wasn't really such a large tree, I felt I had seen such a large tree. We all have some tree we looked up at in awe of its size and grandeur when we were little."

As for what inspired the house that Mei and Satsuki moved in, Miyazaki recalls, "It was quite normal to see Japanese-style house with a Western-style attached room in the old days. Actually, that house (in the film) was only half-completed. The garden too-before a nice garden could be landscaped, the house was no longer needed... In other words, it's a house where a sick person has died... My thought is that basically that house was a villa that had been built with an attached room in which a sick person could recuperate. The attached room was for a tuberculosis patient... That's the backstory. So the old woman (Granny) was probably a maid hired to work in the house. That's why she is direct in the way she speaks, unlike most country people. As this is the backstory there's no need to explain all this, so I didn't tell anyone. But in my mind that's how I thought of the house. The fact that the attached room is so sunny also speaks to this setting."

Following the release of the film, Miyazaki became deeply involved in the Totoro no Mori (トトロの森, part of the Totoro no Furusato Foundation) conservation movement in the Sayama Hills since the 1990s.

Totoro Name[]

The origin of the name "Totoro" is said to have come from a girl acquainted with Miyazaki who mispronounced Tokorozawa (所沢市) as "Totorozawa".[8] The prototype of Totoro was also derived from author Kenji Miyazawa's Donguri to Yamaneko (ととろざわ).[9] Totoro itself was said to be inspired by Japanese folklore involving trolls / goblins.

Relationship with Sayama Hills[]

Some of the named locations in the film are based on Sayama Hills, located near Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, all the way to Higashimurayama City, Tokyo. Additionally, in the film, a box with a sticker of "Sayama Tea" appears when the Kusakabe family moved into their new home.

  • Matsugō, Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県所沢市松郷)
    • The place name near the Urawa Tokorozawa Bypass Matsugo intersection in the eastern part of Tokorozawa City is said to have become a model of "Matsugo" where the Kusakabe family lives.
  • Ushinuma, Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture (埼玉県所沢市牛沼)
    • The name of the district adjacent to Matsugo, Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, is used as a model for the destination "Ushinuma" displayed on the cat bus.

Thanks to the film's success and enduring popularity, public interest towards the conservation effort by the Totoro no Furusato Foundation has helped them acquire and preserve the greenery of Sayama Hills. Hayao Miyazaki is part of the organization's advisory board.

Behind the Scenes[]


Totoro Concepts

Early concept images of Totoro, featuring a singular protagonist.

My Neighbor Totoro began life in the 1970s while Hayao Miyazaki was working at Telecom Animation. He drew early image boards of 5-year-old girl who had a similar design to Mei, but the personality of Satsuki.[10] Totoro was originally intended to be published as a children's picture book, but as proposals for the film slowly developed, the main character was changed to be two sisters. In the meantime, early concept the original protagonist was later used in various media such as the cover for the novelization and theater pamphlet.[11] It was around this same time period that a proposal for a TV special of Totoro was turned down. Several concepts were then reincorporated by Miyazaki when creating the scenario for Panda! Go, Panda! (1972) while working at A Production.

For the poster for the film's theatrical release (which was subsequently used in its home releases and program introduction to Nippon TV's Friday Road SHOW!), a design featuring Satsuki and Mei lined up with Totoro was considered.[12] Due to varying issues, the concept illustration of a girl standing beside Totoro in a rainy bus stop was used.


Miyazaki eventually decided on dividing the protagonist's role between two sisters, but this meant expanding the film's runtime.

During a special retrospective program in July 2008, Toshio Suzuki recalls that Grave of the Fireflies was originally planned to be 60 minutes, but was extended to 90 minutes. Suzuki then fought to extend Totoro to 80 minutes or longer. Miyazaki warned him that extending the film by 20 minutes would only be enough to have a single protagonist, and that having the film be about two sisters would require far more screen time. Additionally, according to Miyazaki, he was initially worried as to how the young protagonist would met Totoro, so he came up with two scenes - one where she encounters him at rainy bus stop and the other in daytime at her home.[13]

By December 1, 1986, a planning document revealed that Miyazaki had already conceived of the characters of Satsuki (3rd-grade elementary school student) and Mei (a 5-year old) as sisters.[14]

Original Story Proposal[]

Totoro Pom Poko

Totoro actually makes a cameo appearance in Pom Poko.

In a panel featuring Mamoru Oshii (longtime friend of Miyazaki) × Toshio Suzuki (Studio Ghibli's producer) × Nobuo Kawakami (director of Ghost in the Shell), Oshii recalls of Totoro's early plot was, "originally the story of the battle between humans and the Totoro tribe. Set during ancient times, the war led to the defeat of the Totoros. Few Totoros survived, and their descendants eventually settle in modern Tokorozawa, Tokyo." This plot would later be used in Isao Takahata's Pom Poko.


With My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki knew what he wanted to achieve: a warm film, offering young audiences neither conflict nor confrontation. Yet although Miyazaki first shared his idea in the early 1980s, when it came to putting the story to paper, he didn't find inspiration straight away. The visit to a colleague, shortly before the start of production, would unblock the situation.


宮崎 駿 監督 1988-4

An April 1988 interview with Hayao Miyazaki discussing the release of My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies.

After the release of Castle in the Sky, Miyazaki submitted a proposal for Totoro to Tokuma Shoten (Studio Ghibli's parent company at the time) in November 1986. However, its post-war setting,[15] sober subject matter and 60-minute length led to its rejection during a planning meeting.[16] Feature-length animated films were also not yet big hits at the Japanese box office. Financiers and distributors did not believe the story of two little girls and a monster in modern Japan. But producer Toshio Suzuki was convinced of the allure of seeing Totoro animated on the big screen. He shrewdly proposed a simultaneous release of Totoro and Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies; however the proposal was also rejected. Shinchôsha Publishing, who originally released the novel of Grave of the Fireflies, then stepped in and decided to help produce Takahata's film adaptation. They knew that if a film is adapted from one of their novels, schools would be forced to see it for educational purposes. Then, this same audience would then be able to attend the screening of a second film, included in the price of the ticket. Tokuma finally agreed, establishing a joint partnership them and the much larger Shinchôsha.


Totoro Team

Hayao Miyazaki and his My Neighbor Totoro team at Studio 2.

The very young Studio Ghibli, then two years old, thus found itself managing and producing two films with seemingly no real commercial appeal at the same time, over a record period of only one year. Two possibilities were then considered: turning over the films in two six-month periods or dividing the studio in two and making the films jointly. The first possibility raised the question of whether the team would be able to direct Takahata's film and then immediately shift to Miyazaki's while managing the staff's energy and enthusiasm. In the end, the second solution was chosen and almost every animator who collaborated on Castle in the Sky went on to work on My Neighbor Totoro, excepting only Yoshifumi Kondō who, at Takahata's request, joined the Grave of the Fireflies team as director of animation.

Totoro BG

Kazuo Oga provided art direction for the film's backgrounds.

While Takahata's production crew moved into Studio 1 (i.e. the former Castle in the Sky studio), the My Neighbor Totoro team, moved into a second studio a few dozen meters away, in a building under construction. The area was designated as Studio 2, created especially for Miyazaki's production needs. In practice, the conversion of the second studio only began on April 1, 1987, thus requiring staff to temporarily cohabit with the team of Studio 1. Only three tables were installed at Studio 1, one for Miyazaki, the second for the animation director Yoshiharu Satô, and a last for the director artistic Kazuo Oga. In March 1987, approximately eight months after the release of The Castle in the Sky in Japanese theaters, production of My Neighbor Totoro began. The three men did not know each other very well. Only Oga had previously collaborated with Miyazaki on Panda! Go, Panda! while Totoro was Satô's first project with Miyazaki.

Miyazaki Hisaishi Photo

Joe Hisaishi was hired once again to craft the film's score.

Art director Oga was drawn to the film when Hayao Miyazaki showed him an original image of Totoro standing in a satoyama (里山, defind as the area between mountain foothills and arable flat land). The director challenged Oga to raise his standards. Oga and Miyazaki debated the palette of the film, Oga seeking to paint black soil from Akita Prefecture and Miyazaki preferring the color of red soil from the Kantō region. The ultimate product was described by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki: "It was nature painted with translucent colors." On the film's Roman Album, Miyazaki says that the film's look

The move into Studio 2 finally took place on April 13, 1987, and came with a small inauguration ceremony. On April 14, Miyazaki completed his directing proposal (the content would turn out differently from the final movie) in one day. The next day, he began working on the film's synopsis, a process that lasted eight days. On April 16, he met with Rieko Nakagawa, author of children's books, and asked her to write the lyrics for the opening credits song of the film, Sanpo (Promenade). That same day, he asked Joe Hisaishi to begin composing music for the film.[17]

Hayao Reiko Photo

Hayao Miyazaki has a strong admiration for children's author Reiko Nakagawa's work, and begged her to write the opening song to Totoro.[18]

On April 18, a joint press conference on the two films took place at the Diamond Hotel in Tokyo, officially announcing their proposed release date. Nearly two hundred journalists were in attendance. Some have noted it was the 'most important' press conference for animated films at the time. On April 28, Miyazaki began work on Totoro's storyboard. The film was initially to be split into three 30-minute parts. Each part would begin with a three-minute introduction, bringing the film to a total runtime of 77 minutes. By the end of May, the first drafts of parts A and B were completed. This was around the time when Miyazaki changed the cut of the film to include part D. At the beginning of June 1987, the timing of part A was completed (214 shots for 1,166.5 seconds).

Also in June 1987, Miyazaki announced in an interview that a quarter of production had already been completed. He gave a fairly detailed description of the Totoros and the Catbus and refers to the Totoros as "spirits of nature". By the end of the month, Satô finalized the character designs, and the storyboard of part B was also completed (213 shots for 1,230.5 seconds).

Poster Catbus

The Catbus was used in the poster for a special exhibit at the Ghibli Museum.

From July 11 and the days that follow, Miyazaki laid out his expectations, important points and feelings to the key facilitators of parts A and B. In the middle of summer, the storyboard of part C was finished (247 shots for 1,213 seconds).

However, the daily progression hoped for by producer Toru Hara was not achieved. To keep a high level of quality throughout the film, he decided to call on other subcontracting studios for the key drawings and other miscellaneous details. Despite the rapid progress of labor, this period proved to be the most challenging. It is for this reason that at the beginning of the fall, the team of Studio 2 left a day for a picnic of "motivation" in the valley of Akikawa. The studio organized this getaway during the week, without warning the subcontracted studios which, for their part, continued their work. “It's a movie to distract people. It is therefore better that the directors experience something pleasant that they will remember later with pleasure ”, explains Miyazaki.

The opening sequence of the film was not storyboarded, Miyazaki said. "The sequence was determined through permutations and combinations determined by the time sheets. Each element was made individually and combined in the time sheets..." Miyazaki has said that Totoro is "not a spirit: he's only an animal. I believe he lives on acorns. He's supposedly the forest keeper, but that's only a half-baked idea, a rough approximation." The character of Mei was modeled on Miyazaki's niece. The storyboard depicts the town of Matsuko as the setting, with the year being 1955; Miyazaki stated that it was not exact and the team worked on a setting "in the recent past".

Final Stretch[]

Animage Miyazaki Tots

Hayao Miyazaki awkwardly holding the Animage Anime Grand Prix for Totoro.

At the beginning of October 1987, the first version of the film was screened. Despite the absence of sound and the disorder of the sequences, those who viewed it were satisfied with the result of their work. At the end of the month, Shiba arrived with the test tapes of the actors selected to lend their voices to the characters. The vocal liners of Satsuki, Mei, Mr. and Mrs. Kusakabe were chosen by the end of this meeting.

Towards the end of 1987, the storyboard for part D was completed (276 shots for 1,289 seconds). With the e-konte (storyboards) completed, Miyazaki could finally concentrate on checking the key drawings of the animation. Yasuyoshi Tokuma, president of the Tokuma group, visited Studio 2 at the end of the year to encourage the team.

On December 30, Studio 2 celebrated their last working day of the year at an Iseya restaurant, near Inokashira Park. Most of the team members then went back home to celebrate the New Year. However, the workaholics still spent the New Years working. A few went to the local temple to meditate and wish each other happiness and luck. They were sixteen in total, including the animators from Studio 1.

Ghibli Storyboard

Several collected editions of e-konte (storyboards) Totoro have been released.

Work resumed on January 4, 1988. Studio 2 was on their last stage of intervals. By mid-January, all that remained to be done were the key drawings of part D. At the end of the month, more and more key animators handed in their work and joined the team of animators. They contributed to the last push of the interval. On February 21, the key drawings for the opening credits were completed. On February 25, the intervals were over. The opening credits, the last job to be done, were also coming to an end. The work on the animation lasted one hundred and seventy-four days. There remained one last effort on the finish to be done.

To speed up the film's completion, Studio 2 formed, what it affectionately called, the "hand of cats" - a special team made up of three women, working and helping the main team to finish key drawings, intervals, assistance from the animation director, in checking the animation and finishing it.

Dubbing and Test Screening[]

Sound recording took a long time to complete. Miyazaki spent much this period outside the animation studio, having to sit in during recording sessions, pre-mixing of dialogues and sound effects.


井上あずみ となりのトトロ 「いいね」している人へ もっと大きな声で

Azumi Inoue performing Totoro's theme on NHK.

On April 1, 1988, at 3:00 in the afternoon, the first projection of Totoro is made to Genzosho Tokyo Chofu. The results of a year of intensive work was on display. After attending the test screening presented to the public, Miyazaki returned to Studio 2. The reaction from the adults was very good and the children loved it. He was happy and reassured. During the first screening, the team had reacted quite differently and Miyazaki had not been able to anticipate the reaction of the public. The worries gone, the film was finally over. That same evening, at the nearby Iseya restaurant, the teams celebrated the end of the production and the culmination of all their efforts.

On April 30, the offices of Studio 2 was cleared out. Its role had ended and the two Ghibli studios became one once again.


In several of Miyazaki's initial conceptual watercolors, as well as on the theatrical release poster and on later home video releases, only one young girl is depicted, rather than two sisters. According to Miyazaki, "If she was a little girl who plays around in the yard, she wouldn't be meeting her father at a bus stop, so we had to come up with two girls instead. And that was difficult."



金曜ロードショーのオープニング&エンディング となりのトトロ

The opening to March 30, 1990's episode of Nippon Television's Friday Road SHOW! featuring Totoro's debut on television.

After writing and filming Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) and Castle in the Sky (1986), Hayao Miyazaki began directing My Neighbor Totoro for Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki's production paralleled his colleague Isao Takahata's production of Grave of the Fireflies. Miyazaki's film was financed by executive producer Yasuyoshi Tokuma, and both My Neighbor Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies were released on the same bill in 1988. The dual billing was considered "one of the most moving and remarkable double bills ever offered to a cinema audience".

In Japan, My Neighbor Totoro initially sold 801,680 tickets and earned a distribution rental income of ¥588 million in 1988. In an interview with American critic Roger Ebert on September 19, 1999, Miyazaki said, "Of the films we made at Ghibli, the first films, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind , Castle in the Sky, and Totoro weren't able to recoup their production costs from theatrical releases, We were able to make profit from secondary rights. That switched with Kiki's Delivery Service. So it wasn't as if we had a warm, receptive audience for animated films in Japan from the start. One direction my producer, Toshio Suzuki, and I have discussed and taken is that every time the audience develops an expectation about Ghibli films, we work to betray that expectation with our next project."

According to image researcher Seiji Kano, by 2005 the film's total box office gross receipts in Japan amounted to ¥1.17 billion ($10.6 million). The film has received international releases since 2002. Overall, the film has grossed $30,476,708 overseas, for a total of $41,076,708 at the worldwide box office.

Thirty years after its original release in Japan, My Neighbor Totoro received a Chinese theatrical release in December 2018. The delay was due to long-standing political tensions between China and Japan, but many Chinese nevertheless became familiar with Miyazaki's films due to rampant video piracy.

Release Dates[]

  • April 16, 1988 - The film is released in Japanese theaters.
  • August 3, 1988 - The film is released onto VHS in Japan by Tokuma Shoten.
  • Spring 1993 - The Streamline Pictures English dub is released in theaters.
  • Summer 1994 - The Streamline Pictures English dub is released on VHS in the United States by Fox Video.
  • June 27, 1997 - The film is re-released onto VHS in Japan by Buena Vista Home Entertainment Japan as part of their Ghibli ga Ippai series.
  • Autumn 2001 - BVHE Japan releases the movie onto DVD in Japan, including both the original Japanese and Streamline Pictures dubs.
  • 2002 - The Streamline Pictures English dub is released on DVD by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.
  • 2005 Fox's rights to the English dub expire, with Disney taking the rights.
  • 2006 - The film is re-released on DVD in the US by Walt Disney Home Entertainment, featuring an all-new dub produced by Disney as well as the original Japanese voice track.
  • 2012 - Walt Disney Studios Japan releases the film to Blu-Ray in Japan, Complete with an all new remastering of the film.
  • 2013 - Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment releases the film to Blu-Ray in the US.
  • Summer 2014 - Walt Disney Studios Japan re-releases the DVD in Japan, using the HD master.
  • October 2017 - GKIDS/Shout! Factory reissues the movie onto DVD and Blu-Ray in the US.


Totoro Toys

A great part of Totoro's global success is its merchandising.

In 1989, Streamline Pictures produced an exclusive dub for use on transpacific flights by Japan Airlines. Troma Films, under their 50th St. Films banner, distributed the dub of the film co-produced by Jerry Beck. This dub was released to United States theaters in 1993, on VHS and laserdisc in the United States by Fox Video in 1994, and on DVD in 2002. The rights to this dub expired in 2004, so it was re-released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment on March 7, 2006, with a new dub cast. This version was also released in Australia by Madman on March 15, 2006, and in the UK by Optimum Releasing on March 27, 2006. This DVD release is the first version of the film in the United States to include both Japanese and English language tracks.


Tourism Impact[]

File:Totoro Bus Stop.jpg

The Totoro Bus Stop in Oita. Visitors once used to leave Totoro, Catbus and wooden messages there, until it was replaced by cutouts of the film's characters.

Due to the massive success of My Neighbor Totoro, locations set or inspired by the film became popular tourist spots.

Totoro Bus Stop at Oita Prefecture, Saiki, Ume Road Station

  • The Totoro bus stop is located here at the Saeki-Mokpo route. In 1992, a mother placed a Catbus, Totoro doll, and a handwritten panel at the stop.[19] As time went on, more and more people left their figures and notes in the bus stop, and this phenomenon was even reported on local newspapers in the 2000s.[20] The area has subsequently become a popular tourist destination in the former town of Ume. In recent years, the number of Totoro dolls and panels were too much for the small area and had to be moved to a nearby small park. Only large cutout panels of Totoro and Satsuki & Mei remain at the bus stop.
  • In April 2013, the Saiki-Mokpo route was abolished due to a timetable revision by the bus company. Thankfully, the Totoro bus stop was left in place. Shortly after that, due to deteriorating materials, the bus stop was relocated and restored roughly 80 meters away from its original locations by the land provided by the local residents in late February 2015.[21] It has since been used as a bus stop for the Saiki City community bus.
Totoro Tree

The Totoro tree in Kosugi (top) and the Totoro's House in Aichi.

Kosugi no Osugi, Sakegawa-mura, Mogami-gun, Yamagata Prefecture

  • In Kosugi, Sakegawa-mura, Mogami-gun, Yamagata Prefecture, there is tree called "Kosugi no Osugi", due to its similar shape to Totoro. It is a venerable tree dating back to the feudal era, and it is said that a couple would receive a child in its presence.
  • There is also a tree that looks exactly like Totoro in the Sumomoyama district of Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture. There is also a house known as "Totoro's House" located in the commemorative park of Aichi's 2005 Universal Exhibition, in Nagakute city, in the east part of Nagoya. It was introduced as "a nostalgic house where Totoro would be happy to live". The house was originally inspired by a design by Kensaburo Kondo of the Tokyo City Earthquake Reconstruction Bureau in 1924 (Taisho 13).[22]
  • Suginami Ward was planned to be developed as a park after it was purchased from the land's owner, but it was completely destroyed by a fire that occurred on February 14, 2009, at midnight. The destruction was due to suspected arson. Following that, while the reconstruction has been postponed, it was decided to develop the area into a park based on Miyazaki's design sketch.[23]
  • At Totoro Toge in Fukagawa City, Hokkaido, a scrapped bus that was used as a resting place for farmers was painted to look like the Catbus by a local community development group in 1998. A bus stop based on the film was also built.




Totoro OST

Album cover for Totoro's official soundtrack.

My Neighbor Totoro Soundtrack Collection (となりのトトロ サウンドトラック集) is the official soundtrack album produced by Wonder City and released by Animage Records on May 1, 1988. It was re-released on November 21, 1996, and August 25, 2004.

The score was composed by Joe Hisaishi and arranged by Yayoi Hirabe and Masahisa Takeichi. The theme song's lyrics were provided by Reiko Nakagawa and performed by Azumi Inoue and Suginami Junior Chorus. Cover and insert illustrations are by Hayao Miyazaki, Kazuo Oga, and Michiyo Yasuda.

It originally cost ¥3,190 upon release, but subsequent editions cost ¥2,500.[24]

My Neighbor Totoro Image Song Collection (となりのトトロ イメージソング集) is a 11-track album released by Animage Records on November 25, 1987. It was re-released on Novovember 21, 1996 and August 25, 2004.

My Neighbor Totoro (Drama Version) (となりのトトロ ドラマ編) is an album released on February 25, 1989, published by Animage Records.[25] This is notable not a drama cd but just the full audio track from the film.

My Neighbor Totoro Song & Karaoke: Let's Sing Together! In Loud Voice (となりのトトロ ソング&カラオケ いっしょに歌おう!大きな声で) is a special karaoke-edition of the original soundtrack, released on 1 December 1999.[26]

Opening Theme[]


Aya Matsuura singing the songs from Totoro

Pop idol Aya Matsuura singing Totoro's theme songs underneath a scale model from Howl's Moving Castle.


  • Lyrics - Rieko Nakagawa / Composition / Arrangement - Joe Hisaishi / Song - Azumi Inoue
  • Sung as a nursery rhyme, and is often classified as a nursery rhyme instead of an anime song, even in karaoke. Sung by Azumi Inoue and the Suginami Junior Chorus.

Ending Theme[]

My Neighbor Totoro

  • Lyrics - Hayao Miyazaki / Composition / Arrangement - Joe Hisaishi / Song - Azumi Inoue
  • The song ends with the second chorus in the film.

Sequel and stage[]

Mei and the Kittenbus (Mei to Konekobasu) is a 13-minute follow-up to My Neighbor Totoro, directed by Hayao Miyazaki and animated by Studio Ghibli. It premiered in October 2002 and is shown exclusively at at the Saturn Theater at the Ghibli Museum. It centers around Mei and her misadventure with the Kittenbus. Chika Sakamoto reprises her role as Mei and Joe Hisaishi composes a brand new score for the animated short.

Stage adaptation[]

My Neighbor Totoro has a stage adaptation. Joe Hisaishi and the Royal Shakespeare Company in the United Kingdom are working on the adaptation and will open at London’s Barbican arts complex this fall in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV.

It is written by playwright Tom Morton-Smith and directed by Phelim McDermott and has puppetry created by Basil Twist and music from Hisaishi’s score in a new orchestration. The sound will be performed live with sound design by Tony Gayle. Artwork for the adaptation includes a hand drawn title by Toshio Suzuki, producer for Studio Ghibli, who was involved in the planning and production of the original animated film.

Cast will be announced soon.

Hisaishi said: “In Japan, many people are passionate about theatre and musicals, but there are no original Japanese shows or musicals performed in the world. ‘Totoro’ is a Japanese work famous throughout the world, and so this stage adaptation could have the potential to reach global audiences. That’s what I thought, and I told Mr. Miyazaki ‘I want to see such a show’ and he said ‘yes, only if you are going to do it.' "

“This responsibility is a huge task, but we chose to work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, a globally prestigious company, and with their support we can make it happen. I am delighted that the RSC have become our partner because I feel much in common between the quality of the RSC and Mr. Miyazaki’s aesthetic,” Hisaishi added. “I was involved with the original animation film, and so I feel strongly about not harming the film. If the story is universal – as I believe it is – it will have a global reach even if it is performed by people from different cultural backgrounds speaking different languages. I was sure of this – and so we have chosen to open outside Japan. To me this was important. It’s vital to keep distance with the film but it’s also important to have new encounters.”

Erica Whyman, RSC acting artistic director, said: “Adapting this deeply loved magical story for the stage is the next chapter in our longstanding commitment to making spectacular and accessible productions that see the world through the eyes of children, most recently, ‘The Magician’s Elephant,’ ‘Wendy & Peter Pan’ and of course ‘Matilda The Musical.’ We know that this major new commission will attract a wide range of theatre audiences as well as loyal fans of the original film.”

Toni Racklin, head of theater and dance at the Barbican, added: “This ambitious cross-cultural production marks 10 successful years of collaboration between the Barbican and the RSC, and we’re immensely proud to be the RSC’s home away from home.”

“My Neighbor Totoro” will play a 15-week season from Oct. 8, 2022–Jan. 21, 2023.


  • The 3rd AVA International Video Software Fair Video Category Anime Video Award
  • 12th Fumiko Yamaji Film Award Film Award
  • 13th Hochi Film Award Director Award
  • 1988 Kinema Junpo Best Ten Japanese Film Best Ten No. 1, Reader Selection Japan Movie Best Ten No. 1, Reader Selection Japan Film Director Award
  • 1988 Mainichi Film Awards Japan Film Awards, Noburo Ofuji Awards
  • The 29th Excellent Movie Appreciation Society Member Selection Best Ten Japanese Movies 4th
  • 31st Blue Ribbon Award Special Award
  • Japan Movie Pen Club 1988 Best 5 Japanese Film Category 2nd
  • 1988 24th of Motion Picture Arts
  • The 6th Japan Anime Grand Prize / Atom Award Best Work Award, Screenplay Category Best Award, Art Category Best Award, Theme Song Category Best Award
  • 1988 (39th) Art Award Minister of Education Award
  • 20th Seiun Award Media Division
  • Art Award for Best Artistic Work
  • Agency for Cultural Affairs Excellent Film Production Incentive Grant Work
  • Fiscal 1988 Ministry of Health and Welfare, Central Child Welfare Council special recommendation
  • City Road Reader Selection Best Ten '88 Best Cinema Japanese Movie No. 1 and Best Director No. 3
  • 1988 Cinefront Best Ten No. 1 in Japanese Movie Best Ten
  • 1988 National Motion Picture Producers Association Award for Best Picture, Best Director
  • 11th Anime Grand Prix ( Animage ) Best Picture Award 1st
  • Time Out London Magazine No. 1 in All Time Top 50 Anime Feature Films
  • In the "Talent Character Image Survey" released by Nikkei Research on December 27, 2004, Totoro was ranked second in the favorability ranking


  • Totoro is the mascot for Studio Ghibli.
  • The film is partially autobiographical. When Hayao Miyazaki and his brothers were children, his mother suffered from spinal tuberculosis for nine years, and spent much of her time hospitalized. It is implied, yet never revealed in the film, that Satsuki and Mei's mother also suffers from tuberculosis. He once said the film would have been too painful for him to make if the two protagonists were boys instead of girls.
  • The names of the two girls, Satsuki and Mei are a play on the word May. "Satsuki" is an old Japanese word for May, and "Mei" is the Japanese pronunciation of the English word "May".
  • The name Totoro comes from the city Tokorozawa in Japan. Hayao Miyazaki grew up around here and has memories of children mispronouncing Tokorozawa as Totoro.
  • The forest creatures and title characters of this movie got their name when Mei, the little girl who first sees them in the film, mispronounces the word "tororu", which is the Japanese word for "troll". At one point in the original Japanese language version, when Satsuki first finds Mei sleeping in the grove behind their house, Mei tells her sister she saw a "totoro". Satsuki replies, "Totoro, do you mean troll, from the storybook?" and Mei nods in agreement. She is referring to their book "Three Mountain Goats" (The Three Billy Goats Gruff). In the closing credits you can see their mother reading the book to them.
  • This is the only Studio Ghibli film that used Hanna-Barbera sound effects. This was mainly used for the actions of Totoro and his servants.
  • The movie initially did not do well at the box office, and did not break even until about two years after the release when stuffed dolls based on the Totoro character hit the shelves.
  • During the 2005 World Expo in Japan, a classic Japanese house modeled after Satsuki and Mei's house, was built and opened to the public.
  • A Totoro plushie appears as one of the stuffed animals in Toy Story 3 (2010).
  • The tiny Susuwatari living in the house reappear in Spirited Away (2001).
  • The captioning on the VHS of the original dub erroneously spells "Mei" as "Mai.", it was never corrected on the DVD release as well.


See full Credits


Additional Voices

Streamline dub[]


Disney dub[]

Additional Voices


Credit Staff
Director, Screenplay, Storyboard Hayao Miyazaki
Animation Director Yoshiharu Satō
Art Director Kazuo Oga
Director of Photography Hisao Shirai
Executive Producer Yasuyoshi Tokuma
Producer Toru Hara
Animation Komasa, Aki Yamagata, Akiko Ishii (Anime Torotoro), Akiko Teshima, Emiko Iwayanagi, Hajime Yoshida (Studio Fantasia), Junichi Nagano (Studio Fantasia), Kazuko Fukutomi, Kazumi Okabe, Kazutaka Ozaki, Keiichiro Hattori, Keiko Watanabe, Kiyo Mizutani, Kiyoko Makita, Kouji Ito (Anime Torotoro), Kumiko Ohtani, Kyoko Higurashi, Masakazu Okada, Masako Sakano, Masayuki Ota (Studio Fantasia), Nagisa Miyazaki, Naoki Kitamura (Studio Fantasia), Naoko Takenawa, Rie Niidome, Ritsuko Shiina, Ritsuko Tanaka, Riwako Matsui, Shinji Morohashi, Tadateru Kawamura (Anime Torotoro), Tensai Okamura, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto (Studio Fantasia), Yuka Endo, Yukari Maeda, Yukari Yamaura (Anime Torotoro)
Key Animation Hideko Tagawa, Hiroomi Yamakawa, Katsuya Kondō, Makiko Futaki, Makoto Tanaka, Masaaki Endou, Masako Shinohara, Shinji Otsuka, Toshio Kawaguchi, Tsukasa Tannai, Yoshinori Kanada
Background Artists Akira Yamakawa (Atelier BWCA), Hajime Matsuoka, Hidetoshi Kaneko (Atelier BWCA), Junko Ina (Atelier BWCA), Keiko Tamura (Atelier BWCA), Kiyoko Sugawara, Kiyomi Oota, Makoto Shiraishi (Kobayashi Production), Masaki Yoshizaki, Nobuhiro Otsuka (Kobayashi Production), Sadahiko Tanaka (Kobayashi Production), Satoshi Matsuoka, Shinji Kimura (Kobayashi Production), Toshiro Nozaki, Tsuyoshi Matsumuro (Kobayashi Production), Youji Takeshige, Yuko Matsuura (Atelier BWCA)
Painting Aiko Takahashi (Studio Killy), Chiyomi Morisawa (Studio Killy), Fujino Yonei (Studio Killy), Fumi Yamane (Studio Killy), Hatsue Tanaka (Studio Killy), Hiroe Takekura (Studio Step), Hiromi Hanawa (Studio Step), Hisako Yoshida (Studio Killy), Junko Adachi (Studio Killy), Mayumi Watabe (Studio Killy), Michiko Nishimaki (Studio Killy), Michiko Ode (Studio Killy), Michiko Ota (Studio Killy), Miyoko Oka (Studio Killy), Naoko Okawa (Studio Killy), Naomi Takahashi (Studio Killy), Nobuko Watanabe (Studio Killy), Norichika Iwakiri (Studio Killy), Noriko Yamamura (Studio Killy), Reiko Shibuya (Studio Step), Reiko Suzuki (Studio Step), Toki Yanagi (Studio Killy), Tokuko Harada (Studio Killy), Tomoko Asahi (Studio Step), Toyoko Kajita (Studio Killy), Yoko Fujino (Studio Killy), Yorimi Sawauchi (Studio Step), Yoshiko Murata (Studio Killy), Yuki Kyono (Studio Step), Yuki Takagi (Studio Killy), Yuriko Kudo (Studio Killy)
Color Design Nobuko Mizuta
Finishing Michiyo Yasuda
Photography Hiroshi Itō, Hiroshi Noguchi, Katsuji Suzuki, Katsunori Maehara, Kazumi Iketani, Kiyoshi Saeki, Mitsuko Nanba, Motoaki Ikegami, Noriko Suzuki, Shinji Ikegami, Tetsuo Oofuji, Tomoko Sugiyama, Yoichi Kuroda
Color Design Nobuko Mizuta
Production Committee Akira Kaneko, Hikogoro Shiraishi, Hiroyuki Kato, Hisayoshi Otaka, Masahiro Kasugaya, Michio Yokoo, Minoru Tadokoro, Osamu Kameyama, Shigeru Asou, Takao Sasaki, Tetsuhiko Yoshida, Tomoko Kobayashi, Toshio Suzuki, Tsutomu Otsuka, Yoshio Tsuboike
Animation Cooperation Anime Toro Toro, Nakamura Productions, Studio Planning, Studio Cockpit, O Productions, Video Studio, Sakuraku Create, LIBERTY SHIP, Mad House, Production IG
Music Production Mitsunori Miura, Takashi Watanabe
Music Joe Hisaishi
Theme Song Lyrics Hayao Miyazaki (ED), Rieko Nakagawa (OP)

Related Products[]

Home Video[]

  • My Neighbor Totoro VHS - Tokuma Shoten / Tokuma Japan / Tokuma Communications 128GH-22 (September 5, 1988)
  • My Neighbor Totoro Beta - Tokuma Shoten / Tokuma Japan / Tokuma Communications 128GB-5022 (September 5, 1988)
  • My Neighbor Totoro LD - Tokuma Shoten / Tokuma Japan / Tokuma Communications 98LX-13 (September 25, 1988)
  • My Neighbor Totoro VHD -Tokuma Shoten / Tokuma Japan / Tokuma Communications 98HD-1003 (September 25, 1988)
  • My Neighbor Totoro VHS - Buena Vista Home Entertainment (June 27, 1997)
  • My Neighbor Totoro DVD - Buena Vista Home Entertainment (September 28, 2001)
  • My Neighbor Totoro DVD Digitally Remastered- Walt Disney Studios Japan (July 16, 2014)
  • DVD (Director Hayao Miyazaki's Works) --Walt Disney Studios Japan (July 2, 2014)
  • My Neighbor Totoro Blu-ray Disc - Walt Disney Studios Japan (July 18, 2012)
  • Blu-ray Disc (Director Hayao Miyazaki) --Walt Disney Studios Japan (July 2, 2014)


  • My Neighbor Totoro (Poem Version) (February 29, 1988) ISBN 978-4-19-703621-9
    • A poem written by Rieko Nakagawa, accompanied by a watercolor paintings by Hayao Miyazaki. An entirely original story, unrelated to the film's plot.
  • My Neighbor Totoro Film Comic (1) (June 30, 1988) ISBN 4-19-778561-5
  • My Neighbor Totoro Film Comic (2) (June 30, 1988) ISBN 4-19-778562-3
  • My Neighbor Totoro Film Comic (3) (June 30, 1988) ISBN 4-19-778563-1
  • My Neighbor Totoro Film Comic (4) (June 30, 1988) ISBN 4-19-778564-X
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Tokuma Anime Picture Book) (June 30, 1988) ISBN 4-19-703684-1
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Roman Album Extra) (June 30, 1988) ISBN 4-19-720157-5
  • The Art of My Neighbor Totoro (August 20, 1988) ISBN 4-19-818580-8
  • From "My Neighbor Totoro" Mononoke Communication (October 31, 1988) ISBN 4-19-669596-5
  • Studio Ghibli Works Related Materials Catalog II (August 31, 1996) ISBN 4-19-860560-2
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Studio Ghibli Storyboard Complete Works 3) (June 30, 2001) ISBN 4-19-861378-8 . * All of the above are Tokuma Shoten
  • My Neighbor Totoro ( Shogakukan <This Is Animation>, May 1988, New Edition July 2008, etc.) ISBN 4-09-103812-3
  • Ghibli Textbook 3 My Neighbor Totoro (Bungei Ghibli Bunko, June 2013) ISBN 978-4-16-812002-2
  • Cinema Comic 3 My Neighbor Totoro ( Bungei Ghibli Bunko, July 2013) ISBN 978-4-16-812102-9


  • My Neighbor Totoro Image Song Collection Tokuma Japan Communications ((Reissue CD / August 25, 2004) TKCA-72724 (Original Edition / November 25, 1987))
  • My Neighbor Totoro Sound Track Collection Tokuma Japan Communications ((Reissue CD / August 25, 2004) TKCA-72725 (Original Edition / May 1, 1988))
  • My Neighbor Totoro Soundbook Tokuma Japan Communications ((Reissue CD / August 25, 2004) TKCA-72726 (Original Edition / September 25, 1988))
  • My Neighbor Totoro Drama Edition Tokuma Japan Communications ((Reissue CD / November 21, 1996) TKCA-71028 (Original Edition / February 25, 1989))
  • My Neighbor Totoro Hi-Tech Series Tokuma Japan Communications ((Reissue CD / August 25, 2004) TKCA-72727 (Original Edition / January 25, 1990))
  • My Neighbor Totoro Song & Karaoke Tokuma Japan Communications (December 1, 1999) TKCA-71780
  • Orchestra Stories My Neighbor Totoro Tokuma Japan Communications (October 23, 2002) TKCA-72453
  • Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki & Joe Hisaishi Soundtrack BOX [Box set, Limited Edition] (CD) Tokuma Japan Communications (July 16, 2014)

Derivative Work[]

  • Giko Kubo "My Neighbor Totoro" Tokuma Shoten Animage Bunko, April 1988
  • "The birthplace of Totoro" (Studio Ghibli edition, Iwanami Shoten, May 2018)
  • Hayao Miyazaki / Hisashi Wada, Photo "Totoro's House" (Asahi Shimbun, December 1991 / Iwanami Shoten (Revised Edition), January 2011)
  • Kihara Hirokatsu "Two Totoros, The Age of Hayao Miyazaki and My Neighbor Totoro" (Kodansha, September 2018). Staff Recollection


  1. Totoro Forest Project Official Site
  2. "Totoro Forest Project Artbook", Halycon Realms
  3. "The Place Where Totoro Was Born: New Studio Ghibli book includes art by Hayao Miyazaki’s wife", SoraNews24
  4. "Roman Album Extra Vol.69 My Neighbor Totoro", Tokuma Shoten, p.122
  5. Pamphlet for "From Up on Poppy Hill"
  6. "Jinya Inn", (April 12, 2016)
  7. My Neighbor Totoro Roman Album, Hiraoaki Ikeda (June 3, 1988)]
  8. "The name of Totoro in 'My Neighbor Totoro' was not Totoro!", Pouch (September 2012)
  9. Kinro_ntv's Tweet, (July 11, 2014)
  10. Kinro_ntv's Tweet July 11, 2014)
  11. "The girl in the 'My Neighbor Totoro' poster does not appear in the movie". Who is it?”, HuffPost (August 18, 2020)
  12. "Tonight and next week! Two weeks of 'Summer is Ghibli Special Project', Friday Road Cinema Club (August 7, 2020)
  13. "An interview with Hayao Miyazaki", My Neighbor Totoro Storyboard Collection (1988)
  14. "Starting Point [1979-1996]", Tokuma Shoten, (1996) p.397
  15. It was proposed as 30's in the Showa era, which is equivalent to 1958, 30 years before the film's original release date
  16. "Ghibli was born in this way. Birth story spelled out in reproduced video.", Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind Bonus DVD (2003)
  17. "Futari no Totoro", Kodansha, Kihara Hirokatsu (2018) p.79
  18. 'Rieko Nakagawa x Hayao Miyazaki talks about 'Guri and Gura'", Casa Brutus
  19. Evening Daily, (December 13, 1997), p.3
  20. Saiki City Tourism Association Official Site
  21. "Totoro Bus Stop relocated and revived! Utilization of Saiki City Community Bus", Oita Joint Newspaper (April 19, 2015)
  22. [1] "Visit to "Mr. A's Garden" designed by Director Miyazaki, 'Totoro's House' that became a park", Narina (August 30)]
  23. "Totoro Park, again designed by Hayao Miyazaki, in Suginami, Tokyo" (Archived on July 25, 2010)
  24. "My Neighbor Totoro (OST)",
  25. "Tonari no Totoro Drama Compilation", VGMdb
  26. "Tonari no Totoro Song & Karaoke: Issho ni Utaou! Ookina Koe de", VGMdb

External links[]

Official Sites