My neighbor totoro

I finally saw my first animie! Woo. I was previewing it to see if it would be ok for my kids. I liked it, and think it would be a blast for the kids, but it was odd. I think mostly becasue the illustration of the characters really reminded me of the old Speed Racer cartoon. Was Speed Racer a precursor to animie of today?

Great movie! All of the Studio Ghibli movies are worth watching at least once, if only for the atmosphere and off-the-wall stories. Porco Rosso is another favourite.

The large eyes, gaping mouths and stylistic emoting are peculiar to much Japanese anime.

Does Fox still have the rights to Totoro? Unfortunately, their version is not very high quality, and it’s pan-n-scan to boot.

  • Alan

It’s fallen out of Fox’s hands, and into Disney’s. I think they’re waiting until the US theatrical release of Howl’s Moving Castle before putting out the new edition.

Three weeks ago, Totoro was due for the widescreen, 2-DVD, Disney voice-over treatment that Spirited Away got. However, the release has been delayed — scroll down for an informative rant from an angry fanboy from Andhra Pradesh.

I’m sure the new edition will be out before long.

Speed Racer was an early anime, yes.

And interestingly, Speed Racer got treated pretty well. The Japanese director was able to limit the chopping, and make sure that the original music got used in the episodes.

People can complain about the butchering of Anime, but historically speaking there’s been some pretty good work done.

Take a look at the quality and care that was taken with the translation of te first two seasons of Star Blazers for example. The voice over and scripting was done by a US ad agency that really had respect for the source material.

Robotech was kind of abomination, smashing together two different series, but it worked. Carl Macek, went on to bring over Akira, (and even Laputa). His translations were atrocious, but they got the job done. I’m not fond of the guy’s work, but there’s no denying that he probably did more than anyone to launch the anime invasion in the US.

Speed Racer was an early anime, yes.[/quote]

Wow, that was over 30 years ago. I always thought anime was a new thing.

My newspaper says you pronounce it AH NEE MEE. I always thought it was just a shortened version of animation, with more of an I sound.

The first modern anime, as far as I know (actually, I just read that it was the first anime with a plot, there was another show that premiered the year before), was Osama Tezuka’s Astroboy (The Mighty Atom), which premiered in 1963.
This has been your moment of geeketry.
Manga is older.

Totoro is a fantastic movie and probably my favorite anime ever (though I haven’t seen many anime films). It is also my favorite Miyazaki film. Spirited Away & Mononoke have larger scope and maybe more awe inspiring moments, but they also feel messier and less disciplined. Totoro is simple, perfect, and to the point. And I don’t know if a more magical scene has ever been animated, than the bus-stop/rain scene. Maybe the survey of Gepetto’s clocks in Pinocchio, or the introduction of Chernobog in Fantasia.

It should be Ah Ni May, and a lot of people think it is a shortened version of animation (the other story I’ve heard is that it comes from the French–no idea which is correct).

But I just say cartoons–it’s so much less pretentious :D.


And I don’t know if a more magical scene has even been animated, than the bus-stop/rain scene.

I remember see that for the first time. It’s just a brilliant piece of filmmaking.

One of my favourite movies of all time. In the first draft of this post I qualified it by saying ‘animated movies’, but then I snapped out of it. Just a really great film.


It should be Ah Ni May, and a lot of people think it is a shortened version of animation (the other story I’ve heard is that it comes from the French–no idea which is correct).

But I just say cartoons–it’s so much less pretentious :D.


Heh. I remember on the old TechTV boards there was an argument over Dragonball Z vs. Western animation, and a couple of the DBZ fanboys were justifying DBZ’s “superiority” by saying “it’s anime, but stuff like Batman is just a cartoon.” I posted something explaining how “anime” is just the Japanese word for “cartoon,” and I think some of them had embolisms or something.

Totoro is simple, perfect, and to the point.

I pretty much agree, Gordon, except about the ‘to the point’ part. Totoro does its share of languid meandering as it follows the girls just goofing around. But that’s a big part of its charm. Like childhood, it’s more than happy to squander its time being aimless. It’s an oddly paced movie and it’s all the better for it.



Even better, most of the original BTAS was animated in Japan. I believe DBZ was animated in Korea.

If you’ve ever doubted that animated films can tackle serious subject matter, try watching ‘Grave of the Fireflies’. Just an outstanding movie.

Grave of the Fireflies is the first anime a lot of people watch. Very sad movie.

There is an amazing amount of Anime out there that tackles all sorts of subjects, ideas, concepts. A lot of anime writers/producers are very good at abstracting a concept outside of the concrete we know and showing us how ridiculous it may be. Racism and bigotry is one of the biggest, and a lot of different people have shed their own light on it.

And of course there is a lot of anime that is just really fun to watch, putting the serious and the funny right next to eachother. And unlike most television, the most popular anime series also tend to be some of the best, with a couple of exceptions. Dragon Ball is retarded, but very popular. Things like Full Metal Alchemist are extremely good, and are also widely loved.

That was my impression too. My biggest fear about showing it to the kids is that they won’t be able to give it the time it needs. It’s very ponderous for the first 30 minutes or so.

Heh. Thanks Gav. Saying cartoons is where I am leaning myself.

I think I may have misremembered the pronunciation from the newspaper. Yours sounds more accurate.