My Neighbor Totoro is a classic from famed Studio Ghibli. Released in 1988, the movie tells the story of a family living in the rural countryside, and their simple yet wonderful encounters and moments. From this story comes the out-of-this world Totoro, a spirit of the forest. Totoro has been a popular character since this movie's release, and is known around the world. Studio Ghibli does a great job perfecting each aspect of this movie, from the art and details in each background, to the small quirks found in each character's animation. It really feels like you're watching the realization of the passion of the artists.
One of the things that really makes the movie stand out is its soundtrack. The music is quite memorable, and can really bring you into the mood of the the film. The movie features 20 songs. While most of them are short, they each fit in their own segment in the story. How each track was tailored for each environment and situation is astounding, and shows the amount of time and effort spent. Overall the music in the film feels like a fairy tale, taking a bit of inspiration from Disney and the likes of Alice in Wonderland. Each tone is set to make you feel like the characters and feel what they're feeling. It can take you on a journey and make you feel like you're living in peaceful rural Japan. Even the mystical and mysterious Totoro has its own signature music and a catchy theme of the same name.
One of the first tracks in the movie is The Village In May which shows the Kusakabe family just moving in. The music complements the scene well, making it feel like it's a new great day, where the village is peaceful and beautiful. Another great track from the film is called The Drenched Monster, and is the iconic scene where Satsuki gives Totoro an umbrella, taking a step towards friendship. The title of "cutest song in the soundtrack" belongs to "My Neighbor Totoro". It's one of the songs with lyrics and also features a cute way to sing Totoro that's used in the ending credits of the film.
If you're a fan of Studio Ghibli or just an anime enthusiast in general, you shouldn't miss a chance to try and watch this classic family movie. They really set the bar high and helped show everyone how good quality production can be done in an anime film. This style from the 80s persists even now, and can be seen spreading its influence to current anime.