Photos - My Neighbor Totoro (Japan BD)
Of course, I couldn't post photos from Grave of the Fireflies without giving Totoro his due. This BD really looks terrific. The painterly quality of this movie shines as never before. Observe the rust in the bucket, which looks ragged, or the lush background paintings, or the clean lines on the characters.
I think what makes My Neighbor Totoro work is that it's not really about the magical forest creatures. It's really a movie about a child's sense of wonder, that special way in which the natural world sparks youthful imaginations. Adults tend to take everything literally, and the value of myth and symbolism becomes lost. Children have not yet been conditioned to this way of thinking, and so they view a world full of mystery and discovery, a world where a giant cat-bus makes the wind blow, and a single seed can grow into a mighty tree in a single moment.
Japanese masters like Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata understand the inherently symbolic nature of animation. "All animation," Paku-san once described, "is a lie." These are not real people and places, but drawings and icons of people and places. To a skilled artist, this offers limitless freedom and possibility. To an unskilled hack, well...have you seen Dreamworks' version of The Lorax? Ack! Truly, that movie is the anti-Totoro.
More My Neighbor Totoro Blu-Ray screenshots after the jump: