- The scene where calm, level-headed Satsuki breaks down sobbing and asking what she'll do if her mother dies. Seeing Mei lost and crying for her sister is no emotional picnic, either.
- Satsuki crying deserves special mention - she starts talking out loud about how this is what the doctors said last time, that her mother just had a cold, before she got worse, then asks Granny what she'll do if she dies, her voice going from detached to increasingly panicked. Then, she says in despair:Satsuki: Maybe she's dead already. (beat, then she starts bawling and suddenly looks like the scared kid she is)
- The idea that two young girls have to face the prospect of losing their mother at all. Granted, the mother is released from the hospital at the end (implied to be on her way to a full recovery), but keep in mind that this movie was shown right after Grave of the Fireflies, a movie where two young children lose their mother!
- Satsuki crying deserves special mention - she starts talking out loud about how this is what the doctors said last time, that her mother just had a cold, before she got worse, then asks Granny what she'll do if she dies, her voice going from detached to increasingly panicked. Then, she says in despair:
- The knowledge that they never see Totoro again after the end of the movie is bittersweet to the taste.
- This scene will definitely cause any younger siblings in the audience to cry buckets. Satsuki says to Mei, "Do you want her to DIE?!" And Mei just keeps screaming "NO!" in protest at everything that is happening, because she is young and doesn't know how to deal with her feelings well. Satsuki looks sternly at Mei and yells, "You dummy! I'm not talking to you anymore!"English-dubbed versions After a few minutes of stunned silence, a soft, high-pitched whimper rises up from Mei and then gradually gets louder as she starts to full-on bawl and wail, saying, "Sis is a dummy!"English-dubbed versions in the most heartbroken and hurt voice. As she does this, she very slowly trudges after Satsuki, her feet despairingly dragging in the dirt, her shoulders slumped, her head facing down. It's a minor example compared to the others, but Mei is a very young girl, and this scene can hit a nerve with viewers who were treated this way by their older siblings.
- Also the way Kanta looks at Mei in this scene. He looks concerned, but he doesn't really know what to do. He just says, "Come on, Mei," and walks slowly with her.
- When Satsuki is looking for Mei and she's terrified. You can feel how scared this 11-year-old little girl is, and you can't help crying with her.
- When Kanta tells Satsuki that they found a sandal in the pond, and she runs herself nearly to total exhaustion to get there.
- The scene of little Mei sitting, exhausted and all alone, by the Jizu statues with the ear of corn in her hand. It's clear that she's been crying. Then, when she suddenly hears her sister's voice, she screams/wails "Satsuki?! Where ARE YOU?!" in the most heartbreaking voice.
- Basically any time Mei cries, especially in the English Disney dub, where she is voiced by an actual little girl (a very young Elle Fanning, in fact). Whenever she cries, her crying sounds alarmingly realistic — and it's common knowledge that most people are uncomfortable at the sound of young children and babies crying. To add to this, it is NOT a cute cry. She full on ''wails'' with her face contorted in pain, her entire face leaking. Every time she cries it feels like a very hard punch to the heart.
- More of a happier example, but the first two shots during the credits with the girls being reunited with their mother.
Tear Jerker / My Neighbor Totoro