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Trivia / My Neighbor Totoro

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  • All-Star Cast: The Disney dub is known for this, with Dakota Fanning and her sister Elle in the lead roles, also starring Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, Pat Carroll, and in the title role of Totoro, Frank Welker!
  • Dueling Films: The American theatrical release was this with A Troll in Central Park, another movie with the same premise. Since A Troll In Central Park was released opposite Pulp Fiction and was only shown in very few theaters (not to mention being the biggest box office bomb by percent of budget lost), Totoro was the winner.
  • He Also Did/Playing Against Type: The initial US release was handled by Troma, of The Toxic Avenger fame.
    • Mei and Satsuki's father is voiced by Shigesato Itoi, who is a well-known essayist and copywriter in Japan. Westerners probably know him best as the creator of MOTHER.
  • List of Films You Should See By the Age of 14: #27
  • Real-Life Relative: Real life siblings Dakota and Elle Fanning voice Satsuki and Mei in the Disney dubs.
    • Cast Incest: Gregory Snegoff and his late wife Lisa Michelson played the father and Satsuki in the Streamline dub.
    • Incestuous Casting: ...and his mother played the mother in the film.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Streamline Dub licensed by 20th Century Fox has been out of print since 2004, leading some to go so far as to distribute it on file sharing sites, extending its reach to new viewers.
  • Reality Subtext: Miyazaki's father was an academic and his mother was successfully treated for tuberculosis in a rural sanitarium. In an interview published in Starting Point: 1979-1996, Miyazaki mentioned he made the main characters girls so it wouldn't be too close to his own life.
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  • Referenced by...: Often will characters in Gintama talk about how the movie My Neighbor Pedro made them cry. It's about a girl whose younger sister was kidnapped and the literally Dirty Cop Pedro has to help her look. Many were surprised to find out that Miyazaki actually likes Gintama and enjoys its parodies of his films.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The film was originally developed as one of the first drafts of Princess Mononoke way back in 1981, featuring a little girl and a large cat-like creature in ancient Japan. At some point, these plans were revisited as a starting point for My Neighbor Totoro, while the concept for Mononoke would continue being revised over the years until eventually being released as the infamously Darker and Edgier final product in 1997.
    • In the original post-proto-Mononoke drafts, Mei and Satsuki were one person, who had visual traits of both, but Miyazaki later realized that a four-year-old wouldn't realistically be independent enough for the plot to work. This single character is featured in the original US DVD cover due to a miscommunication.
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  • This film is on Roger Ebert's Great Movies List.


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