My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro, by Hayao Miyazaki My Neighbor Totoro (1988) is a quiet, calm, beautiful film. There is no dialogue for very long stretches of story while characters explore, watch, and discover—akin to the opening sequence of WALL-e. There is no sass talk, there are no quick cuts, no pop-culture references, and no special effects.  Nothing explodes.  The movie is rated G.  It is a hand-drawn animated film made a quarter-century ago.  I watched it together with my two children, aged 3 and … [Read more...]

Howl’s Moving Castle

Review of Howl’s Moving Castle, Directed by Hayao MiyazakiRating: 8/10Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of a young woman named Sophie, who owns a hat store in a European-looking town. War is coming to the kingdom. It so happens that Sophie meets Howl, a wizard, and the Witch of the Waste is immediately jealous that Howl seems to have taken an interest in her. The witch is not only Howl’s nemesis, but someone who tried to win his heart in her younger years. The witch casts a curse on Soph … [Read more...]