Mei and Satsuki find that the house is occupied by small animated dust creatures referred to as susuwatari (Kjolseth 1). These are dark, small, dust-like home-spirits seen when shifting from bright to dark areas. Such beliefs, according to research, were thought to exist mostly in the mid 90’s in Japan (Kjolseth 1). The time period, hence, leaves this film to be focused around the mid 90’s.
Signs of worship or an element of Shintoism, can be viewed in details such as the paper ribbon rope on Totoros tree and Shimenawa rice straw (Kjolseth 1). They signify that the land is sacred. The audience can also spot a neglected Shinto shrine beneath the camphor tree, as well as a Torii Shinto shrine gateway, at the entrance to a hill. Furthermore, enhancing the naturalistic elements of the movie is Hisaishis work on incorporating these shrines. They show how Japan used to be a holy place back then (Kjolseth 1).
Some of the crucial themes incorporated in Miyazaki’s film are Environmentalism, Flight, Children and childhood, as well as Water. Flight, in particular human flight, is a habitual theme in My Neighbor Totoro (Kjolseth 1). The director thinks of flight as a type of freedom from gravity. In My Neighbor Totoro, with regards to Environmentalism, people interact with large tree tops where tiny mysterious creatures live. People use these trees as worship points. Water is also a constant theme in antagonism to the Ascension representation of flight.
Critics, after the film was released, recognized Totoro as one of the best cartoon actors, describing the being as both awe-inspiring and innocent. This more than what was established in Japan’s film industry as the director brought in new things (Kjolseth 1). King Totoro captures the magic of childhood and innocence more than any of Miyazakis other supernatural creations. The director recognized the main