Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that this movie is a fine pick for the entire family. Although there are slightly creepy "dust sprites" that appear in the house at first, they eventually disappear. Totoro himself might look and sound a bit odd, but he's quite sweet and gentle. The protagonist girls have an ill mother with an unnamed disease, but the moments in the hospital aren't sad or depressing. Some parents may not feel comfortable with the amount of freedom the girls (as is the case with children in all of Hayao Miyazaki's films) have to wander off alone, either around their neighborhood, the surrounding forest, or on a long walk to visit their mother. Overall, this is a family film in the truest sense -- it appeals to moviegoers young and old alike.
The main characters' mother is sick in the hospital. Their new house has tiny little "soot sprites" that crawl around and creep out the girls at first. At first sight, Totoro might initially intimidate younger viewers, but he's quickly revealed to be a gentle, good friend.
Encourages kids to be kind to their neighbors and loving toward their parents. Friendship is a strong theme, as is the powerful bonds of family.
Drugs / Tobacco /