Cinemark at Robinson celebrates Ghibli Fest


A screenshot from the movie “My Neighbor Totoro.”

Sarah Gabany, Contributor

Studio Ghibli is a Japanese animation studio that has been creating famous films such as “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Spirited Away” and “The Secret World of Arrietty” since the 1980s. This is the third annual Ghibli Fest that has been nationwide, celebrating fan-favorite movies by the studio.

Ghibli Fest kicked off in April with a showing of “Howl’s Moving Castle.” On Mondays and Tuesdays, the films are shown in their native Japanese with English subtitles. On Sundays and Wednesdays, the films dubbed in English are shown. Despite being a major animation studio, most people don’t know about the movies Studio Ghibli has created.

One of their more famous films is “My Neighbor Totoro.” It starts with a small family of three moving into their new house in the countryside of Japan. The two daughters Satsuki and Mei quickly discover their house is haunted by spirits. They then try to find the spirits, but always failing to capture them.

This is until one day Mei, the younger of the two, follows the spirits through the forest and finds a large, friendly spirit named Totoro. She immediately tells her older sister but she is unable to show her Totoro and his tree.

One day, Satsuki and Mei wait at the bus stop waiting for their father to come home. As they wait longer and longer at the bus stop, they start to become worried. The friendly spirit Totoro appears beside them at the bus-stop. A cat-shaped bus then appears as Totoro takes the girls on a journey. Eventually, they return home to devastating news that creates a series of events that teaches the audience that loved ones should not be taken for granted. Totoro helps Satsuki and Mei through all their troubles while teaching them a valuable lesson in what it truly means to be a friend.

“My Neighbor Totoro” is a beautiful film for moviegoers of all ages. Watching the movies makes you feel like a kid again and teaches you what it truly means to love someone. The sheer nostalgia and heart warming themes throughout the movies truly make it a classic. The hand-drawn 2D animation style makes it feel like you are watching a classic Disney animated movie. The artwork within the movie is so detailed that most could (and should) watch it two to three times in order to truly appreciate the hard work that went into the animation process. All together, “My Neighbor Totoro” is an amazing, feel good movie that everyone should see

“Spirited Away” is another, equally famous Studio Ghibli film, if not, their most well known film. It starts much like “My Neighbor Totoro” with a family moving to a new house, however, they take a wrong turn and end up at an abandoned amusement park.

They find food and the main character, a young girl named Chihiro, finds a boy named Haku. She returns to find her parents are turned into pigs. She is trapped within the spirit world and has her name stolen by a witch. She is given the name Sen, but is warned by Haku that when she forgets her real name the witch will have complete control over her. She then is set on an intense journey of many obstacles in order to break the curse and turn her parents back into humans.

“Spirited Away” is like “My Neighbor Totoro” in which it teaches that you shouldn’t be afraid of most things that seem scary at first. There are many deeper symbols and meanings within “Spirited Away” resulting in a film that never truly gets old.

“My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away” are just a few Studio Ghibli movies that are being celebrated nationwide. Ghibli Fest is still going strong; at the Cinemark in Robinson, “Princess Mononoke” is being shown all throughout November and “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya” will be shown throughout December. If you ever want to watch a feel good classic, check out Ghibli Fest or watch “My Neighbor Totoro” or “Spirited Away.”