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Sometimes as we grow, as we change, the way we react to art changes with us.

But, sometimes, if you’re very lucky, there is art that has always, and will always, hold magic for you.

One such for me is My Neighbour Totoro, and it has been too long since I last let Totoro work its magic on me.

I don’t actually remember the first time I saw My Neighbour Totoro, but it would have been at least 20 years ago at JAFWA on a grainy, fourth or fifth generation copy, of a VHS fan sub. It may well have been whilst JAFWA was screening at the local church hall with a VCR feeding to three TVs.

It wouldn’t have mattered: the magic would have been there.

One thing I’ve never had the chance to do until today was see a pristine copy of My Neighbour Totoro on the big screen[1].

The magic was there, and more.

With My Neighbour Totoro the magic is always there for me.

But this time, this time… there was a good audience who were laughing, and possibly crying, at the right moments, and I could feel it in the atmosphere of the cinema.

I had a friend with me who had never seen Totoro before and came to it as unspoiled as it is possible to be in a meme-ridden internet world[2].

She adored it.

Even better this friend has had to deal with small children and her delight in murmuring “yes, kids are like that” only added to the experience.

Some time ago I nominated My Neighbour Totoro as my favourite anime film.

That hasn’t changed, and isn’t ever likely to change.

My Neighbour Totoro is, and will probably always remain, my favourite anime film[3].

Because this is a film where the magic will never leave me.

And for that I am forever grateful.

[1] For which chance I’d like to thank Madman Entertainment for putting on the Studio Ghibli Showcase.

[2] There’s a meme for the bus stop scene to begin with (WARNING: includes some disturbing images), which my friend had seen but didn’t have context for.

[3] And the bus stop scene will never get old. A near perfect example of timeless comedy.