Film: My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

aka: となりのトトロ (Tonari no Totoro)
language: English in translation from Japanese
director: Hayao Miyazaki
length: 86 minutes
watched on: 30/1

film still

I’ll have to keep this one short, because I really love this film, and gushing is boring. I have a Totoro wallet and I still squee whenever I see him unexpectedly (such as in Toy Story 3) – about the only thing that provokes that reaction from me. This is only the second time I’ve seen it, admittedly, because it’s been about two years since the last time, but it’s so good; sublime. Maybe a bit short, though. But tearjerking, in a very good way.

Anyway, I watched it with people who wanted the English version, so while it’s been too long since the last time that I can directly compare it with the Japanese version, there were a couple of things that upset me about that, notably the fact that they always use American accents and American slang. It just sounds unnatural to me, every time. Plus in this particular film they had “Toder-o”. For one that likes to squeal [tɔtɔɾɔ::] in an approximation of the Japanese (apologies for the IPA, but it can’t be helped) this was the worst bit. Meh. It is almost disturbing that i can tell exactly what they’d be saying in Japanese sometimes, particularly the ritualised greetings and goodbyes like ‘ittekimasu’ and ‘itterasshai’ when someone’s going out. But that’s probably a good thing.

I’m actually not too diametrically opposed to dubbing in general, and I think it’s acceptable on animated films, where the mismatch with the mouth is usually less obvious, but this one pissed me off a bit. I more just don’t like watching dubs because I want to practise listening to Japanese/French/whatever the language of the day is.

anyway… TOTOROOOOOOOO

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