It’s STACK‘s Friday Flick time, where each week we’ll recommend a slice of top movie viewing that’s sure to get your weekend off to a great start. This week, it’s My Neighbor Totoro.

Most of us have been brought up “the Disney way” when it comes to animated movies. But Japan’s Studio Ghibli is another animation powerhouse, responsible for some of the most engaging – and wildly creative – tales ever to hit screens. My Neighbor Totoro is arguably their crowning glory.

It’s the late 1950s-set story of two young sisters – Satsuki and Mei – and their dad, who move home while their mum recovers from an undisclosed illness in hospital. The youngest sibling, Mei, is an adventurous type, revelling in her new home’s soot-like dust spirits and eagerly exploring the nearby forest. It’s here that she meets what she dubs the ‘Tototo’ – kind of rabbit-meets-bear creatures of varying sizes, who are the keepers of the forest. To tell any more to the uninitiated (beyond our highlights below) would be unfair.

My Neighbor Totoro

Four reasons why My Neighbor Totoro rocks

1. Incredibly detailed, hand-drawn animation that reveals extra layers in every viewing.

2. It’s an animated feast that doesn’t shout at you every single minute, favouring a more languid, time-taking approach to its unfolding.

3. The Totoro – they’re SO utterly gorgeous!

4. When the big Totoro discovers the simple joy of an umbrella and the pitter-patter of raindrops while waiting for the cat-bus.

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Check out STACK‘s previous Friday Flick recommendations here.