I was introduced to Miyazaki some years ago, and took to his work instantly. I usually watched his films alone, and I don’t recall ever watching one with a kid. So when I decided to re-watch Totoro on Blu-ray, I was glad to have a ten-year-old with me. He wasn’t really looking forward to it ... he wanted to watch a Star Wars movie, and he hadn’t ever heard of Totoro. I don’t think it quite succeeded with him, either ... after fifteen minutes he was already expressing his boredom, and later he said that nothing made sense, which is why he didn’t like it. Still, he made it to the end of the movie.
We watched the Disney English-language dub, which I hadn’t heard before. I didn’t really recognize any of the voices, including the stunt-casting of Dakota and Elle Fanning as sisters. It was fine, in any event ... I think I only notice English dubs when they are terrible. I liked the movie as much as ever, even with the semi-negative vibes in the room. I think Princess Mononoke is my favorite Miyazaki film, but to be honest, they all kind of blend together in my mind as the years pass, so I couldn’t really explain my preference. My fondest memories are of Spirited Away, probably because I love the soot thingies. Even the lesser movies are enjoyable, though, and often quite loony. #235 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They list of the top 1000 films of all time. 9/10.