My Neighbor Totoro
Sun. Mar 5 (Dub) 2 PM | Sat. Mar 11 (Dub) 3:30 PM | Fri. Mar 24 (Sub) 6:30 PM | Sun. Mar 26 (Dub) 2 PM | Wed. Mar 29 (Dub) 4 PM | Sat. Apr 1 (Dub) 3 PM | Sat. Apr 8 (Dub) 4 PM
Studio Ghibli Film Festival & Encore Screenings, March 3 - April 9
One of the most endearing and internationally renowned films of all time, a film that Roger Ebert called “one of the five best movies” ever made for children, My Neighbor Totoro is a deceptively simple tale of two girls, Satsuki and Mei, who move with their father to a new house in the countryside. They soon discover that the surrounding forests are home to a family of Totoros, gentle but powerful creatures who live in a huge and ancient camphor tree and are seen only by children. Based on Miyazaki’s own childhood imaginings, Totoros look like oversized pandas with bunny ears and they take the girls on spinning-top rides through the tree tops and introduce them to a furry, multi-pawed Catbus — a nod to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat.
But beneath the film’s playfulness and narrative simplicity lie depths of wisdom. As with much of Miyazaki’s work, at its core My Neighbor Totoro is about human-kind’s relationship to the Earth. The film is infused with an almost spiritual reverence for the power of nature (a philosophy tied to the ancient Shinto belief that every object in nature has a soul). Everything that surrounds us, from light-dappled tree groves, to the marvelous clouds, echoes the density and lusciousness of life. Protected by the Totoros, we know no harm will come to our two heroines in the forest’s sunlit glades and mysterious shadows. The girls may be awed by the power and majesty around them but they understand instinctively that nature has no malice. The viewer is left with a sense of wonder at the beauty, mystery and preciousness of the world all around us.
Duration: 86 mins. | Rating: G | Presented Mar. 5, Mar. 11, Mar. 26, Mar. 29, Apr. 1 & Apr. 8 dubbed in English and Mar. 24 in Japanese with English subtitles.
Frequently Asked Questions
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The Empirical Theater has an upper-level wheelchair accessible entrance and theater restrooms; due to the layout of the theater the lower-level main entrance is only accessible by stairs. Please check in with a Guest Services Representative or volunteer for assistance in locating these areas.
Several daytime documentaries and newer evening full-features offer closed captions, audio description, and volume amplification. The CaptiView closed caption units allow guests to see captions for their show by using a cup holder device that they can adjust within their view, and the Fidelio RX audio description units deliver descriptive narration and can also amplify the theater volume and dialogue.
The Showing Today signs updated daily at the front desk and theater entrance indicate which features offer closed captions (CC) and audio description (AD), while volume amplification is available for all theater content including events such as Science Pub and Reel Science.
Limited quantities of the following devices are available for theater guests and may be requested at either the Front Desk or Concierge Desk as well as from the theater usher:
- CaptiView closed caption (CC) viewing devices
- Fidelio RX audio description and volume amplification units
- Williams Sound NKL-001 neck loops designed to work with hearing aids equipped with a telephone coil or T-Switch
The rough inside measurements of the seats not including arm and back rests:
- Theater seats 16.5” wide and 21.5” deep
- Two VIP chairs 21.5” wide and 19” deep
- Additional VIP chair available by request is 23.5” wide and 21.5” deep
- The weight capacity for the VIP chairs are between 200lbs-250lbs
Earplugs can be requested from the Front Desk and Concierge Desk, and sensory resource packs that include:
- Noise reducing headphones
- Fidget toys
- Visual and auditory timer
- 2 pound weighted shoulder wrap
- Sanitizing wipes
- Our Empirical Café features:
Made-to-order coffee drinks
Grab-and-go salads and sandwiches
Beer and Wine (available evenings only)
Popcorn, candy, and a selection of classic movie theater treats
Films in the Empirical Theater start promptly with no previews. Be sure to arrive 10-15 minutes early.
For safety and enhanced viewing experience, re-entry is not allowed during short documentary films. For longer featured films, re-entry is allowed.