My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988)
Besides citing the same points I've already shared about Miyazaki's films I will recommend my review on Howl's Moving Castle. Well, to sum up quickly, my arguments were that Miyazaki has a near saturated palette of colours and that his unique universe transports us with his stories. Those arguments are reinforced here, I think that the public of My Neighbor Totoro is younger than the one of Howl's Moving Castle and I think that with that in mind, My Neighbor Totoro is a far better offer.
There are some darker elements shown here and the theme of childhood is once again so well exploited. I like this kind of film where children are not treated like zombies and that their innocence should be saved from thinking and letting their imagination grow and go places they wouldn't expect. This little story about two little girls moving in an old house near a huge tree with their father to be closer to the hospital where their sick mother is recovering is quite simple. But it's what comes after, in a setting near a ghost house tale they happen to see Totoro a character from a Japanese childhood story. But only children can see him. The story lives on hope and faith in life, a strength that only children have, maybe it's some kind of innocence but it's still a strength when they see Totoro and the many fantastic characters that populate that wonderful modern fairytale.
My only regret about My Neighbor Totoro is that I haven't seen it when it came out in 1988 when I was five years old...