I watched My Neighbour Totoro today with my boys (all three of them, while the youngest had some troubles in concentrating, he is only 5 months old). I sometimes wonder how does it affect your imagination and perception of the world to have access to such nuanced, beautiful works of fantastic art from very early age. I was reading Famous FIve by Enid Blyton and then, at the age of seven, was watching Batman (the campy tv series) and Thunderbirds doll animations from Finnish, black-and-white television. No wonder I grew up to become a gadget geek.
I should write more of Hayao Miyazaki’s work some time. I mentioned it briefly in my 2009 talk, and the related short paper, Japanese Fantasy and the East-West Dialectic (2010), but watching how traces of Eastern Shintoism mix freely with the great tradition of fantastic imaginary and storytelling (elements folk tales, even Alices Adventures in Wonderland are evident in Totoro), there is so much more to be said.