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  :: Synopsis ::

Satsuki and Mei have moved to their new home in the countryside with their Dad. Their Mom who is sick with tuberculosis is recuperating at a nearby hospital and it is the family's hope that the new home, away from the crowd and pollution in the city, will help the Mother get well sooner.

When they sisters arrived at their new home, they become instantly aware that there are strange and mysterious things there. They quickly encountered the black creatures called susa-atari who occupy dark and quiet places. They are also told by their elderly neighbour Granny that the village is filled with stories of wondrous creatures.

As time passes, the sisters find themselves settling comfortably into their new surroundings. Satsuki has already made a lot of friends at school, but has taken opposition with the boy next door, Kanta, who is also Granny's grandson. While Satsuki is at school, Mei would spend her time in the garden or if their Father is at work at Granny's home. On the week-ends, the family would get onto their bicycle and ride to the hospital where Satsuki and Mei's Mom resides.

One day, while Satsuki was at school and her Father was in his study, Mei wandered in the garden and saw two little creatures (Chu Totoro and Chibi Totoro). She followed them around the garden and when the creatures tried to escape into the forest, Mei quickly followed them. The creatures ran up to the biggest tree and crawled down hole that was near the bottom of the trunk. Mei fell through the hole and into their secret home. Mei met a giant creature similar in appearance as the other two, only much much bigger. When Mei asked for its name, it replied "To to ro" and Mei decided to call him Totoro. The chase had exhausted Mei and so she fell asleep on the soft tummy of the tree creature. When she woke up, she was lying in the middle of the forest without a Totoro insight. With Satsuki and her Father following close behind her, Mei tried to find Totoro's secret hiding place again, but the hole in the trunk had mysteriously closed without any trace of a Totoro.

One rainy afternoon, Satsuki and Mei decided to pick up their Father from the bus stop. As they waited, Totoro suddenly came up behind them with his leaf umbrella. Satsuki offered Totoro her extra umbrella. Totoro is delighted with his new-found toy. In return, he gave a package of seed to Satsuki and Mei as a thank-you gift before leaving on Neko Bus.

Satsuki and Mei planted the seeds in their backyard, but as each day passed and the seeds did not grow, they became more and more discouraged. One night, Satsuki woke up to see Totoro, Chu Totoro and Chibi Totoro prancing in the backyard around the plot where the seeds were planted. Satsuki and Mei quickly rushed to join them in their little dance, and before their eyes, the seeds began to grow. As they continued to dance, the seeds grew more and more until they blossomed into a giant tree. To celebrate, Totoro took Satsuki and Mei on a flight through the sky. As they grabbed onto the fur on its tummy, Totoro flew high above the village. However, no one else was aware of the giant tree or Totoro because no one else could see them or the girls as they flew high above their rooftops or when they sat on the tallest branch of the tree playing a little flute.

The next morning, the girls woke up in their beds. They peered outside the window to see that the giant tree was gone, but in their place were little green seedlings that had grown and surface during the night.

Satsuki and Mei continued to be very happy in their new home and their Mom was due to visit for the week-end. One hot afternoon, a messenger arrived with a telegram that they are to call their Mother's hospital immediately. Satsuki hurriedly ran to the telephone in the village and learned that their Mother has taken a turn for the worse and cannot visit as planned. Satsuki tries to put on a brave front, but she eventually crumbles in Granny's arms and confessed her fears that their Mother will die. Mei, seeing her sister's tears, is struck by the seriousness of her Mother's illness. With a cob of corn she herself picked earlier in the afternoon, Mei ran towards the hospital in hopes of seeing her Mother.

As the evening arrived, Satsuki realized Mei was missing and a search was quickly organized. Soon, the whole village is on a search to find Mei. Having guessed that Mei would try to find their Mother, Satsuki called the hospital only to learn that Mei never appeared there. Satsuki realized Mei must have gotten lost on the way. In desperation, Satsuki prayed to Totoro to help her. Totoro then appeared and offered Neko Bus to help Satsuki. Neko Bus took Satsuki high above the village by running on top of trees and telephone wires without being seen by any of the villagers. From high above, Satsuki is finally able to find Mei who was crying on the side of the road. The sisters reunited and together, Neko Bus took the sisters to the hospital to see their mother. From sitting on a tree branch over their Mother's window, they learn that the telegram was actually meant to inform them their Mother has gotten well so quickly that instead of just being able to visit for the week-end, she would actually be able to go home for good. The sisters rejoiced to hear the happy news. Before they left, the sisters left Mei's corn on their Mother's windowsill with the writings "To Mother" etched in.

The sisters then happily returned home and prepared to welcome home their Mother.

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