Time Out says
The film that first brought Miyazaki to international attention remains an animated achievement almost without parallel. The first half delicately captures both mystery and quietness as two little girls move with their father to a remote new home in the country while their mother recuperates from TB in hospital, and only gradually become aware that something's stirring in the trees outside. While younger viewers will adore the furry creatures, including the house-sized Totoro and the twelve-legged cat-bus, adults will perhaps best appreciate the film's delicate rendering of atmosphere (rainy afternoons in the country, as night falls), and its attuned understanding of the anxieties and wonders of childhood. And the lack of sentimentality will be utterly refreshing to those raised on a diet of Disney.