Family and children’s films that deliver more than clichéd and tired good-versus-evil dichotomies laden with gender role stereotypes, gratuitous violence, and the subtle hypersexualization of young girls are hard to come by. If you are as fed up with the formulaic plot driven junk churned out for children by American cinema as I am, check out the 1988 classic My Neighbor Totoro by award-winning Japanese film maker Hayao Miyazaki. I watched this film with my family this evening and fell in love with it. This is what children’s cinema should be–a beautifully rendered, character-driven story of family, community, nature, and wonder.

David Pilling of the Financial Times described Totoro as “more genuinely loved than Mickey Mouse could hope to be in his wildest—not nearly so beautifully illustrated—fantasies.” I couldn’t agree more. Children and adults alike should see this film and imagine the wonder of it all.