|Others||Keeper of the Forest|
|Place of origin||Japan|
|Behind the Scenes|
|Universe||My Neighbor Totoro|
|Created by||Hayao Miyazaki|
Totoro is a mystical, magical forest spirit living in the woodlands of Japan. They're known to be friendly towards children and have also been described as being "Keepers of the Forest".
Three members of this species have been observed so far. Although the name "Totoro" is sometimes specifically reserved for the largest, brown-furred one; it could be inferred that the two smaller ones which accompany him (one blue, one white) are also related in some way. The differences in size and coloration are probably due to age, but may also be the result of intraspecific variation or sex.
The Totoros are bipedal mammalian creatures which can move around by walking or hopping. They have rotund bodies with relatively short limbs, and a short tail. The ears are long and pointed. The hands have five clawed fingers, which allow them to hold objects such as a bag or an umbrella. The larger one has whiskers. Despite his large size, he's a great hopper, not unlike the two smaller ones. They seem to have magical abilities and at least some control over plants. They also appear to enjoy acorns.
It's possible that this species has nocturnal or crepuscular habits, as the larger Totoro has only been seen active at night, and was always sleeping when encountered during the day. The smaller ones, however, have been observed walking around in daytime.
The Totoros befriend two young girls called Satsuki and Mei - the daughters of botanist Prof. Tatsuo Kusakabe - who meet them after moving to a country house in rural Japan, in 1958.
Mei first spots the smaller Totoros walking around the garden, gathering acorns; and then follows them through the bushes, finding a passage to the interior of a hollow giant camphor tree where she finds the larger Totoro sleeping. The next day, her sister finds her sleeping in the bushes, and the passage to the tree's interior is no longer there.
One night, when it's raining, the two sisters are waiting for their father's return at a local bus stop. The Professor's bus is late and the girls get worried. While they keep waiting, Mei eventually falls asleep on her sister's shoulders. Suddenly, the larger Totoro shows up on the bus stop. Satsuki recognizes him as the creature Mei had described, and offers him her father's umbrella, which the forest creature takes with delight, and expresses his gratitude by offering a bag of seeds. The Catbus runs to the bus stop and Totoro boards it, waving good bye to his friends and taking the umbrella with him. As soon as he's gone, the Professor's bus arrives and the girls excitingly tell him about their encounter with Totoro.
Later on, the sisters decide to plant the seeds Totoro gave them. A few days pass, and one night, they appear to have a dream in which the three Totoros use their magical powers to make the seeds grow instantly into a second giant tree; and then take them both on a ride on a magical flying spinning top. The next day the giant tree's nowhere to be seen, indicating that it was just a dream; but they soon find that the seeds did germinate.
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988) (First appearance)
- The name "Totoro" originated as a variation of the Japanese word "Torōru", which can be translated as "Troll".
- A Totoro doll is one of the living toy characters in Toy Story 3, included as a homage to Totoro's creator Hayao Miyazaki.