The fairy tale story at its heart can be taken at face value, or you can dive into it and extrapolate as much allegory as you'd like. But no matter how you choose to watch and enjoy Totoro, there's no denying that its touching story makes it perfect fodder for sick days or quiet evening spent huddled under a blanket.
In a few days, however, there'll be a whole new way to enjoy Totoro thanks to its 25 anniversary novelization that's due out in the states on October 1.
Based on the original story penned by Hayao Miyazaki himself, the novelization - completed by veteran children's book author Tsugiko Kubo - comes in two flavors: a hardcover book that retells the story of the film, and a full-color picture book that contains various stills from the movie.
Neither will be particularly taxing reads, but the hardcover version (pictured above) makes for decent coffee table/display fodder since it features original watercolor illustrations done by Miyazaki himself.
Happily, neither will cost you all that much to add to your collection. My Neighbor Totoro: The Novel carries a MSRP of $17.99, and the updated edition of the My Neighbor Totoro Picture Book should retail for about $20.00.
...but because Amazon is awesome in almost every way, it knocked a few bucks off the price of the hardcover book and has it lists it for $12.90 - which isn't a bad deal for a 192 page book that features original watercolor illustrations done by the man who brought its story to life a quarter of a century ago.