Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro is one of the best animations of all time. Here’s a guide to its English dub casts and the characters they voice.
Here’s a quick guide to the cast and characters of My Neighbor Totoro. Released in Japan in 1988, My Neighbor Totoro is a Studio Ghibli animation written and directed by its legendary co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. The movie tells an enchanting tale of two young sisters – Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe – living in post-war Japan who move to a rural village with their father to be closer to their mother, who is recovering from an unnamed illness at a nearby hospital. In the forests surrounding their home, Satsuki and Mei meet a bunch of friendly woodland spirits including the titular Totoro who take them on a series of magical adventures.
My Neighbor Totoro quickly gained a cult following worldwide and is today hailed by many as one of the greatest animated movies of all time. The character of Totoro is wildly popular too and is Studio Ghibli’s official mascot, appearing in both its logo and other Ghibli movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service and Ponyo. Totoro even has an asteroid (10160 Totoro) and a recently discovered species of velvet worm (Eoperipatus totoro) named after him.
Shortly after My Neighbor Totoro’s 1988 release, the now-defunct Streamline Pictures produced an English language dub for Japan Airlines to use as in-flight entertainment which was eventually released on video in 1993. In 2005, Disney released a brand-new English dub of My Neighbor Totoro featuring a higher profile voice cast than Streamline’s dub. Here’s an overview of My Neighbor Totoro’s main characters and the actors who voiced them – both in the original Streamline dub and Disney’s 2005 version.
Lisa Michelson/Dakota Fanning – Satsuki Kusakabe
Eleven-year-old Satsuki is the eldest of the Kusakabe sisters and picks up a lot of responsibilities in her mother’s absence. She’s voiced by late actress Lisa Michelson in Streamline’s dub and by Dakota Fanning in the Disney dub.
Cheryl Chase/Elle Fanning – Mei Kusakabe
Mei is Satsuki’s stubborn four-year-old little sister and the first to meet Totoro and his magical friends. In the Disney dub of My Neighbor Totoro, Mei is voiced by Dakota Fanning’s younger sister Elle Fanning (The Neon Demon).
Unknown/Frank Welker – Totoro
Totoro is a magical creature who lives in the woods surrounding Satsuki and Mei’s home and befriends the two sisters. Frank Welker – best known for voicing Scooby-Doo and his pal Fred Jones – voiced Totoro in the 2005 dub.
Gregory Snegoff/Tim Daly – Tatsuo Kusakabe
Satsuki and Mei’s father Tatsuo divides his time between looking after his daughters, visiting his sick wife in hospital, and working as a university professor. He’s voiced by Gregory Snegoff (Kiki’s Delivery Service) and Tim Daly (Madam Secretary).
Alexandra Kenworthy/Lea Salonga – Yasuko Kusakabe
Alexandra Kenworthy (Silent Möbius) and Lea Salonga (Princess Jasmine’s singing voice in 1992’s Aladdin) provides the voice of Satsuki and Mei’s mother Yasuko in My Neighbor Totoro, who is recovering from an undisclosed illness at a hospital close to the sisters’ new home.