You read that correctly. Miyazaki made a sequel to My Neighbor Totoro that most people have never heard of. Not even me – someone who A) watches anime for a living, and B) freaking LOVES Miyazaki movies.
I feel… shame.
The sequel is a short film titled Mei and the Kittenbus, which is probably the cutest movie name ever. It was released in 2002, 14 years after its predecessor’s release in 1988.
Wondering why you’ve never heard of this movie?
Short answer – it was only released in Japan.
Longer answer – the movie was created as a short film to show visitors to The Ghibli Museum in Tokyo. It clocks in at only 14 minutes. The museum actually has another 9 short Ghibli films you’ve never seen, each of which gets about a month of playtime before being swapped out for another short. If you want to check all these shorties out, you’ll spend about a year in Japan, visiting the museum every month or so. Totally reasonable.
Since the movies were never released to John Q. Public, no one has been able to distribute (pirate) and share them. They’re probably in some rotating DVD tray in a dusty control room. Okay, maybe they’re not that old, but you get the gist. Miyazaki has them on lock-down.
Good news though!
The museum has a schedule for their shorts. They’ll be playing Mei and the Kittenbus until Nov. 30th. You’ll get access to the screening room with admission to the museum. First come, first serve, so remember to show up early.
Now that you know, you can buy your plane tickets! Last minute flights across the world shouldn’t be too expensive. Pawning off a kidney should cover the flight. You’re on your own covering hotel costs. I hear bone marrow is in demand…
Okay, so you’re not interested in selling your body on the black market? Well, you could just read the plot for Mei and the Kittenbus from Studio Ghibli’s website. Not quite as magical… but at least your body can still process protein.
Anyone ever seen Mei and the Kittenbus? Please share HOW in the comments below. We’re dying to know.