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My Neighbor Totoro sequel to screen throughout November at Ghibli Museum

Ummm, why didn't anyone tell me that there's a sequel to  Hayao Miyazaki's anime fantasy classic MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO?  Apparently, a 14-minute-long film entitled MEI AND THE KITTENBUS exists, and sadly, it's never been shared for theatrical or home release. Photos of the short film were recently posted via the Toaru Twitter account that offer an intriguing look at the follow-up animation to the magical events of the 1988 original.

The film takes place after the events of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO with Hayao Miyazaki once again serving as both writer and director of the project. Rather than the film highlighting the tale's human characters, MEI AND THE KITTEN BUS features a younger Catbus, the vehicular feline that's able to transport riders to and from an enchanted land filled with wondrous creatures and limitless possibilities. Returning for the sequel is Chika Sakamoto as the voice of Mei. With Studio Ghibli not being in the habit of creating sequels for their timeless features, MEI AND THE CATBUS is viewed by many as a truly special release from the legendary Japanese animation studio.

MEI AND THE KITTENBUS premiered in 2003 at the Studio Ghibli Museum, and continues to be shown there to this very day. Sadly, it's only ever been screened in the United States twice, making it something of a cinematic unicorn among North American Totoro fans.

I do have some great news, though! If you're positively dying to catch a ride aboard Miyazaki's short film featuring Totoro's Catbus character as an adorable kitten, the film will be screening at the Ghibli Museum located at 1 Chome-1-83 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-0013, Japan from this November 1st to the 30th. You can visit the official English version of the site here for more details.

Best start packing your bags, Ghibli fans! Who needs next month (and the month after that)'s rent money anyway, right? With any luck, MEI AND THE KITTENBUS will one day see a stateside release, perhaps as part of a special re-release of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO. Until then, it's best to start making some truly elaborate travel plans.

Extra Tidbit: I would gladly trade my 2005 Scion XB for a Catbus.
Source: Otaku News

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