If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli movies, then you know all about the adorable creature Totoro. He’s probably one of the most beloved characters in all of Japanimation, and his film My Neighbour Totoro is just as well-loved as he is. But how much do you really know about this furry forest spirit? Here are ten secrets about Totoro that even his biggest fans may not have known!
1) How many little creatures or so-called ‘Totoro’s’ are in the movie?
Well, there is only one. There was a doll film released after My Neighbour Totoro and it had an appearance of 7 different tutors. But they were not in the original film. In fact, Miyazaki did not want to add any more characters besides the two girls Satsuki and Mei and their father Tatsuo Kusakabe because he wanted that particular story to be filled with the girls’ imagination.
2) Hayao Miyazaki isn’t perfect! He created a draft for a sequel to My Neighbour Totoro. However, he didn’t continue with it because he thought it would ruin the image of Totoro as a God.
3) In Japan, there is a bus service that takes the passengers to the Studio Ghibli Museum. There is a conductor on board who wears a cat-shaped earring just like Jiji from My Neighbour Totoro.
4) Did you know that My Neighbour Totoro was featured in an episode of The Simpsons? It was a couch gag!
5) Miyazaki got his inspiration from inspirations from his childhood days when he watched Mei and Satsuki playing in the dirt with some little creatures or so-called ‘Totoros’. When he was asked about how many years did it take for him to make the film, he answered “about 15 minutes”.
6) That’s right. There is a correlation between the film My Neighbour Totoro and Grave of the Fireflies. When Satsuki was asked by Mei whether she believed in ‘Totoros’, she said that they may exist somewhere but not around there. This is because Miyazaki himself lost his sister due to firebombing during the war when he was 4 years old.
7) The main idea or message behind making this movie was “don’t lose your childlike heart”. Miyazaki is actually known for creating films with messages hidden within them like environmentalism, anti-militarism, etc. However, these themes were absent from My Neighbour Totoro.
8) Did you know that Mark Hamill who is known for voicing Luke Skywalker from Star Wars, provided his voice in My Neighbour Totoro too? He voiced Catbus!
9) In an episode of The Simpsons, there was a couch gag that featured Satsuki and Mei playing with the cat bus. One of the school kids who watch The Simpsons said that they have seen a film called ‘Totoro’. However, it wasn’t Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbour Totoro. It was actually Disney’s full-length feature animation film called ‘The Adventures Of Tom Thumb And Thumbelina’. Confusing enough?
10) Did you know that there were two different English dubs done by two different companies. When Disney bought the rights to this film, they did their own version. The other was done by Fox and it had a higher tone of voice. I personally prefer the one with Disney voices because you can actually feel that perhaps children were giving these voices for Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe. However, Miyazaki felt disappointed when he heard both the English dubs because he didn’t approve any of them which is why no one knows whether there would be another English version released again in future or not.
So? What do you think? Do you love My Neighbour Totoro as much as I do? If yes then please leave your comments below 🙂