With general anxiety levels running high at the moment, many people have been turning to the soft, fantastical, and nostalgic films of Studio Ghibli as a source of comfort. A trip to the tranquil world of the legendary Japanese animating house’s My Neighbour Totoro film is a particularly soothing one, with its joyful, low-stakes action and cuddly protagonist. And now, you can put that all extra time you have at home to good use and learn how to draw the beloved furry character.
Toshio Suzuki, an animation producer and former president of Studio Ghibli, has released a video tutorial to help fans learn to draw Totoro. Originally intended for children in lockdown in Japan, the tutorial sees Suzuki using an ink brush to illustrate the character as he explains that the key element to drawing a successful Totoro is the eyes which should be round and set far apart. “This is something you can do at home. Everyone, please draw pictures,” he encourages.
Fans across the world were able to delve deeper into Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazki’s universe, when a virtual tour of the Studio Ghibli museum was published online after it was forced to close. A plethora of Ghibli films are also now available to watch on Netflix for the first time after a deal was made earlier this year, and the likes of Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Howl’s Moving Castle – among other favourites – are there to peruse. You can also watch a free, four-part documentary on the iconic, famously dour director here, or visit our list of the best Ghibli animations here.