The anime company caused a storm on Twitter last week (May 13) when it tweeted an illustration depicting an iconic scene from My Neighbour Totoro with a Pixar twist. In the image, Totoro is waiting in the rain at the bus stop, holding an umbrella over his head. In place of sisters Mei and Satsuki – who feature in the film’s original poster – are Sulley and Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc.
There was no caption with the drawing, leaving fans to speculate on what it could mean. If it did suggest a collab, it wouldn’t be the first time the two studios have come together. Totoro made a cameo appearance in Toy Story 3, with Pixar head John Lasseter telling MTV at the time: “We do little homages in our films, and we thought it was a very appropriate homage to let Studio Ghibli know how much they mean to us.”
Lasseter and Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki met over 40 years ago, and reportedly became friends while the latter was working on My Neighbour Totoro in 1987. This means it’s likely a collab would be on the cards – however, according to Hypebeast, the drawing was previously seen hanging at the Studio Ghibli offices in Tokyo, as well as in an anime industry documentary broadcast in December 2019. So, TBC if Studio Ghibli is just sharing a cute throwback pic.
What we do know for sure is that Miyazaki is working on a new feature film, How Do You Live?, which he started after finding retirement “aimless”. The film isn’t slated for release any time soon though, owing to the hand-drawn animation style being used. In the meantime, you can look back at the original storyboards for My Neighbour Totoro, along with Miyazaki’s handwritten notes here, which reveal fresh details about the story.