‘My Neighbor Totoro’ Is Now The Second Highest Earning Japanese Film In China

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The fantasy/adventure animated film, My Neighbor Totoro, gains the spot as the second highest earning Japanese film in China. It earned 173 million yuan (approximately $25.75 million) in China during the latter part of January 2019, according to Anime News Network.

It was also included in the top ten highest grossing animated films in China for 2018,it was ranked at number nine, earning 159 million yuan at the end of 2018.  It was the first Studio Ghibli classic to be released in China. It was released last December 2018, thirty years after its first release n 1988.

The film was directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki, who is also known as Japan’s version of Walt Disney. Some of his popular and spectacular works include Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989), Princess Mononoke (1997), Academy Award-winning Spirited Away (2001), Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) , Ponyo (2008)  and The Wind Rises (2013). He is also the co-founder of the animation giant, Studio Ghibli.

The film set in the 1950’s is about two sisters, Satsuki and Mei Kusakabe who moved to their new home in the country with their father. Because they wanted  to be closer to the rural hospital where their sick mother is currently recuperating from an unmentioned illness. They soon realized that the forest where their new home is located, is occupied by mysterious creatures.

It has some similarities to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. One instance was when Mei saw one of the forest spirits running and then she followed it until she reached Totoro’s home. Some viewers also point out the resemblance between the Catbus and the Cheshire Cat’s grin.

After a few years, the sequel to the My Neighbor Totoro was released. The 14 minute sequel’s title is Mei And the Kittenbus. It was also written and directed by Miyazaki. In 2003, The sequel had its first debut at the Ghibli Museum.

My Neighbor Totoro was not only popular in Japan, but it has also been well known worldwide. In fact, Totoro also had a cameo in the Toy Story 3 film. In June 2017, it had a movie screening in the United States and was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD in the North America in Oct 2017.

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