There’s always a lot of excitement around Studio Ghibli and anything they might be coming out with, so here are a few updates from Japan and around the world.
My Neighbour Totoro Stage Show
My Neighbour Totoro is one of Studio Ghibli’s most beloved films and the Royal Shakespeare Company has partnered with the original composer Joe Hisaishi to turn it into a stage show at The Barbican in London.
I was lucky enough to get tickets to see this when it first opened in October and I absolutely loved it. Obviously, the score is stunning and the musicians are actually located up in the trees as part of the staging, instead of the orchestra pit. The use of puppetry from the Jim Henson workshop was amazing and the puppeteers are probably the biggest stars of the show.
While the run is sold out, they have tickets available that they release daily and they also re sell returns occasionally too. If you get the opportunity, definitely go and see it!
Ghibli Park is open! Located in Aichi Expo Commemorative Park in Japan, there are areas inspired by the Studio Ghibli films dotted throughout the forest landscape. There are no big rides or anything; it’s not a theme park in that sense. It won’t be fully complete for a couple of years, but some of the sections were opened to the public on November 1st.
You can head into the Grand Warehouse which features interactive exhibits, a screening room, a Totoro play area, a cafe and shops. Plus, there’s lots of beautiful Ghibli accents throughout the warehouse including the robot soldiers and a very Gaudí-esque staircase. Another area of the park, themed to My Neighbour Totoro is for kids only, and there’s also a viewpoint themed to Whisper of the Heart. Kiki’s Delivery Service and Princess Mononoke are due to be featured over the next couple of years too.
Tickets are only available within Japan, but if you want to have a look at what you can expect, Rainbowholic’s YouTube channel has a vlog from her trip there.
Studio Ghibli x Lucasfilm
Studio Ghibli has partnered with Lucasfilm to give us the cutest little animated short – Zen – Grogu and Dust Bunnies – featuring Grogu (aka Baby Yoda) and the soot sprites from Totoro and Spirited Away.
I can’t understand how they could possibly make these characters even more adorable, but they managed it. You can watch it now on Disney+ worldwide.
Emma is an English teacher who travels a lot, usually splitting her time between the UK and Peru. Adventuring around the world is her passion, with Japan being one of her favourite destinations. She loves baking, photography, sweet treats, and all things Disney. If Emma was a Pokémon, she’d definitely be a Pikachu.