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Here’s the truth behind the Studio Ghibli and Pixar artwork photo

An iconic image of Totoro was posted on Twitter last May 13, 2021 and became trending online. Totoro is from Studio Ghibli’s 1988 film My Neighbour Totoro. It is shown in the image that Totoro is waiting at the Catbus stop in the forest while rain pours. However, instead of a little girl with an umbrella standing beside him just like in the film’s poster, he is now accompanied by Mike and Sulley from Pixar’s 2001 hit movie, Monsters Inc.


The uncaptioned Ghibli and Pixar photo garnered almost 158,000 likes and sparked some speculations that there would be a possible collaboration between the two studios.

The same photo was shared again a year later, but now with a caption that consists of three emojis – a falling leaf in between two rainy day umbrellas. The picture is also less zoomed-in.


So why is the image circulating again during the same time this year?

Diehard fans of My Neighbor Totoro know that May is related to the said film. The protagonists’ names, Mei and Satsuki, serve as excellent illustrations. Their names have a connection to the fifth month of the year. Mei is a homophone for May, and Satsuki is the traditional Japanese term for May.

After reposting the said image, Ghibli replied to the thread with another image, revealing the origin of the Ghibli-Pixar photo.


As it turns out, the image is not a hint toward collaboration or a new program, instead, it was a gift from Pixar Image to Studio Ghibli. It is a framed image of Totoro, Mike, and Sulley, complete with sketches, signatures, and heartwarming messages from their fans from the other side of the world. It includes a short message from Toy Story director John Lasseter which says, “Domo, Miyazaki-san My Friend!” along with a sketch of the Toy Story’s famous Buzz and Woody.

Though it is unfortunate that the image is not an indication of a collaboration between the two amazing studios, it is nice to know the meaning behind the fantastic image. The crossover art showed us a glimpse of what it would look like if a Ghibli x Pixar collab actually happened.


Other POP! stories you might like:

Pixar reveals concept art and release date for ‘Elemental’

Studio Ghibli’s ‘Whisper of the Heart’ live-action sequel releases teaser

After ‘Sailor Moon’, Twitterverse artists reimagine ‘Ghibli’ scenes in their own style

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