In a charming piece of crossover art between the fan-favorite animated flicks, My Neighbor Totoro meets the characters of Monsters Inc. Sisters Satsuki and Mei move to a rural location of postwar Japan with their professor father and befriend the many spirits of the neighbouring forests in this 1988 Studio Ghibli film. My Neighbor Totoro, written and produced by Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, is widely regarded as one of the studio’s best films, gaining critical acclaim at the time of its debut and a cult following afterwards, with the title character also serving as the studio’s mascot.
After A Bug’s Life and the first two Toy Story films, Monsters Inc. was Pixar’s third original project, and it was set in a world where monsters travelled through dimensional doorways to terrorise children in order to power their world, only for the two best performers to discover a dark secret behind the company. The film, starring John Goodman and Billy Crystal, extended Pixar’s box office success streak with over $577 million in box office receipts and two Academy Award nominations, winning Best Original Song but losing Best Animated Feature to Shrek. The film’s success spawned the 2013 prequel Monsters University, which was a bigger box office hit but received mixed reviews, as well as the Disney+ successor series Monsters at Work.
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The official Studio Ghibli Twitter account has once again published a cute piece of crossover art for My Neighbor Totoro and Monsters Inc. in honour of the month of May. Unlike previous year, the studio followed up with a post explaining that the artwork was a gift from Pixar, with messages from the Disney animation studio’s team inserted in a special frame. Take a look at the cute painting and frame below:
— スタジオジブリ STUDIO GHIBLI (@JP_GHIBLI) May 5, 2022
The My Neighbor Totoro and Monsters Inc. crossover art initially appeared on the Internet in May 2021, igniting speculation that Studio Ghibli and Pixar could collaborate on a project. It wasn’t the first time the studios’ worlds collided, as Totoro debuted as an Easter egg in Pixar’s Toy Story 3, where the friendly spirit appeared as a figurine at Sunnyside Daycare. Totoro would eventually be cut from Toy Story 4 because the producers were unable to obtain the character’s licencing and felt they would not be able to do the character properly.
Though some may be upset that the image doesn’t hint at a future collaboration between the two companies, the fact that Pixar gave Studio Ghibli the My Neighbor Totoro and Monsters Inc. crossover art is sure to please fans. Former Pixar CCO John Lasseter and Miyazaki built a bond as the former collaborated on a number of Ghibli’s previous projects, including most recently with the fantasy adventure Luca. Almost all of Studio Ghibli’s films are accessible to view on HBO Max, allowing fans to revisit them.