Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro Returning to Theaters

Hayao Miyazaki’s bellwether family anime, My Neighbor Totoro, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a theatrical re-release.

Hayao Miyazaki is a name that’s synonymous with heartfelt, poignant anime, notably from his Oscar-winning smash, Spirited Away. However, he first gained notable acclaim with 1988’s My Neighbor Totoro, an idiosyncratically quirky and fantastical feature set in early Post-War Japan, that managed to resonate with audiences around the world. The feature, released in Japan in April 1988, is getting a belated birthday celebration to mark the big 3-0 in the form of a U.S. theatrical return.

My Neighbor Totoro will be returning to theaters for a limited run as part of Studio Ghibli Fest 2018 to celebrate the feature’s 30th anniversary, screening an edition, newly-dubbed in English, that is said to contain some “very special surprises.” As movie trailers used to say, check your local listings (via Fathom Events or GhibliFest), since the screenings from Fathom and GKIDS will occur nation-wide on the following specific dates:

  • Sunday, September 30 at 12:55 p.m. local time (English-language dubbed)
  • Monday, October 1 at 7:00 p.m. local time (English-language subtitled)
  • Wednesday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. local time (English-language dubbed)

As the official synopsis for the 2018 rerelease, which reveals the voice cast, describes:

My Neighbor Totoro 30th Anniversary is the story of Satsuki and her sister Mei who move with their father to a new home in the countryside where they find country life is not as simple as it seems. They soon discover that the house and nearby woods are full of strange and delightful creatures, including a gigantic but gentle forest spirit called Totoro, who can only be seen by children. Totoro and his friends introduce the girls to a series of adventures, including a ride aboard the extraordinary Cat Bus, in this all-ages animated masterpiece featuring the voices of Tim Daly, Lea Salonga, and real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning, in a classic tale of magic and adventure for the whole family.

The 1988 feature led the former Lupin the 3rdand Future Boy Conan director Miyazaki to a successful string of written/directed feature-length releases like Princess Mononoke, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo and The Wind Rises, most notably receiving mainstream kudos for 2001’s Spirited Away, which yielded Miyazaki a Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2003. However, don’t expect him to rest on laurels of nostalgia, since he recently released the short, Boro the Caterpillar, and is currently working on How Do You Live?, his next feature-length offering.

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Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.