Ghibli Museum Anime Shorts Part II – Mei And The Kitten Bus

Posted By yonghow on February 24th, 2009

After the unforgettable “The Day I Bought A Star” (星を買った日), Mei and the Kitten Bus (めいとこねこバス) was the 2nd anime short that I caught on my next trip to Ghibli Museum. Located in Mitaka, the museum is a brisk 30 minutes cycle from where I live in West Tokyo.

Unlike “The Day I Bought A Star”, which some of my blog readers have commented is a tad hard to understand, Mei and the kitten Bus is exactly as the title suggests – Mei’s encounter with a kitten bus that has wandered into the house and their short but wondrous adventure that follows, ala Totoro lite. Indeed, Miyazaki-san himself have commented that “This piece was made specially for children.” – and the child in all of us,  I believe. The short does require you to have some prior knowledge of the characters, so if you have seen the original Totoro film, (who hasn’t ?) you will be greatly rewarded.

(above) What a buckload of Totoros ! A total of about 15000 animation drawings were necessary to complete this 14 minutes short, with the most massive scenes taking place in the forest – I though this might be an opportune time to mention the Totoro Forest Project.

(above) Sakamoto Chinatsu, now aged 50, reprises her role as Mei some 14 years after the original – quite a testament to the amazing talent of anime voice actors/actresses. (below) The one and only Joe Hisashi writes and conducts the music for the short.

Availability : This book is only available for purchase from the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan.

The original Totoro film was never screened in theatres in my hometown Singapore, so watching Mei and the Kitten Bus on the big screen was in a way, a small dream come true. For those who saw this at the museum, what were your afterthoughts ?


15 Responses to “Ghibli Museum Anime Shorts Part II – Mei And The Kitten Bus”


wow, it’s s great they’re working on all their classics (i also wrote you’re last posts related to this). I think for ghibli classic giants like totoro etc. it’s better to make this kind of short movie than making a “totoro 2” movie etc.
the pictures are the same as the old production, though supposedly with many new techniques, like the digitalization of the whirl wind? or is it made with traditional media? you also wrote that they needed 15,000 animations drawings so is this whole project done with analogue media?


Mei hasn’t aged a bit!


The anime short looks so good even when it’s not moving.

Tim Maughan

It is an AMAZING short. I was lucky enough to see it when i was over there in November, and both myself and my girlfriend where quite emotional watching it – as Totoro is such an important movie for both of us. There’s was something a bit magical about seeing those characters on screen again, so many years later. Also, I think we were both in slight shock that it was actually playing; we’d kind of convinced ourselves there was no chance it would be in order to avoid disappointment. More of my thoughts on it here:

Am hopefully going back this year…can’t wait to see what they’re showing this time!


I saw it and for some reason it made me cry, maybe because I was there with my Dad. I don’t know how he does it but Miyazaki taps right into everything that is important to me… I was teary even in the fun parts!


nagano – Yep, this is indeed a fantastic addition to the original Totoro film, the fact that it is not released commerical makes it even more precious. I believe the film production did not involve any CG work at all, absolutely no need for that ! :]

Otto – Haha yup, anime characters are forever young !

Parka – Yes indeed, though I certainly won’t mind watching it again…and again.

Tim – I know exactly what you mean, I’m so glad to have seen it myself too !

Andrea – I think the reason we were all close to tears is because it brings back such fantastic memories of the original film, and then some. :]


I wish I could have seen this. I went to the Ghibli Museum back in 2007 and I remember seeing another short there. I’m sure it was an amazing experience though. Totoro is one of my all time favorite animated movies of all time. I really would love to see the addition on the big screen.

I would love a copy of the book though!


i would kill to see that movie

i <3 catbus!


I want to see this so bad… i didn’t know about it.


setsuki in it too? :/

Zandir Epic PANTS!

AMAZING! first sneak peak i have ever seen! TRUELY MADE ME BLISSFULLY HAPPY! one day i will go to the studio ghibli museum… till then i shall dream of it XD


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