Rare Studio Ghibli Storyboards Shed New Secrets About My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro is a bonafide classic when it comes to anime, and its popularity transcended the medium long ago. The film, which was overseen by Studio Ghibli, is known as one of the best animated films period and for good reason. Its delicate exploration of Satsuki and Mei is as impressive today as ever. Of course, fans may think they know all there is to the river, but it turns out some secrets about My Neighbor Totoro have been kept hidden.

Until now, that is. A new report by SoraNews 24 went live recently, and it explores the world of Studio Ghibli. It was there the site dug deep to learn how Studio Ghibli brought My Neighbor Totoro to life. The painstaking ordeal forced the site's team to translate portions of a Japanese novel dedicated to director Hayao Miyazaki. The book had lots of unpublished storyboards of the film, and the pieces confirm Totoro could once talk and may have had a crush on Satusuki.

The full tidbit breakdown can be found here if you are curious, but there are a couple of blatant secrets you'll really want to know. Take for instance the fact that Totoro was originally meant to speak. Miyazaki did a storyboard of the fluffy icon where he speaks forwardly towards Satsuki.

Studio Ghibli Museum
(Photo: Studio Ghibli)

As the translations explain, Totoro spoke very primitively, and he had little to no concept of the self. The beast has no idea what a even Totoro is, so fans can understand why Miyazaki chose to leave out dialogue for Totoro entirely. It also seems the director may have intended for Totoro to have a crush on Satsuki. Towards the end of the film, a scene was scrapped starring Satsuki as she napped upon Totoro. Her unguarded expression prompts Totoro to call the young girl cute, so fans are starting to wonder if the forest spirit may have had a crush. And if so, well - Kanta has a lot of work cut out for him his he wants to win the heroine's heart.

What do you make of these well-hidden secrets? Do you wish any of these moments had made it into the My Neighbor Totoro's final cut? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!