When news of Hayao Miyazaki's upcoming retirement hit the internet, young and old animation fans felt pangs of sorrow as the curtains began to close on the acclaimed director's career. With a copious amount of classics under his belt- including Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle– Miyazaki isn't just one of the most famous names in Japanese animation but a living benchmark in the medium on a global level. Although the prospect of losing new Miyazaki films still stings in the breast of his fans, several announcements over the last year prove the director's work will continue to enrapture fans for decades to come.
Earlier this year, the Tokyo Imperial Theater announced a stage version of Spirited Away that runs through July. Now, according to Deadline, Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company and Jim Henson's Creature Shop are joining forces to create a stage version of Miyazaki's beloved My Neighbour Totoro.
Jim Henson's Creature Shop animatronics and visual effects studio, based in Los Angeles, has teamed with Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company to produce life-size puppets for the RSC's stage adaptation of legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's 1988 hand-drawn classic My Neighbour Totoro.
The RSC's most ambitious project to date — even more so than the award-winning theater company's original productions of musicals Les Miserables and Matilda the Musical — My Neighbour Totoro now has creatives working on it at bases in London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Los Angeles and Tokyo.