Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to create ‘My Neighbour Totoro’ puppets

The Studio Ghibli film will be adapted for the stage.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

The world-leading visual effects company, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, will create the puppets, animatronics, and digital animation for My Neighbour Totoro. The world premiere of My Neighbour Totoro begins performances at the Barbican on 8 October, with an opening night on 18 October, and performances to 21 Jan. 2023. Book My Neighbour Totoro tickets on London Theatre.

The My Neighbour Totoro puppets are designed by Basil Twist at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop. Over the years, the workshop’s produced characters for television shows such as Sesame Street and The Muppet Show.

“The Jim Henson Company is synonymous with imagination and childhood,” commented Twist. “When I accepted this challenge and needed a team who could build my designs and bring Studio Ghibli’s treasured characters to life, I knew it had to be Henson. I truly believe we are creating something extraordinary.” Mervyn Millar will create additional puppets for My Neighbour Totoro.

My Neighbour Totoro follows two sisters, Satsuki and Mei. After moving to the countryside, the siblings explore their new surroundings and encounter magical creatures.

Hayao Miyazaki’s 1988 Studio Ghibli film will be adapted for the stage by Tom Morton-Smith, in collaboration with Improbable and Nippon TV. There’s original composition by Joe Hisaishi and direction by Phelim McDermott.

The show features production design by Tom Pye, costume design by Kimie Nakano, lighting by Jessica Hung Han Yun, sound design by Tony Gayle, and movement by You-Ri Yamanaka. Casting will be announced at a later date.

My Neighbour Totoro is at the Barbican.

Book My Neighbour Totoro tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: My Neighbour Totoro behind the scenes (Photo by Jay P. Morgan)

Originally published on

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