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Catbus(My Neighbor Totoro)
About Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro
The Catbus is a transporting animal bus-looking character in My Neighbor Totoro. He is met by Mei, Satsuki and Totoro. (though Totoro could have known him for years since he already knows to take it to get back to his home under the camper tree).
The Catbus appears on the road of the forest, when Mei, Satsuki and Totoro waiting for Tatsuo Kusakabe’s bus to arrive. After the bus speeds a bit too fast and then backs up, it meows with its glowing carlight eyes and smiles like the Cheshire Cat (when he spots the girls), the girls make a random noise in surprise.
The Catbus is very similar to the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland due to both being fictional cats with a wide smile and it having stripes on similar areas.
When a passenger wants to go on The Catbus (mostly Totoro and the girls), its sides droop down (not like a normal bus door that slides on the side but in the movie’s real bus, the doors are open with a lady standing there due to it being the era of the 50’s and it being in Japan they probably didn’t have buttons to open the doors like today).
In the end credits, you’ll see a scene where Mei is drawing the Catbus with chalk, Mei however draws Catbus with more than twelve legs.
Catbus in popular culture
• The Catbus was also featured in the short 13-minute film Mei and the Kittenbus, which is shown only in the Ghibli Museum. In the film Mei, the younger sister, meets the offspring of the original Catbus, which is simply named Kittenbus. It is just large enough to fit Mei inside, and can only stir up dust devils. They fly into the forest with many other cat-based vehicles, including different types of catbuses and cattrains, which are carrying Totoro and many other forest spirits to a catliner, which is depicted as an ancient cat. Mei meets O-Totoro and befriends the catliner, before returning in the kittenbus to her home.
• In the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan, there is an exhibit of a large plush catbus, which can be played with and entered by children 12 years and under.
• The Catbus has been produced as a popular plush toy and as a con-vehicle. It also was used as a design base for the six-legged sky bison Appa on Avatar the Last Airbender.
• The catbus, along with many of Miyazaki’s characters, was parodied on the “”Married to the Blob”” episode of The Simpsons.
• A species of velvet worm Eoperipatus totoro described in June 2013 was named by the scientists because of its somewhat resemblance to the Totoro Catbus.
• One of the art cars at Burning Man is a catbus.
• The Catbus has been referenced by Anthrocon staff when mentioning its hotel shuttle service from remote hotels in Pittsburgh. Commenters have suggested that in this instance, “”CATbus”” would be for “”Circulating Anthropomorphic Transit bus””.
• In the video game Persona 5, Morgana has an ability to turn himself into a bus. He explains that the Japanese public has a widespread cognition of cats transforming into buses “”for some reason””, as a reference to Catbus, which is the reason he can do this in the Metaverse.
• An unofficial gravity racer version of the Catbus featured in the London 2019 edition of the Red Bull Soapbox Race. The ‘Team Totoro’ vehicle negotiated jumps and other obstacles at speeds in excess of 30 mph to complete the Alexandra Palace course.
• A car resembling Catbus briefly appears in the Cars Toons short “”Tokyo Mater””.