Mei is eating a caramel on one very windy day, when suddenly a whirlwind appears and starts chasing her. The whirlwind turns out to be a baby cat bus. Mei offers the kitten a caramel and the two become friends. That night, the baby cat bus visits Mei. Letting Mei ride inside him, he leaps out into the sky. They head for the midnight forest full of ghosts. Other cat buses large and small have also gathered together. In the forest, Mei encounters...
Source: Ghibli Museum
For all of you reading this wondering how you can watch it as well, I have some bad news - this movie is a short film shown only at the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka, Japan. When you visit the museum, they give you a pass to see whatever short film is playing on that day, and the films rotate every few months. I happened to see this movie not once, but twice, the two times I visited the museum (YEARS apart). I wish I had seen another film the second time I visited, but that being said, it's a truly fantastic movie. In the fantastical tale, Mei meets up with a baby Catbus that she can actually fit in, and the two embark on a grand adventure, meeting up with various other types of cat vehicles (including a train, an ancient plane, etc). The animation is stunning as always and based on what I remember about the music, it's delightful and appropriate. If Ghibli ever releases these shorts to the public, I strongly suggest a watch. It's all the best elements of Totoro (the Catbus, Totoro, etc) distilled into a short film. ^_^
While Mei-chan is playing in the backyard one day, she befriends a baby neko-bus with a piece of caramel. The Konekobus repays the favour that night by taking Mei to a clandestine meeting of forest spirits. Things get scary when the Konekobus disappears like the Chesire Cat, but it's not long before Totoro shows up and new friends are made. It's a shame Studio Ghibli never released this original short, because it should be required watching for anyone whom enjoyed My Neighbour Totoro. Obviously there's not much story to develop in 15 minutes, but Mei To Konekubasu delivers more Totoro, more forest spirits, and lots more Nekobus. Unfortuneately this can only be seen in the Ghibli museum in Mitaka, Japan.
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