In Hayao Miyazaki’s “My Neighbor Totoro,” 4-year-old Mei chases a couple of mysterious creatures through some shrubs into a forest and stumbles into a hole at the base of a giant tree. There, she meets a giant, slumbering creature who roars out his name — Totoro.
Visitors to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will follow a similar journey to enter its inaugural temporary exhibition, “Hayao Miyazaki,” according to details revealed Thursday. Described as the first North American museum retrospective of the prolific Japanese filmmaker’s work, the exhibition is slated to launch April 30 — the museum’s long-awaited opening date.
Mei’s sense of curiosity and imagination, as captured in the sequence, is something Academy Museum exhibition curator Jessica Niebel leaned into for the first transitional section of the Miyazaki exhibition, called the Tree Tunnel gallery.