The iconic Hello Kitty brand was first introduced to the world in 1974, originally drawn by artist Yuko Shimizu and hailing from Japan. The mouthless Kitty first appeared on a purse in Japan and since that moment the pint-sized girl has taken on the world by storm.
You can find Hello Kitty on pretty much any item you can imagine and it's estimated there are about 50,000 different types of Hello Kitty products sold around the world. The branding covers everything from clothing to microscopes and of course those soft plushies. Since its first introduction, the brand has become a worldwide billion-dollar phenomenon and last year it was Hello Kitty's 40th Birthday.
Now, fans of Hello Kitty can look forward to a cute feature film which Sanrio Inc. (the company behind Hello Kitty) has just confirmed.
The new US wing of the Japanese company will be financing and producing the film. The first feature film will be based on the delightful character and the budget for the movie is phenomenal. Sanrio is going all out for this film and it is estimated that the budget will reach anywhere between $160 million to $240 million. In June, US based Sanrio Media & Pictures Entertainment was established to keep the growth of the Japanese company soaring.
According to Deadline, the company is considering other characters to star in their own films as well, including My Melody and Little Twin Stars, who, like Hello Kitty are both celebrating their 40th birthdays. I can only imagine the film may be a birthday-themed special, but no details or theme have been released yet, so fans can only speculate.
We've already had a taster of what a Kitty movie may be like, as back in 1987 the first series featuring that infamous cat called Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater was shown on television. It was a super-cute series following Hello Kitty and her furry friends as they recreate spoofs of popular fairytales and stories. After this series, Hello Kitty and Friends followed in 1991. The show put Hello Kitty in the spotlight and presented her as a little girl living with her father, mother, and twin sister Mimmy, who wore different clothes to Hello Kitty but were otherwise identical.
Take a look at the sweet introduction to Hello Kitty and Friends:
In 2014 LEGO released its own movie, I never could have imagined that static figures that were once part of my childhood would ever have their own feature film, but it worked and the film turned out pretty awesome. Next year the addictive Angry Birds game will be turned into a feature film with its budget set at a wild $185 million, showing that anything is possible with movies. Even with these films ahead, I think Hello Kitty's film debut has the potential to smash box office records with her ever-growing fan base.
Hello Kitty is due to land sometime in 2019.