Koji Hoshino, chairman of animation house Studio Ghibli, is hoping "My Neighbor Totoro" will be worth the wait for Chinese fans when it finally starts screening at cinemas in the mainland from Friday.

A digitally remastered version of the film about two young sisters who encounter woodland spirits in postwar rural Japan is set to be shown at around 6,000 venues.

"It is a production that is loved (around) the world. There are many highlights so I hope you can discover them all," Hoshino said at a promotional event in Shanghai on Monday.

Famed director Hayao Miyazaki is said to be surprised that the film will be screened at movie theaters in China 30 years after it was released in Japan.

It had not been released in China due to a limit in place on the number of foreign movies allowed to be shown in the world's most populous nation.

Although "My Neighbor Totoro" has not been shown at movie theaters in China, it has developed a following through pirated DVDs and illegal online streams.