Studio Ghibli’s Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro are finally coming to life with its very first theme park, located in Japan.
The Ghibli producer and co-founder Toshio Suzuki announced at a press conference that the studio’s own theme park is soon to open in fall 2022 in partnership with both the government of Aichi Prefecture and the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper. Hayao Miyazaki who’s currently working on his next movie is also taking care of the creative side, as he told Variety.
The park will be reportedly featuring five areas. Two of them are confirmed to be based on 2004’s Howl’s Moving Castle and on 1998’s Princess Mononoke, with additional attractions based on popular Studio Ghibli movies opening a year later. Regional government representatives confirmed that the theme park will be built within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, Nagakute city. In 2005, the Park that is a 500-acre area was used as a site for the World’s Fair and had a replica of the Satsuki and Mei house from My Neighbor Totoro.
The theme park will reportedly feature the European-style brick buildings. The main gate is a recreation of the buildings from Howl’s Moving Castle, and statues of spiders, boars and other characters from the studio’s animation movies will be included as well as a giant-sized replica of the antique shop from Whisper of the Heart, theaters, exhibition spaces and trails
Fans are already overjoyed to see the Miyazaki’s touch being put in the project as Suzuki jokingly said during the conference that he « is really worried about the Ghibli park, he can’t leave anything up to other people. He’s a meddlesome old man. » He affirmed that both the mastermind and his son are involved and are having direct oversight on the attractions, along with the park’s creators. The theme park is expected to preserve the natural world as no single tree will be cut down, all going along with the the prominent environmental themes present in Miyazaki’s films.
Here’s the new Miyazaki-designed park’s logo that was unveiled during the press conference. The first word “ジブリ” (Ghibli) was designed by the famous filmmaker himself, while Toshio Suzuki designed the second word “パーク” (Park).
Take a look at some of the studio’s first concept plans:
Sirine Ben Mlouka
JET Press Team