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Studio Ghibli theme park concept art gives us a peek at Totoro's Land

By AYIE LICSI Published Jun 08, 2021 8:02 pm

The makers of animated classics Spirited Away and My Neighbor Totoro has something bigger than a movie in the works.

Studio Ghibli is building a theme park set to open in fall 2022 in Japan, and the new concept art of the park gives us a peek behind the curtain of what the anime-inspired attractions will look like.

The theme park will have five areas, three of which are debuting on opening day: Youth Hill, Ghibli Large Warehouse, and Dondoko Forest. The other two areas, Witch Valley and Mononoke’s Village will open in 2023.

The revealed concept art, drawn in traditional Ghibli style, features the My Neighbor Totoro-inspired Dondoko Forest, which is reportedly under construction. In the illustration, we see the life-sized cat bus in the background and the giant tree Totoro perches on in the movie. Like the film, the theme park has a 1950s vibe complete with massive paper lanterns.

In addition, the park will have a 21-foot replica of the Castle in the Sky airship and a replica of the witch’s house in Earwig and the Witch. Other movies are getting the theme park equivalents, too. Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle will each have their own dedicated area in the park.

The Ghibli theme park was first announced in 2018. The animation studio’s creative director Hayao Miyazaki even promised that no trees will be cut down as the park is getting built within the Aichi Commemorative Park.