Eco-Friendly Park Will Embody The Lessons of MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO
Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro is getting turned into a theme park – in Japan. Unfortunately, when the park opens in Aichi Prefecture’s EXPO Park in 2020, fans in the states will have to crack their passports open if they want to get in on the goodness.
Studio Ghibli is the world famous anime studio that produced Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki’s amazing classics. The Wind Rises, Spirited Away, and Princess Mononoke all have come from its hallowed halls, and the studio has taken a respite in recent years with the retirement of visionary founder Miyazaki. Without new films in the works, the Studio Ghibli Museum in Tokyo was the best place fans could really immerse themselves in all things Ghibli… until now!
Now, Studio Ghibli has officially announced that a new Studio Ghibli theme park will be built in Nagoya city on the site of the 2005 World’s Fair. The park will be based on the popular film My Neighbor Totoro, embodying the movie’s theme of “respecting and embracing nature”. So not only will the park try to recreate the setting of My Neighbor Totoro but that it will do so in a way that won’t disturb the wildlife, such as with the felling of trees. Additionally, it sounds like there won’t be rides in the Studio Ghibli theme park, so we will have to wait and see what the activities actually are once further plans are announced.
My Neighbor Totoro celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, in 2018.
Speculation about a Studio Ghibli theme park date back several years and we even wrote about in 2015. Check out the article with lots of great artist illustrations of the possibilities for a great theme park: What if Studio Ghibli Had a Theme Park?
The park’s projected opening date of 2020 just happens to coincide with another huge Studio Ghibli happening, the release of formerly retired anime legend Miyazaki’s next film, Goro the Caterpillar. Weirdly enough, Miyazaki’s own children’s nature park will be opening in 2018 on Kume Island. Whether or not that will be included in Studio Ghibli’s plans, or be at odds with it is up in the air.
Only the preliminary plans were announced by Aichi prefecture governor Hideaki Oomura and Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, though with the opening date a scant three years away, we’re likely to hear more concrete details soon and we will keep you updated as we learn more.
Studio Ghibli Archives
What if Studio Ghibli Had a Theme Park?
15 Things Only a Studio Ghibli Fan Will Understand