Sneak peek of Studio Ghibli theme park reveals life-sized Howl’s Moving Castle

by Natalie Lim

Previously announced in 2017, Japan’s much-anticipated Studio Ghibli theme park was supposed to be completed last year. Unfortunately, its completion has been delayed to 2023 due to the ongoing pandemic. 

However, a quote from Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle goes “They say that the best blaze burns brightest when circumstances are at their worst”, and true enough, the team behind the project continues to pull through, with the preview of their concept art garnering attention from fans all around the world.

Studio Ghibli theme park

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Photo: twitter/@otakucalendarjp

The first image preview features a replica of Howl’s Moving Castle, which Tokyo Shimbun notes will be as high as a four-to-five-storey building.

studio ghibli theme park 2
Photo: twitter/@otakucalendarjp

The other image shows the concept art for the ‘Princess Mononoke Village’ area, which is based on the 1997 animated film Princess Mononoke.

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Photo: Otakucalendarjapan.com

So far, Satsuki and Mai’s house in My Neighbor Totoro has been built, and it looks like it was plucked right out of the movie.

The Studio Ghibli theme park will be split into five areas based on the studio’s acclaimed films—Witch Valley, Princess Mononoke Village, Ghibli’s Giant Warehouse, Dondoko Forest and Springtime of Life Hill.

Photo: Otakucalendarjapan.com

Set to be located at the Aichi Expo Memorial Park in Nagakute City, Aichi Prefecture in Japan, the Studio Ghibli theme park is still currently under construction. 

But if waiting has made you as old as Sophie, the good news is that some attractions, including Howl’s Moving Castle, will be completed in time for a soft opening phase in 2022

In 2013, Hayao Miyazaki, co-founder of Studio Ghibli announced his retirement. But in 2017, he then retracted his statement, stating that he found retirement “so aimless” and would be returning to make a new film for his grandson.

Though the movie isn’t made for us, we’re still excited for its reveal.

Photo: Dazed

For now, Miyazaki’s son, Goro, has also released his own film. Titled Earwig and the Witch, the newest Studio Ghilbi production traded away its classic style for 3D CGI animation.

The computer-animated Japanese fantasy is now available to watch on HBO Max. 

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