Studio Ghibli has kept busy amidst the pandemic, and work has resumed on the company's very own theme park. It was announced some years ago that a park was being made to honor all of Studio Ghibli's best films. Now, we have all been given an update on the project, and the first concept artwork of Totoro's land has been unveiled.
The update came from a press conference held by the Aichi prefectural government this week. It was there the body gave an update on Ghibli Park regarding My Neighbor Totoro and its themed area. As it turns out, the land is now under construction, and its concept art is something out of a fairytale.
As you can see above, the art is entirely whimsical as a life-sized cat bus is seen in the background. A giant tree frames the entire area as various streams run around the land. The park will be dotted with massive paper lanterns to liven things up, and this magical aesthetic is befitting of Totoro.
Construction has begun in Totoro's area in the park, and there is even more to come. The new press conference told fans a 21-foot replica of the Castle in the Sky airship will be joining the park alongside a replica of the witch's house in Earwig and the Witch.
Asides from restaurants and shops, Ghibli Park will include areas that focus on other Hayao Miyazaki greats. There will be a land dedicated to Princess Mononoke as it brings the village to life. Kiki's Delivery Service will also get its own land along with Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.
At this time, we aren't sure when Ghibli Park will be open to the public. The park had goals of opening after the Tokyo Olympics but delays prompted by COVID-19 have likely altered that timeline. Ghibli Park does have plans to attract foreign and domestic tourists, so the pandemic will need to be better controlled for that plan to pan out. So if you are wanting to check out this theme park, well - you are going to have to wait a bit longer.
What do you think of this new concept artwork? Do you plan on visiting Ghibli Land one day? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.