Last year, Studio Ghibliannounced that its eponymous theme park is on track to open its doors in 2022. Now, as construction continues on the park, the iconic animation studio has shared a preview of a couple of the coming attractions.
More specifically, Studio Ghibli has previewed a real-life – although, sadly, motionless – replica of the magic, walking castle from Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 film, Howl’s Moving Castle. The attraction will inhabit one of five zones across the park in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, including a ‘Big Ghibli Warehouse’ with exhibition spaces and a theatre.
Each of these areas – which will showcase installations of Ghibli’s fantastical spirits – were previously teased in 2018, in illustrations of the proposed plans released by the local government.
The artist’s rendering of the new Howl’s Moving Castle replica comes alongside an image of the outdoor Princess Mononoke village (AKA Irontown) which will make up a separate area of the park, still under construction. Despite the 2022 opening date, we’ll reportedly have to wait until 2023 to experience areas inspired by Princess Mononoke and Kiki’s Delivery Service.
In 2020, it was also announced that a Mononoke-esque campsite is coming to Japan’s Uga Valley, set to open this year. Though it’s not technically affiliated with the animation studio, the Hygge Circles Ugakei site offers fans an escape into the environmental epic’s idyllic scenery.
Less adventurous Ghibli fans (or those who aren’t going to make it to Japan any time soon) can always browse the studio’s recently-released collections of stills from its extensive catalogue of feature films and short animations. Each of its films have also been released on Netflix, or are available to stream on HBO Max in the US.
Meanwhile, Studio Ghibli’s latest film, Earwig and the Witch, has been causing major controversy. Directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of acclaimed Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, the film is the studio’s first all 3D CGI animation, marking a departure from its signature, hand-drawn style. Watch a preview here.