A New Theme Park Based on Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro Set to Open in 2020

Is a frame of ref­er­ence nec­es­sary to appre­ci­ate Dis­ney World? Can you enjoy a ride in a spin­ning teacup if you have no work­ing knowl­edge of Alice in Won­der­land? What sort of mag­ic might the Mag­ic King­dom hold for those who’ve nev­er heard of Cin­derel­la or Peter Pan?

Now imag­ine if the theme park’s scope was nar­rowed to a sin­gle film.

You’ve got until 2020 to sneak in a view­ing of the Hayao Miyaza­ki film, My Neigh­bor Totoro, before Ghi­b­li Park, a 500-acre amuse­ment park on the grounds of Japan’s 2005 World’s Fair site, opens.

To date, Miyaza­k­i’s Stu­dio Ghi­b­li has pro­duced more than a dozen fea­ture-length ani­mat­ed films. That’s a lot of raw mate­r­i­al for attrac­tions.

Por­co Rosso’s 1930s sea­planes have ride writ­ten all over them, and think of the Haunt­ed Man­sion-esque thrills that could be wrung from Spir­it­ed Away’s bath­house.

How about a Jun­gle Cruise-style ram­ble through the coun­try­side in Howl’s Mov­ing Cas­tle?

An under­wa­ter adven­ture with gold­fish princess Ponyo?

Pre­pare for a very long wait if you’re join­ing the queue for those. It’s being report­ed that Ghi­b­li Park will focus exclu­sive­ly on a sin­gle film, 1988’s My Neigh­bor Totoro.

(Care to take a guess what its Mouse Ears will look like?)

The film’s theme of respect for the nat­ur­al world is good news for the area’s exist­ing flo­ra. The gov­er­nor of Japan’s Aichi Pre­fec­ture, where Ghi­b­li Park is to be sit­u­at­ed, has announced that it will be laid out in such a way as to pre­serve the trees.

Pre­sum­ably the film’s icon­ic cat bus and fast grow­ing cam­phor tree, above, will be pow­ered by the green­est of ener­gies.

Pre­view the sort of won­ders in store by tour­ing the life­size house of My Neigh­bor Totoro’s human char­ac­ters, Sat­su­ki and Mei, below.

via NPR

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Essence of Hayao Miyaza­ki Films: A Short Doc­u­men­tary About the Human­i­ty at the Heart of His Ani­ma­tion

Hayao Miyazaki’s Mas­ter­pieces Spir­it­ed Away and Princess Mononoke Imag­ined as 8‑Bit Video Games

Soft­ware Used by Hayao Miyazaki’s Ani­ma­tion Stu­dio Becomes Open Source & Free to Down­load

Hayao Miyaza­ki Picks His 50 Favorite Children’s Books

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  She’ll be appear­ing onstage in New York City in Paul David Young’s Faust 3, open­ing lat­er this week. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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