It’s been a little while since we heard anything about the upcoming Studio Ghibli theme park, but it appears progress is steaming ahead. In a post shared to Twitter, the iconic studio has revealed a sneak preview of one of the park’s major attractions, a real-life version of Howl’s Moving Castle.
Ghibli Park will be opened 2022 in Aichi Prefecture. Howl's Castle and Irontown of Princess Mononoke will be reporduced !! pic.twitter.com/twPxz61CvR
— otakujp (@otakucalendarjp) February 4, 2021
First appearing in Hayao Miyazaki’s 2004 film of the same name, the magic structure is one of the best-known and well-loved creations in the Ghibli universe. According to reports, the attraction will habit one of the five zones across the new park in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture. The park is also expected to house a ‘Big Ghibli Warehouse’ complete with exhibition spaces and theatre.
In addition to the reportedly 16-metre high real-life Howl’s Moving Castle, the Studio Ghibli theme park will also feature the “Mononoke no Sato” (Mononoke’s village), a forest attraction inspired by Princess Mononoke‘s Irontown. Obviously, the images shared show that there is still a lot of work to be done before the park opens, but seeing a solid, albeit immobile replica is confirmation that the roughly USD$323 million Studio Ghibli theme park is taking shape.
For fans of the iconic animation studio, the reveal is a welcomed change from recent controversy. Studio Ghibli’s latest film, Earwig and the Witch has been met with mixed reviews. Directed by Goro Miyazaki, the son of acclaimed Ghibli founder Hayao Miyazaki, the latest effort is the studio’s first all 3D CGI animation, marking a stark departure from its signature, hand-drawn style.