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Studio Ghibli to Build TOTORO Park in Japan

Studio Ghibli to Build TOTORO Park in Japan

I defy anybody to watch a film by Japanese animation guru Hayao Miyazaki and not wish you lived inside of it, or at least visit it for awhile. I mean, maybe not the post-apocalyptic vistas of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, but everything else, and surely something as wholesome and delightful as My Neighbor Totoro. Sadly, none of us are cartoons and we don’t have Last Action Hero-style magic ticket that can teleport us into cinema, but Studio Ghibli is helping as best they can by creating an actual Totoro park in Japan, Variety reports.

The government of Nagoya’s Aichi Prefecture is working with Ghibli on the part, which is part of a 200-hectare park previously used for the Expo 2005. Aichi and Ghibli previously collaborated on an exhibition in 2015, and this would be a permanent feature, to open in 2020. Ghibli already owns and operates a museum dedicated to Miyazaki and the other studio animators in the Mitaka suburb of Tokyo.

totoro-sneeze

Now obviously we’re incredibly excited for any sort of Ghibli thing we can visit, and Totoro has been the company’s mascot since the film first premiered in 1988, but we truly can’t think of a better film on which to base a serene place to commune with nature. As I’ve said for years, Totoro represents not a plot-heavy adventure or childlike comedy, but an introspective drama about growing up, where the magical sprites of Totoro and the CatBus help the two young girls deal with moving to a new house, and being concerned for their sick mother.

So while we’re sure the park will include full-size representations of each of the magical critters, we’re actually hoping we see a version of the girls’ new house, perhaps complete with dust spirits. Specificity is what we’re after. And maybe a giant plush Totoro that people can lay on and there’s a bellows inside to mimic breathing…is that too much?

What do you hope to see in a My Neighbor Totoro park? We’ll find out soon for real, but let us know in the comments below!

Images: Studio Ghibli

Kyle Anderson is the Associate Editor for Nerdist. He’s the writer of Studio Ghibli retrospectives Miyazaki Masterclass, Takahata Textbook, and Ghibli Bits. Follow him on Twitter!

Here’s some Totoro darkness…

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