Studio Ghibli is developing a theme park with attractions based on their classic and award winning animations, and it will be coming to Japan in 2022. Whether you're a fan of the original Japanese films or the dubbed versions, the new theme park will be a sight to see, especially with Hayao Miyazaki watching over the development.
Hayao Miyazaki is one of the main founders and directors of Studio Ghibli, and before that, he had been working successfully in the industry for many years. His most notable film is, arguably, the 2001 Academy Award winning film Spirited Away, which was not only the highest-grossing film in Japanese history, but was also incredibly well received across the globe. Despite the popularity of Spirited Away, Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke was the first to make history, by becoming the first animated film to win the Japan Academy Prize for Picture of the Year. Some other noteworthy films are Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service and Ponyo.
In fall 2022, locals and tourists will be able to see some of their favourite Studio Ghibli films come to life at the new theme park located near Nagoya, in central Japan. Variety reported the news that the announcement was made today at a press conference in Tokyo. Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki, Aichi governor Hideaki Omura, and Chunichi CEO Uichiro Oshima announced that the development of the theme park was underway, and they plan to open additional attractions a year later. Studio Ghibli will work in conjunction with the government of Aichi Prefecture and the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper, with Ghibli making the creative decisions. So far, the studio has announced five themed areas resembling their films, two of which being Howl's Moving Castle and Princess Mononoke. The studio will be located within Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park, a 460-acre venue which, in 2005, held a world fair with nearly 22 million participants for a total of 185 days.
Earlier this year, Miyazaki and his son Gorō Miyazaki each announced plans to work on new feature-length animated films. Despite this, Miyazaki is still very much involved in the development of the theme park, and is reportedly very opinionated on how the park should look. Despite Suzuki making the announcement, Miyazaki is reportedly "not the type to look on supportively from a distance," as Suzuki told reporters. Miyazaki is perhaps too involved however, as Suzuki added, "[He] is really worried about the Ghibli park. He can't leave anything up to other people." It sounds like Miyazaki's well-known perfectionism can be a bit of an annoyance to Suzuki, which he seemed to confirm with the statement, "He's a meddlesome old man."
Miyazaki has shown his distaste for the "quiet life" of retirement by announcing his involvement in these new projects, and his boredom will hopefully result in the magic he is known for. With the help of Suzuki and others working on its development, the new Studio Ghibli theme park is likely to be a huge attraction for years to come.