My Neighbor Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki’s animated classic about two young girls and the friendly spirit-monsters near their new home, is getting turned into a theme park. Chunichu Web reported yesterday (in a piece translated by Anime News Network) that Studio Ghibli plans to let fans explore Totoro’s world in a park set to open in Japan in 2020.
The attraction will be built in Echo Park, located in Nagoya, Japan’s Aichi prefecture. According to Variety, Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and Aichi governor Hideaki Omura made the public statement about plans for the park. Those plans are reportedly an expansion of a previous collaboration that brought a recreation of Satsuki and Mei’s house to the park in 2005 for the World’s Fair.
My Neighbor Totoro, released in 1988, is easily one of Ghibli’s most beloved properties — the studio has taken the Totoro character as its mascot, and incorporated him into the studio’s logo. Totoro is also one of Ghibli’s most consistent sources of profit. Merchandising for the film has become a long-lasting international phenomenon, and sales of Totoro products supported the studio during its early years, according to an official history originally posted on Ghibli’s website.
There’s no word yet on whether any other of the studio’s properties will become attractions, but it’s probably safe to say park visitors won’t see the demons from Princess Mononoke recreated in real life anytime soon.