Did your jaw drop when you saw the concept art for “Ghibli Land” last February? Mine did!
The concept art, created by TAKUMI, a Japanese artist inspired by the comic book illustrator Alex Ross, created waves in the theme park and anime fan universe .
If you’re not familiar with the story, here’s the short version:
TAKUMI, a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki, created Ghibli Land, a fictional Disneyesque theme park design based on Studio Ghibli movies.
While the illustration was enthusiastically received, not a lot is known about it’s creator, TAKUMI.
We reached out to TAKUMI to learn more about the idea behind Ghibli Land.
In his (FIRST EVER!) interview, we had the chance to ask him a few questions about his art, his motivation, and his thoughts on his creation – Ghibli Land
If you are unfamiliar with Studio Ghibli, Studio Ghibli is an animation studio headed, in part, by Hayao Miyazaki. Miyazaki is known as the Walt Disney of Japan.
Studio Ghibli films have inspired many with their beautiful illustrations and captivating stories. Each movie presents a story of morality, one that depicts the human condition.
Studio Ghibli’s impact on the international level is clear: Pixar paid tribute to his artistry in Toy Story 3 where Totoro makes a cameo, and the film “Spirited Away,” which did better in the box office internationally than Titanic. Even though there is a Studio Gibli Museum, a theme park based on Miyazaki’s creations has never come to fruition
TAKUMI inspired us with this his vision for Gibli Land, and his answers to our questions helped us learn a bit about the artist. I hope you’ll enjoy the interview!
What inspired you to become an artist?
[I] wanted to give[ the same] sense of superiority and nobleness to existing characters [as Alex Ross does] and [so I] began to draw.
Which Ghibli film is your favorite?
My favorite is”Princess Mononoke” and the best movie is “The Wind Rises”. [While], not a Studio Ghibli film, I think the best Hayao Miyazaki movie is “Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind” (which is the animated version of the original).
Where did the concept for Ghibli Land come from?
“The concept [for Ghibli Land] is simple. I only embodied the feeling of my wish for there to be an attraction packed Ghibli theme park, one [similar in concept to] Disneyland.
Every detail and every aspect of the park is depicted in his illustration is detailed (much like ThemeGo does for real life theme parks). With immense attention to detail, he illustrates a restaurant “Buta-Kui Food court”, themed hotels, and even a forest animal attraction that is filled with the mythical creatures from the movie “Princess Mononoke”.
What were the challenges you faced when transferring your design from your head onto paper?
The biggest challenge was that the structure that appeared in the movie is seen from a specific point of view and can’t be seen from all the angles. Since the placement of the attractions was decided by me, I also needed to show a different point of view. I used an illustration and papercraft models and the image board produced by Ghibli to figure out the right design where it is not visible.
The above is an example of papercraft.
What would a perfect day at Ghibli Land look like?
I [would] want [the visitor] to experience all the attractions. I would suggest seeing the fireworks and staying at the Hotel Adriano, especially if on a date.
Hotel Adriano is the hotel Porco Rosso stays in, in the film “Porco Rosso”
Do you think your design could ever be developed?
It’s not easy to make my design a reality in the same way [I imagined it], however, I think it [could be] possible in other forms [or variations]
Of course, we have to ask, do you have a favorite theme park memory?
[My favorite] memories [are] of dating at Disney Sea. My best memory is from a date I went on at DisneySea.
We would like to thank TAKUMI for giving us his time and the opportunity for this special interview.
It was amazing to get to see inside the mind of such a talented and imaginative artist.
Not only are we excited to see more of TAKUMI’s creations, we would love to see his vision for Ghibli Land become a reality.
Would you visit a real life version of TAKUMI’s Ghibli Land?
Check out these videos to some of the Studio Ghibli movies talked about in the blog:
Below you can find the original interview in Japanese:
0． どのようなことに影響されてアーティストになりましたか？ A. アレックス・ロスの絵に感銘を受け、
Theme park enthusiast, world traveler, film and animation buff