I’m a huge Studio Ghibli fan. And living in Korea for two years has made me so happy in this aspect. I went to the layout exhibit last year in Seoul and on my visit to Tokyo this past May, I made sure to go to the Ghibli Museum. This time, there is a diorama exhibit in Seoul that is running until the first of next March. So if you find yourself in Seoul from now until March 2015, be sure to go to I’Park Mall at Yongsan Station to check it out!
Following the chibi-Totoro into the exhibit…
First part of the exhibit is Howl’s Moving Castle. Where you can see a very cool and detailed model of the moving castle. Complete with miniature sheep to give you the comparative size.
And then you enter the castle and find Calcifer at the fireplace. I asked if I could sit on the chair. (The answer, unfortunately, was no. It never hurts to ask.)
And then you get the dining table with all the characters. Sophie, Howl, Turnip-Head by the window, Markl and Heen (the latter two are hidden).
Sophie is really short!
Next came Princess Mononoke. With the majestic Shishi Kami surrounded by some Kodama in the background.
I spy some Kodama.
And of course, San and her wolf siblings.
Pom Poko came next and it starts with some “real” raccoon figures.
But as you venture into their world…
they become the cute little raccoons that are shape shifters.
Totoro, Totoro. Totoro, Totoro. I could not help singing and humming this as I entered the next part of the exhibit – My Neighbor Totoro.
You get to “crawl” into the branches like Mei did in the movie…
… and then you come across this big “tree” with many knotholes in it. And who’s inside?
The Totoros of course! One of my favourite pieces at the exhibit. The Totoro even moves up and down as if he really were just sleeping inside his little tree nest.
And of course, the iconic scene by the bus stop.
Saying goodbye to Totoro, we briefly come upon Porco Rosso and his airplane. I’ll be quite honest and I never quite understood this particular Ghibli movie.
And finally, Spirited Away – my other favourite part of the exhibit. With a very menacing and powerful-looking Yubaba flying into a rage.
Chihiro looking up at the big bathhouse.
No Face causing trouble. I thought it was cool that they decided to create his body with shadow rather than anything substantial like most parts of the exhibit.
And of course, taking a picture with No Face on the train is a must at the end of your journey in this exhibit.
But! We’re not done. I can’t go through anything Ghibli and not venture into the souvenir shop.
And so I indulged – I was in a very happy and exuberant mood. Postcards of all the movies. Plus a Chibi-Totoro of my own (I got a Chuu-Totoro last time), a Totoro keychain, and some little memo notes.