Animal Crossing: New Horizons players have a knack for recreating the look of other iconic games in the adorable dimensions of an island. There are versions of fans for Breath of the wild as well as other classic Nintendo games, a task made easier with the inclusion of Mario-themed elements in a March 2021 update. Other creators have set out to recreate iconic cinematic universes, especially those acclaimed animated films from Studio Ghibli.
Aesthetically, this makes perfect sense. Studio Ghibli films are painstakingly hand-animated with a whimsical, painterly style and have a warm and cozy feel that is similar to that of New Horizons. Historically, players have mainly relied on custom designs – for furniture and clothing – to get these scenes properly. But the New Horizons update 2.0, in conjunction with the Happy home paradise add-on, gave gamers an even larger toolkit for creating Studio Ghibli-inspired scenes. The new recreations use vines, varnishes, accent walls, room dividers and other elements to create more immersive and detailed play environments.
The following reconstruction of a scene from My neighbor Totoro features wall vines, suspended ceiling elements, and varnishes (which create the appearance of moths). All of this is captured in the first person lens of the new Pro Camera app. Also note that this player is disguised as Porco Rosso, from the Studio Ghibli movie of the same name.
Similar techniques are used here to recreate Howl’s chamber from Howl’s moving castle in amazing detail.
Gyroids, introduced in Update 2.0, also played a role in these releases. In this recreation, Arfoid poses as the fire demon Calcifer.
Others recreate Abducted as if by magicThe first scene of No-Face – where the monster enters the public baths, after Chihiro mistakes him for a paying customer. This version uses a combination of custom designs, as well as Happy home paradisethe unlockable partitions and the unique accent wall option of Update 2.0. (These features are commonly used together to create the appearance of porches and balconies.)
This designer designed Abducted as if by magicghost town from the start of the movie. They used the first person camera perspective and recorded themselves walking through the empty night market.
The addition of farming allowed this player to recreate a scene from When Marnie was there, a Studio Ghibli film directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.
All of these trends ultimately extend to some of the longer-lasting Miyazaki tributes that people have created in New Horizons. Since the game’s debut in March 2020, gamers have done beautiful scene studies and posted screenshots alongside their Studio Ghibli counterparts.
Others had incorporated villagers into the designs, posing as Studio Ghibli’s most famous animal characters.
Whether these builds inspire you to try and make your own Ghibli-themed islands – or just revisit the stunning movies – they are certainly beautiful to watch.