Who needs a movie when you can just tour the Minecraft recreation?
Minecraft builders have made some truly impressive worlds, and, owing to their beauty and mysticism as well their fame, the settings of everyone’s favorite Ghibli movies are popular inspirations for many. The complex worlds of My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind are just a few that have been perfectly and beautifully recreated with the game’s digital building blocks.
Spirited Away, another world-famous Ghibli film, has been the subject of YouTube user and Minecraft Builder Alan Becker’s attention for four years now, and with the evolution of the game, his Spirited Away world has also evolved. He recently posted a video of his and his team’s updated recreation, and the high level of detail of the town, the bathhouse, and everything around it will blow you away.
Spoiler alert: the video includes a play-by-play of the film, so if you haven’t seen it yet, beware!
The video starts out with a tour of the road that Chihiro’s family drives through on their way to their new home. Since you don’t actually see all that much of the town, Alan Becker and his team painstakingly created much of the town purely based on quick reflections in the windows of the car. Each of the buildings also has a fully furnished and decorated interior, which Becker says they designed based on videos of home tours in Japan.
One of the neatest parts is the recreation of the shot in the title screen, which is composed of rolling green hills and a line of homes. We would venture to guess that many Spirited Away builders would skip this part to focus on the more popular bathhouse, so we appreciate this tribute to the beginning of the movie.
They also recreated the back side of the clock tower that serves as Chihiro’s doorway to the mysterious spirit world, right down to the face of the statue in front.
And of course the colorful and festive-looking empty town behind it was also carefully created. Becker explains that a lot of these buildings are not actually shown in the movie, so they had to be invented by the team. It’s hard to believe that they weren’t based on storyboards from the Ghibli Studio since they look just like they belong there.
Of course, what everyone wants to see from Spirited Away is the great, beautiful bathhouse, which serves as the primary setting for the movie. The details on the exterior are amazing, but the interior is equally impressive.
Both inside and out, every detail is accounted for. As Becker walks us through the bathhouse, he basically shows us each scene of the movie, and it’s clear that his team paid careful attention to every single detail of every scene, no matter how small. It’s extremely impressive. The buildings even include working and moving functions like elevators, steaming water, an opening and closing boiler door, and even the rows of doors leading to Yubaba’s rooms that open in a sequence.
The only thing the recreation lacks is most of the characters of the movie, but that’s much harder to do in Minecraft. Even so, some characters, like the soot balls and No-Face, do appear at certain times, so if you explore the world you might stumble upon some surprises.
▼ Even the treacherous pathway down to the boiler room was meticulously sculpted.
If you want to check out Becker’s Spirited Away world in Minecraft, you can visit their server at play.ghiblicraft.com. It looks like they have some other Ghibli worlds, too, so take your time to look through it carefully! If you don’t play Minecraft but still want to explore the other worlds, Becker’s YouTube channel also has video tours of each one.
If Ghibli is not your thing but you love to look at different Minecraft worlds, check out one builder’s replication of the city of Kyoto. The talent and dedication of these builders is astounding.