There are three main exhibitions inside the museum, two permanent and one rotating. The building's bottom floor holds the Saturn Theater, and a room dedicated to teaching visitors about the history of animation in the most fun way possible. Learn how early zoetropes and stop motion animation work while watching charming examples, including a huge display featuring our favorite Totoro characters. The same room also has displays of a few unique animations showing more modern techniques, like a short loop of an octopus climbing stairs, and a longer animation on the theme of evolution.
Climb the stairs, or take the retro elevator up, for the other exhibitions. The second permanent one consists of a series of small rooms, styled after the animators' studios. Of course photography isn't allowed inside the building, but some sneaky visitor snapped some shots of this display. The desk setups are pretty interesting for anyone who might walk through, but if you are already a Ghibli fan you'll revel in all the early sketches and storyboards from your favorite movies. Ever wanted to see an early concept sketch of Yubaba with her hair down? It's terrifying! Or check out a time when Kiki's distinctive head ribbon was yellow instead of red!
Continue along the corridor and you'll find yourself in the museum's changing exhibition space. This time around, they were showing Painting the Colors of Our Films
, which is all about the colors carefully chosen and added to Ghibli films. With all the different factors considered when they choose pigments, it's a pretty fascinating exhibition! The current displays will come down at the beginning of November, after staying up for about a year, to make room for the next exhibition. Past exhibits have been on other aspects of the movies, like last year's rooms all about animating food (which Ghibli is known for doing spectacularly), and exhibits on other work from the studio's animators.