Happy Island pays homage to Miyazaki films with an Anime Collection
Many item releases that come out of Facebook games deliberately tap into holidays, ever popular themes, or pop culture. But success depends on timeliness, and Crowdstar's Happy Island definitely marches to a different tune with a different beat from all the rest.
Between their Charlie the Unicorn and Avatar: The Last Airbender themes, and now, Anime Collection, the Happy Island creators have proven themselves to be quirky super-nerds that prefer to celebrate what they love, on their own time.
The Anime Collection features four Limited Edition premium attractions that once collected, will earn players a free Dog Taxi. These four are the House of Popo, House of Toto, Grand Spirited Castle, and Steam Moving Castle. Each costs 35 Facebook Credits (or $3.50 USD). Right now, only the House of Toto and Steam Moving Castle are visibly animated. Toto has a lawn of moving grass, while the Steam Castle blows steam and hovers. But that can all change, because players of Happy Island know that buildings can be upgraded, which evolves them into a different design.
The discerning animated movie geek, or just general otaku, would recognize these buildings as famous ones in Hayao Miyazaki films.
House of Popo is the house from Ponyo (2008), Toto is from My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Grand Spirited Castle is the bathhouse from Spirited Away (2001), and Steam Moving Castle comes from Howl's Moving Castle (2004). Check out the image below where the one on the left is the Totoro house and to the right is the Ponyo house...
Lastly, the Dog Taxi is based on the famous Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro: