Five IRL Cartoon Houses

I am unashamedly obsessed with cartoons. Fair warning— there will likely be several more blog posts about animation in the future.

Here are five houses based on cartoons and anime that impress me:

  1. The Up House

One of two popular structures inspired by Carl & Ellie’s home, this small yellow structure was made by the National Geographic Channel in 2011. Once finished, the house was carried by eight-foot helium balloons, mimicking the liftoff sequence from the film.

Watch the flight:

  1. The House from My Neighbor Totoro

The replica of Satsuki and Mei’s house from the beloved Studio Ghibli feature was designed by Goro Miyazaki in 2005 for the World’s Fair, and can be found in Japan’s Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Seto.

Visit Totoro:

  1. The Kids Next Door Treehouse

While designed in detail, Sector V’s treehouse was never actually built. (At least, I assume it was never built— if it were, wouldn’t news have spread faster than Nurse Claiborne’s pink eye?) The layout emerged on’s “Ultimate Holiday Wish List” in 2003, promoting the house for one million dollars.

Witness the ultimate hideaway:

  1. The Swamp House from Shrek

At Universal Studios in Singapore, you can find Shrek’s swamp house. (And Far Far Away, which is fairly close by.)

Beware of ogre:

  1. The Building from Futurama

Good news, everyone! The Planet Express building exists in our millennium, and it’s located in Liège, Belgium. Well— not officially. In reality, the construction is part of the Cointe Observatory built by the University of Liège in the 19th century. But the similarities are striking.

Read about the world of tomorrow:

If you could live in a cartoon-inspired house, what would it be? Titans Tower? Elsa’s ice castle? The temple from Steven Universe? Tell me in the comments!


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