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This was the first film that introduced me to the world of Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyzaki (sometimes called the Japanese Disney). Before I talk about the film I want to talk about the case. It is very well presented with a nice silver band at the top starting the film is part of the Ghibli collection also on the spine all the films are numbered, this one being number 6. This does encourage you to go and buy the others (trust me I have a full set). On to the language options, with some Japanese films that options are limited no with this release. You can have the original Japanese with remastered English subtitles or a remastered English audio track with new voices (Mark Hamill, James Der beek etc.) This really makes the film for new with use off quality English voices. So on to the film, well the it looks beautiful even now. So on to the story, a young boy Pazu has his life changed forever when a young girl (Sheeta) literally drops from the sky into his arms. It turns out Sheeta is being hunted down my sky pirates and government forces, Sheeta holds the key to reaching the castle in the sky, the flying city off Laputa. The film the tells a great off Pazu's and Sheeta's struggle to reach Laputa and save it from the hands of the evil forces
Studio Ghibli's finest.
A young girl Sheeta falls from an air ship into the hand of Pazu. She's is surrounded by a blue light from her pendant, an ancient relic of the flying city of Laputa: a relic that can point the way to the legendary city. Sky pirates are chasing Sheeta due to the gold that is said to lie in the flying city. The military is also after Sheeta due to them believing Laputa contains a super weapon that they could use for wars.
Sheeta and Pazu make it their mission to find Laputa before it falls into either hands.
The film is stunningly pretty. The hand-drawn cartoons are seriously missing from today's CGI computer based stuff. You feel a greater love that's gone into a film painstakingly hand-drawn (I'm not saying that computer animation is easy, far from it in fact). There are so many subtle quirks placed inside the film, such as when Pazu in the background of a conversation drinks from a hot drink and does the reaction of when you sip something hot: head flies back slightly mouth open, before blowing the top. There's no real reason for this apart from realism, but, as with all Ghibli, it's these tiny nuances that make up a great hole.
Also, wait till you see the robots: I want one.
'Laputa- Castle in the Sky' was made in 1986 by the legendary Japanese animation studio 'Studio Ghibli'. As with all of the Studio Ghibli films released on DVD in the UK, it features both the dubbed version and the subbed version. The dubbed cast features the voice talents of Mark Hamill, Cloris Leachman, Anna Paquin and James Van Der Beek but more on this later.
Synopsis: The film starts with an airship being pursued by pirates. However, in a bid to escape from both her captors and the pirates, the main female character (Sheeta) falls from the airship and into the sky below. To her surprise though, a pendant that she carries with her at all times emits a strange blue glow and she floats to safety. Meanwhile, in a mining village the lead male protagonist (Pazu) is going about business for work when, in the distance, he sees something blue floating from the sky. Interested, he goes to examine closer up only to be shocked that it is a young girl. The following morning, when Sheeta awakes, he learns more about her and the mysterious pendant she carries around.
From this, cue the same band of pirates we met earlier on (still in pursuit of the pendant), the military who are also after this pendant, airships, robots and a floating castle in the sky. It may sound childish, even immature, but please note that this is not always the case. There are some more destructive themes in play, especially in the second half of the film, but nothing that is offensive or disturbing to watch.
Music: Freshly rescored for the Disney release of the film, Joe Hisaishi has created a truly remarkable and memorable soundtrack. As with most films, there is a reoccurring theme tune within the majority of key pieces, but each piece has been created to suit the backdrop and mood perfectly. While there is a certain 80's vibe in some of the pieces, it isn't offensive to hear and I found it quite easy to fall in love with the music. It is also one of the best music scores featured in any Studio Ghibli film.
Voices: For the re-release of the film, some bigger names in the acting world have been brought in so add a more modern touch to what could have been considered a dated film. Now the film features the voice talents of Mark Hamill, Cloris Leachman, Anna Paquin and James Van Der Beek (among others), and most of these voices are easily recognised. While I feel the majority of dubbing suits the characters perfectly (especially Cloris being the lead pirate 'Dola'), both James and Anna seem to make their characters sound older than the cartoons look. However, if you can ignore this small aspect then you'll be surprised with the quality of voice acting going on.
Opinion: This is such a gorgeous, wonderful film. While people might pass by it, dismissing it as 'just a cartoon', it is more intelligent and enjoyable to watch than many modern children's films. The cartoons might not be as polished as some newer cartoons (I must admit that I sometimes think that it does look a little dated) but it is more charming to watch that the usual CGI programmes that seem to be so commonplace now. If you are a fan of fantasy or have a child that wants something new to watch then I would seriously recommend purchasing this film. You won't be disappointed with it at all!
If you are interested in buying this film, it is available from:
Amazon.co.uk- £7.58 (free p&p).
Play.com- £16.99 (free p&p).
Hmv.com- £11.99 (free p&p).
I managed to get hold of my copy during a HMV sale about 3 summers ago and it only cost me £5.00 so if you feel that these online retailers are expensive, check in store for better offers.
Thanks for reading!
'Laputa; Castle in the Sky' was released in the year I was born, so I came across it as a child, and remember liking it, but not much else.
About a year back I finally got hold of the DVD and suddenly it all came flooding back, and its clear that Studio Ghibli really set the standard with this little gem, being the first film they released.
In a quaint mining town, Pazu, an orphan boy, finds Sheeta flaoting above a mine shaft, apprarntly suspended there by the beautiful blue crystal she wears around her neck.
Kind hearted Paze takes her in immediately, but finds there is more to Sheeta as she is immediately hunted down by the millitary and a gang of pirates, who appear simultaneously. But Pazu is no wimp, and they both flee to the safety of the abandoned mines.
Pazu and Sheeta set off on an amazing advenutre to find Laputa, which they believe to be the home of Sheeta's ancestors and the origin of her necklace and the spells she refuses to utter. All the while they find themselves dodging the efforts of Colonel Muska and the arms, as well as Dola and her gang of fumbling pirates.
Another two hour adventure, this story is simply too big to sumarise without giving too much away, lets just sy its nice to see a kids film with a decent plot and some good twists and turns. It's got it all, a lovable hero, a damsel in distress, flying machines, pirates, and a formidable villain. Oh, and theres some robots thrown in for good luck, too!
It's rare you will find a Japanese film that isnt either incredibly moralistic or just monsterously terrifying, but don't worry, this is the first. The story teaches us that there can be no power without love and that a ruler without compassion does not deserve a kingdom. It might be considered pretty heavy stuff for kids at first glance but there is so much humour and action, as well as some amazing architecture and machinery, which again these fantastic films cant seem to get enough of (I think they are secretly scientists, really). Don't worry though, though there is fighting its more often than not very comical and its nothing that will give your kids nightmares. They might even come back to it one day as an adult saying; 'I saw that as a kid and remember loving it'.
Made by Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Howls Moving Castle) Latputa - Castle in the Sky is Hayao Miyazaki's third feature film. Originally released in 1986 in Japan, more recently it has been dubbed in English by Disney and re-released in 2006.
The story revolves around the myth of Laputa, a floating island (the idea for which was taken from Gulliver's Travels). Sheeta, a young girl, has inherited a mysterious crystal necklace which everyone seems to want. Escaping her pursuers she is befriended by Pazu, an orphan boy, whose father was ridiculed for his quest to find Laputa. It eventually emerges that Sheeta, the crystal and Latuta are all linked, and Pazu and Sheeta must find Laputa to save it from the hands of the evil Muska.
Like all Miyazaki films Laputa is beautifully animated, before CGI, and although the English version has been released by Disney it is NOT a Disney film. The flying machines in the film are superbly drawn and all the characters very individual. The soundtrack is also beautiful and works really well with the movie
The film has a minor ecological message (as do lots of Miyazaki's films) but mostly it is just a beautifully animated fairytale. I do not think this film is specifically for children, or maybe it just appeals to the inner child in me, but I would recommend it for all ages, especially good for watching with your kids maybe.
Laputa - Castle in the Sky is just over 2 hours long so get the pop corn in, and sit back and let Laputa work its magic - enjoy.
A studio ghibli movie created by the ever popular Hayao Myazaki who created such movies as spirited away, princess mononoke and howls movie castle in recent years.
Laputa castle in the sky was originally released 1n 1986 in japan and comes with both an English subtitle an dubbed track, both i think are equally good, the movie lasts for 124 minutes or just over 2 hours long, this dvd contains special features and previews form other studio ghibli movies also. Most of which are suitable for most viewers, these movies are sometimes described as the Disney of japan.
The story like most studio ghibli movies starts with a young heroine, but this one in particular seems to be held captive in a dirigible balloon by a government organization, in her attempt to escape she falls hundreds of feet from the blimp when it is attacked by sky pirates.
However she does not plumate to her doom, her necklace begins to glow and she slowly levitates down to the little town below where she is rescued by a young man similar in age and interests to herself.
Together they decide to seek the flying city of laputa which is connected to the reason why sheeta the young girl can levitate the young mans father set out to find.
The story has a strange twist though as ceramic giant robots are detected and obey sheeta the young girl , and the two youngsters are aided by the sky pirates (which initially attacked the governments ship) to find out her past and her connections to the sky.
As to be expected the visuals and music are beautiful and moving, this is a great family movie and really can appeal to all ages.
Inspired by Gulliver's Travels, the fantasy-adventure Castle in the Sky was Hayao Miyazaki's third feature, and helped to establish his reputation as a visionary in both Japan and America. The orphan Sheeta inherited a mysterious crystal that links her to the legendary sky-kingdom of Laputa. With the help of resourceful Pazu and a rollicking band of sky pirates, she makes her way to the ruins of the once-great civilization. Sheeta and Pazu must outwit the evil Muska, who plans to use Laputa's science to make himself ruler of the world. Castle echoes elements in Myazaki's earlier Nausicaä, and anticipates imagery in his later films, from My Neighbor Totoro to Spirited Away. Disney's new English dub, which features Anna Paquin (Sheeta), James Van Der Beek (Pazu), and Cloris Leachman (pirate matriarch Dola), is lively and close in tone to the original Japanese, if a bit talkier. The exciting flying sequences, appealing characters, and fantastic vision of a steam-powered future Jules Verne might have imagined make Castle in the Sky a must-have for fans of Japanese and Western animation. --Charles Solomon , Amazon.com