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Castle in the Sky (1986)

Animation, Anime & Manga, and Art House & International movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki

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Beautiful animation and wonderfully written story

  • Jul 9, 2008
Castle in the Sky is a 1986 anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released by Studio Ghibli.

The story begins with a young girl named Sheeta being taken to an unknown area by Colonel Muska. When sky pirates attack the flying vehicle, Sheeta is able to grab the pendant from Colonel Muska and escape. But when the sky pirates try to capture her, Sheeta falls off the vehicle. Her pendant emits a blue light and allows her to float gently to the ground. A boy named Panzu sees her floating and catches her.

Panzu and Sheeta become friends, and Panzu shares that his deceased father saw Laputa, an ancient city that, according to myths, floats in the sky. Panzu was the only person to believe his father, and Panzu is determined to find the city someday. Panzu and Sheeta have some adventures together, and Panzu ends up learning that Sheeta is actually part of the royal family of Laputa. When they're ambushed by government agents, Panzu and Sheeta are separated. During the rest of the film, Sheeta learns more about her heritage and connections with Laputa, while Panzu ends up teaming up with the sky pirates to rescue Sheeta.

This DVD release was a bit of a disappointment. While the film itself is great, there isn't much in the way of bonus features. The first disc includes an introduction by Pixar's John Lasseter (which is exactly the same as what you see at the beginning of the film), a "Behind the Microphone" feature that features most of the voice actors from the English dub (however, Anna Paquin, the English dub voice of Sheeta, is noticeably absent from the documentary), and the original Japanese trailers (but the trailers only run for slightly over four minutes). The second disc just contains the storyboard version of the film.

Castle in the Sky combines beautiful animation and a wonderfully written story. During the film there is action, adventure, drama, and even a giant robot. While the DVD release is a little disappointing, you should still acquire it for your DVD collection if you're a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, because the film itself is worth the money you spend on buying the DVD.

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More Castle in the Sky (1986) reviews
review by . June 03, 2013
I'm a huge fan of Howl's Moving Castle and have watched it a few times now, so I decided to watch this film too which was recommended. There was action from the very beggining, but the story line itself got off to a slow start. However the characters grew on me and although they are very young (13 or so) and therefor I was unable to find them attractive like Howl, the film itself made up for that loss. I would recommend this to ayone who enjoys a good anime.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2013
Hayao Miyazaki any anime .. is awesome. I enjoy anime and he is my favorite directed animator
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2013
Hayao Miyazaki any anime .. is awesome. I enjoy anime and he is my favorite directed animator
review by . February 10, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
A truly amazing film. The animation is suberb and the plot is interesting, engaging and inspiring. I enjoyed this film quite and bit and is one of my favorite Miyazaki films. The one thing I did not like about this movie was the English translation. I strongly recommend that you see the movie in Japanese and read the subtitles in English. The original Japanese version is much better than the English one because the voiceovers were excellent, were full of emotions and well acted. The English version …
About the reviewer
Lesley Muir Aeschliman ()
Ranked #37
I'm a freelance writer whocovers anime and manga on her blog, Lesley's Musings... on Anime & Manga. I also have a music blog called AeschTunes that I post at every once in a while.   … more
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About this movie


Inspired by "Gulliver's Travels," the fantasy-adventureCastle in the Sky(1986) 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.Castleechoes elements in Myazaki's earlierNausicaä, and anticipates imagery in his later films, fromMy Neighbor TotorotoSpirited 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 makeCastle in the Skya must-have for fans of Japanese and Western animation. (Unrated: suitable for ages 10 and older: violence)--Charles Solomon
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Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Screen Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
Runtime: 124 minutes
Studio: Walt Disney Video
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