Japanese Title: Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa
Similar: Children who Chase Lost Voices
Watched in: Japanese & English
Length: 2 hr. 5 min. movie
- Grand adventure.
- Fun cast of characters.
- Ghibli’s art and animation for an imaginative world.
- Villains could do with more development.
I’ve always wanted to live either in the sky or at the bottom of the ocean with sharks and rays swimming outside. I never even read the blurb for Laputa: The Castle in the Sky; having ‘castle in the sky’ in the title alone convinced me to watch it.
The story follows orphan boy Pazu and young girl Sheeta as they seek the legendary floating castle Laputa, while evading capture from pirates and the army. They target her for the magical necklace she possesses.
Laputa took me back to my childhood. This was my kind of story as a child. Laputa reminds me of Asterix & Obelix, some problem showing up on their doorstep, and they must go on an adventure against pirates and the roman army – random brawl in town included. Pirates are dealt with differently in this case, however. I love the pirates. A tough grandmother leads her sons in piracy, and their scenes are the film’s best segments.
The army villains, on the other hand, lack a certain something to make them memorable like the pirates. We needed to see more of them. Cutting to their perspective on occasion would have allowed more development. The army makes serviceable villains, but not particularly interesting ones.
The world itself, from technology to environment, is great. Shame then, we don’t see much outside of the airships and castle. For example, we join Pazu in his cliffside mining town, but barely see any of it before he and Sheeta run off. Even five more minutes inside the infrastructure would satisfy.
There’s not much more to say. Laputa: The Castle in the Sky delivers an adventure worthy of the Studio Ghibli seal of approval. I can’t think of any reason why one should not watch this film.
Art – Very High
An imaginative world rendered with fluid animation. I particularly liked the airship designs.
Sound – High
Good acting in both languages, even with some celebrities in the dub. Mark Hamill is never a bad choice for a villain.
Story – High
A young boy helps a girl escape from pirates and the government alike, as they seek the legend of the flying castle Laputa. A grand adventure with memorable characters, except perhaps the villains.
Overall Quality – High
Recommendation: Watch it. Laputa: The Castle in the Sky is a fun adventure for anyone to enjoy. If I had seen this as a kid, I would have watched it dozens of times.
Awards: (hover mouse over each award to see descriptions; click award for more recipients)