Castle in the Sky


Action / Adventure / Animation / Drama / Family / Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright91%
IMDb Rating8.010165620


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Anna Paquin Photo
Anna Paquin as Sheeta
Mark Hamill Photo
Mark Hamill as Muska
Jim Cummings Photo
Jim Cummings as General
Mandy Patinkin Photo
Mandy Patinkin as Louis
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.02 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 5 min
P/S 1 / 20
1.98 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 5 min
P/S 2 / 51

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by oshram-310 / 10

The greatest animated film of all time

It's always difficult to put a stamp on any film as being 'the best,' whether of all time, a certain genre, or what have you, but I believe a strong argument could be made that in fact, Laputa is the greatest animated film ever made. It is in my mind the masterwork of Hayao Miyazaki, the most talented of Japan's animated directors, and it best captures his strengths as a director, storyteller, and designer, as well as encapsulating all of his favorite underlying themes. The version I'm reviewing is the 2003 American dub (I know, sacrilege for a hard-core anime fan to not watch it in its native language); there is at least one other English language dub out there, I have it on VHS (I have no idea from what source),and that version is the single best dub I have ever encountered of any film. But I thought it better to concentrate on the version people can actually find.

Laputa tells the story of a boy named Pazu (voiced by James Van Der Beek here),who's growing up in a mining town when one day a young girl named Sheeta (Anna Paquin) literally drops from the sky. It seems she is being pursued by a sinister government agent, Colonel Muska (Mark Hamill),who is more interested in the magical crystal that hangs around her neck. To keep things lively, there's also a wickedly funny pirate gang after the crystal, led by the aging but still boisterous Dola (Cloris Leachman). The plot revolves around the crystal's ability to reveal the location of the fabled flying city of Laputa, a potential treasure trove of scientific knowledge and hidden treasure. It's all very much in keeping with a fairy-tale setting, but Miyazaki knows exactly how far to take the story, and the plot is peppered with 'gosh-wow' moments and threaded with his customary morality and warnings about abusing the power of nature.

The design work on Laputa, nearly twenty years later, is still revolutionary. Flying machines of all sorts abound, utterly impossible but so meticulously designed that you instantly accept them without blinking. The world is set somewhere around the start of the twentieth century, with telegraphs and ancient motorcars alongside those wonderful impossible flying machines. But it is the city itself that is sheer brilliance in execution; Laputa is both the Garden of Eden and the Fire of Heaven itself, and in that juxtaposition lies its appeal, its power, and its danger.

Besides being a thoughtfully designed and beautifully rendered film, Laputa is blessed with a wonderful sense of cinematography. From sweeping flying shots to high speed chases on tiny one-man flyers to ships submerging into the clouds as if they were water, Laputa displays a scope that most films – even with the magic of CGI – can only daydream about. Though we only see a small fraction of this world, its simple elegance extends beyond the borders of the frame and we have no trouble believing in it. The film also contains one of my favorite, if not the most exciting, action sequences ever: a guardian robot that fell to Earth is accidentally reactivated and wreaks havoc on the fortress it is kept in, all the while trying to protect Sheeta (who was the one who woke it up). Meanwhile, Pazu and the pirates swoop in on their little flying machines to snatch her, literally, from the jaws of destruction. From the horrific sight of the robot incinerating the countryside to the exhilarating last-second rescue, the entire sequence is a masterpiece of timing and camera angles and knowing exactly how far to take the audience.

It helps that Laputa has an amazing score. Composer Joe Hisaishi captures the wondrous beauty of this world, the dewy innocence, the exciting action, and the creepy otherworldliness of the flying city and its bizarre robot guardians. Though he re-recorded it for this DVD release (which IMO is not an improvement over his original score),adding pieces here and there, the score matches the visuals perfectly, a rare total union of sound and vision.

This isn't a bad dub. I'm inordinately fond of the older English dub, and this one over-explains things just a tad in spots, but I was almost shocked how closely these voices matched those (and those matched the Japanese pretty well). Dola in particular is hard to get right, but Leachman is spot on as the fiery old pirate woman (her sons aren't quite as good as the original). Paquin does a good job as Sheeta, and Mark Hamill, while I knew it was him early, is more than talented enough to do Muska (I liked the other English dub of Muska a little more, but Hamill's good). Much of the film rests on Pazu's shoulders, and Van Der Beek is wonderful. Listening to him made me think this crew must have had access to the other English dub, because VDB matches up very closely with the original Pazu. Although again watching a dub is grounds for excommunication among the otaku faithful, as much as I love this film, I don't think you're sacrificing a great deal simply watching this particular Anglicized version. John Lassiter of Pixar introduces it up front, and my suspicion is that he, like so many others, simply love this film so much that they tried very hard to ensure its high quality.

Miyazaki has had success in America in recent years with Spirited Away and Mononoke (one of his few films I didn't care for),but to me Laputa is still his crowning achievement. Anyone familiar with his later work will almost certainly enjoy this earlier work, and again, this film is a master at the top of his form hitting on every cylinder. I'd pay big money to be able to see this on a large screen; while that will probably never happen, it's good to know that at least this classic has been preserved on DVD.

Reviewed by MartinHafer8 / 10

Amazing quality animation, a very unusual story and a whole lotta fun

This is a really interesting movie that bears some resemblance to another great Miyazaki film, KIKI'S DELIVERY SERVICE. Like KIKI, the action takes place on some Earth-like world--so much like Earth but different because it had the weirdest flying machines and sky pirates! It was also rather reminiscent of the Dreamcast video game, The Skies of Arcadia. and the X-Box's Crimson Skies. Strange but also pretty intriguing--that's for sure. For fans of airplanes and vintage aviation, this is an especially appealing film.

Well, in this world of sky pirates and bizarre flying machines comes the rumor of a floating castle in the sky. And, of course, our intrepid heroes are bent on finding it and unlocking its secrets.

The film has amazing animation, a unique style and is very engaging. While kids will enjoy it immensely, unlike some Miyazaki films, I really think that in some cases adults might like this even more than kids. Good stuff well worth a look.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

Absolutely beautiful, and one of Studio Ghibli's most imaginative works

I cannot begin to describe how much I love this film. I love Studio Ghibli, and Castle in the Sky is one of my absolute favourites from them. It has a highly imaginative story for starters, every bit as imaginative as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind's. Once again, the animation is magnificent, as is the haunting and poignant music score. The dialogue and pacing are fine too, and the characters are never devoid of their likability and are wonderfully voiced by a top notch voice cast. Castle in the Sky is an absolutely beautiful film, but it is also quite haunting helped enormously by the music and visuals. It is an amazing and I think unforgettable film, one of the best animes, perhaps even animated movies I have seen. 10/10 Bethany Cox

Read more IMDb reviews