- You need a 20 out of 10 ratings to rate Miyazaki's films 7/24/2000 12:00:00 AM by Dark Eye
Hayao Miyazaki has no equal when it comes to using hand-drawn animation as a form of storytelling, yet often he is being compared to Walt Disney. That is just so unfair, because it becomes apparent by watching Miyazaki's films that he is the superior artist. He really has a gift of thrilling both grownups and children, and Laputa is indeed one awesome ride.
But where can I begin to describe a movie so magical and breathtaking! Miyazaki's works have never cease to amaze me. Laputa is an adventure of a grand scale and I wonder how a film can be so packed with details and imagination. Ask yourself this question: if you are a kid dreaming of an adventure so grand in scope and so magical, what would it be like? The answer would be to strap yourself in some seat and watch Laputa, because it's truly a childhood fantasy come true. Every minute of the movie is rich and engrossing ... from the train chase to the amazing air-flying sequences... and to the wonderous sight of the floating castle itself. Not to mention the excellent score by Joe Hisaishi! Everything you ever possibly want from an adventure movie is here.
- My brief review of the film 10/11/2005 12:00:00 AM by sol-
Hayao Miyazaki's screenplay here is just excellent. The story is imaginative and at times quite moving, plus there are many funny moments to be had along the way. The characters are however overly silly and only ever lightly developed, but everything else about the script works so well that it easy to forgive its shortcomings. The music is rather charming and the animation itself is great too. Some of the violence does not quite work, but there are so many other scenes that simply radiate with beauty. The running time of over two hours is a bit lengthy, but watching it is by all means time well spent. If not quite the masterpiece that 'Spirited Away' is, this one comes pretty close.
- Good adventure film for all ages. 6/11/2017 12:00:00 AM by Blueghost
I saw this when it first hit the home video market, and was enamored with the scope and scale of Miyazaki's imagination. Like a lot of good Japanese animation (anime) this one doesn't stick with giant robots or sadistic antagonists, or other familiar tropes that pervade anime and science fiction in general.
Having said that there is a military bent or element placed in the film. As with some other Miyazaki offerings the military is seen as a tool that is often misguided or misused for other people's schemes. So it is that Paizu, the main character, and Sheeta, the damsel in distress with a family secret, are challenged by the local authorities as they seek to discover her origins and the source of intrigue regarding her past.
The film is an anime epic, long in scope and vast in imagination, and filled with both action and adventure as well as more reflective moments. And when I said this was a good adventure film for all ages, I meant it. Where there is some military violence, there's no blood shed, and the sexual intrigue is kept G-rated, PG at worst (and in a very Japanese cultural vein), unlike a lot of science fiction offerings from Japanese animation usually aimed at teenage boys and older. Families can watch this, though very young viewers may get apprehensive or questioning at some of the action.
"Castle in the Sky" is a riff on a story element from Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels" regarding a flying city, hence the title of the film. Though unlike Swift's tale this story doesn't take place in the 18th century, but in the Victorian era with what is often referred to as a "steampunk" setting.
As with a lot of Japanese "anime" offerings, the animation, though vast in scope and impressive in the tale it brings, it's not Disney. That is to say the animation is somewhat stilted, though a bit smoother than a lot of anime of the time. Even so it is still a pleasure to watch, though older children might get a little impatient with it.
A great Myazaki offering. Watch it on a lazy weekend afternoon, or perhaps when there's nothing else on during the week. Either way, enjoy.
- Miyazaki turns fantasy on its wonderful, conventional head once again 4/23/2008 12:00:00 AM by Quinoa1984
Castle in the Sky (full title Laputa: Castle in the Sky) is another in the extraordinary works in the cannon of Hayao Miyazaki, who is arguably the master of fantasy in animation, worldwide. It's plot should be able to read through easily, at least for anyone who's seen the main conventional point of either the Dark Crystal or Lord of the Rings (probably the former is a little more accurate).
A princess has to get to a location with a sacred object- in this case an rock-amulet- and take it to the main power source on Laputa, a secret castle that can barely be said to exist except in rumor. She goes on an adventure with another curious party, a boy, and the two of them have to contend with pirates and a nefarious man in a suit along the way. The twists are turned on a familiar premise at every step, however, because Miyazaki lets his imagination and influences spring out all over the place.
We get vines and clouds and Superman-inspired robots! What Castle in the Sky promises is what it delivers full-throttle; it's action and excitement for a family audience (and it's not to sound patronizing; dudes in their 20s and gals in their 30s will love this as much as the little ones who sought out Spirited Away and Totoro so), and humor in bits and pieces as well (maybe not as much as Totoro, or skewed in a surreal way like Mononoke, but it's still there in a light tone with the pirates). And the design overall should capture everyone's fancy; from the Goliath ship to the little details of the robots to the expanse and crevices of Laputa, to what looks like it MUST have been special visual FX animation, it's all mind-boggling and mind-blowing at the same measure.
It might not be Miyazaki's ultimate triumph, but it's still great film-making, a triumph of imagination to deliver on a tale of good vs. evil.
- This is the movie that Disney wishes they could make. 4/22/2003 12:00:00 AM by increasingcircles
Lapyuta (Castle in the Sky), more than any of Hayao Miyazaki's movies, brings the joy of storytelling to the audience. It is the kind of movie that makes one feel like a kid again; it's just magical. It's a crime that it took this long for it to be released in the states, but now that it's here check it out! And stick with the original language; the dub changed my impressions of the characters somewhat, which is something that should be avoided at all costs in a translation of a movie (or book, whatever.)
I give it a ten/ten.