Is it just me, or do those very words, without even knowing what they refer to, contain a whimsical, imagination-inspiring power to them?
"Castle in the Sky" is by Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, who I've come to believe is one of the most masterful storytellers alive today, and maybe of all time. It begins with a young girl, Sheeta, drifting down from the sky into the arms of a young miner named Pazu. From there begins an incredible adventure as these two search for answers to the girl's origins while running from both air pirates as well as mysterious agents. I don't intend to reveal much of the plot here, but suffice it to say, this movie reignited the feelings I used to have as a child when watching such classics as "The Wizard of Oz" and the "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" (which I also just recently purchased on DVD.
The movie was created several years ago, but was recently brought to America, with a wonderful redubbing into English, thanks to Disney Studios. If you're looking for visuals like the mind-blowing, computer simulations in recent Disney hits such as "Finding Nemo", this isn't it. However, if you're a fan of traditional cel animation, this film may be one of the best ever produced. Miyazaki's attention to detail, his ability to bring these two dimensional characters to life, is awe-inspiring.
For me, the greatest thing about this movie is that it's reminded me of the kind of fictional magic I hope to create myself one day, and makes me wonder if it's too late in my life for me to become an animator. The bad thing about seeing a movie like this, is that I know that I could never produce anything nearly as beautiful.
Fortunately for me, if I ever get the opportunity, I'm just stubborn, determined, and delusional enough to give it a shot anyway.