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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Castle in the Sky....
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...
Published on July 12 2004 by GB Banks (publisher, author)

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars FYI - STILL "DUBTITLES" AND NOT JAPANESE TRANSLATED "SUBTITLES" (REVIEW FOR 2010 RE-RELEASE)
After some investigating (and an erroneous online review) I was stupidly given to believe that this re-release had been properly English subtitled with corrected Japanese translations (for those interested in watching the film in it's original language) but alas, after forking over the additional funds for this, my third version of this film on DVD (having previously...
Published on March 16 2010 by stryper


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4.0 out of 5 stars Must-see for Miyazaki fans, Feb. 14 2010
By 
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
I particularly recommend this one for those who liked Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.

You can look forward to all the beauty and originality of other Miyazaki films, but with more focus on some of the things that are largely overlooked in the other animations. You will find some pretty intense fight scenes in this one, involving some scary machines and airships, as well as pirates and government conspiracies.

My only disappointment for this movie was the lack of depth in the exploration of Laputa. I would have loved to learn more about the inner workings of the construction and society, but I'm sure the movie would have to become a documentary in order to satisfy my curiosity. If you want action, choose Laputa- if you want depth, choose Nausicaa. Then, if you like one, get both!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Castle in the Sky, Sept. 21 2008
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
This is probably my favorite movie of all time. I love it because it portrays a mix of fantasy and reality. Every time I watch it, I feel like I've been transported to their world. I don't own it yet but I do want to buy it soon. If you like anime, you will love this movie, I guarantee it. Other movies I would definitely recommend are Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. Hope you like this movie as much as I do!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The old good vs. evil in a new exciting setting, Oct. 8 2006
By 
Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
This review is based on the Disney version of the movie, voiced by James Van Der Beek, Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill and others. The basic premise is extremely simple - it's the old good vs. evil, science vs. nature scenario, but the animation and imagination is so cool that it looks much more complicated than that.

In case you were wondering, this is not based on the book "Castle in the Air" by Diana Wynne Jones. "Castle in the Air" is the sequel to "Howl's Moving Castle", which was also done in anime by the master Miyazaki. "Castle in the Sky" has roots in the story of "Gulliver's Travels" where Swift wrote about a flying city named Laputa, upon which this film is based.

Sheeta is a young girl, now an orphan, who was given an amulet by her mother before she died. It seems that lots of people are after the amulet, and after Sheeta is taken aboard an airship by creepy Government agents, the ship is attacked by a family of pirates. During the fracas, Sheeta falls from the airship, and it becomes apparent that the amulet is much more than a nice piece of bling-bling. She is rescued by a young boy named Pazu, who is also an orphan and works as an assistant to a mining engineer.

Both the pirates and the army are going all-out to get their greedy hands on Sheeta, and we learn that she is a vital link to finding the mythical floating city of Laputa, which is said to be packed with both treasure and advanced technology, securely hidden within a huge storm cloud.

The main characters, other than Sheeta and the heroic Pazu are Colonel Muska, a secret agent with huge ambition, Dola, domineering matriarch of the Pirate clan, and the General, leader of the armed forces.

Although more than two hours long, this action-packed family movie is never boring, but it does contain some amount of violence.

Amanda Richards
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully strange story with fascinating images, July 6 2004
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
This is a wonderful movie. The story is enchanting, with fantastic flying machines and cities in the air. The land and air are full of strange and mysterious people who range from the kind and good to the power hungry evil types. What is especially nice about the characterizations in this film is that only a few are wholly good or wholly evil, most are a mix and are trying to work out their place in the plot of the story.
The story opens with an action sequence without any explanation about what is happening. This causes us to focus our attention and to try and figure out what is going on and what all these strange people and machines are. In some ways it seems like a 1930s serial, in others futuristic, and in others ancient myth without connection to the world in which we live.
While this isn't as beautiful as "Spirited Away" or even "Princess Mononoke", it is still head and shoulders above nearly everything you see passing as an animated movie nowadays (with a couple of exceptions). My kids encouraged me to get this DVD and they enjoyed it immensely. I expected to like it, but enjoyed it more than I expected.
Miyazaki has a unique imagination and has a powerful ability to use his wonderful images to tell the story in delightful and beautiful ways that go beyond conventional live action movies - no matter the special effects budget - or even most animation. Watching his stories is a special experience that I am grateful to him for sharing with me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic High-Flying Adventure, April 21 2004
By 
Brendan L. Agnew "rothwyn" (Nowheresville, OK, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
The third feature film of acclaimed writer/director Hayao Miyazaki (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away), Castle in the Sky showcases his talents for creating great adventures yarns with substance as well as style.
Set in an alternate 1920's earth, where airships rule the skies and entire continents can fly, Castle in the Sky is the story of two orphans who meet by chance. A young girl, Sheeta (Anna Paquin), floats literally from the sky after narrowly escaping capture from a band of pirates, wearing a mysterious glowing necklace. She is caught by Pazu (James Van Der Beek), a brave and resourceful young assistant engineer, who notices that the crystal she wears has fantastic magical properties. It is this crystal that several suspicious parties are trying desperately to get their hands on, including the Dola Pirate Gang, and the Army, led by the nefarious Colonel Muska (Mark Hammil). It soon becomes clear that the real prize in this race is the ancient, supposedly mythical, floating island of Laputa.
What follows is a grand chase towards the Caste in the Sky, with captures, narrow escapes, air battles, and more. Miyazaki's love of flight is more than apparent at the way the action soars, moving easily from land to air, and the pace of the movie, though the film runs over two hours, only lets up when and for as long as it needs to. Miyazaki showed in both The Castle of Cagliostro and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind that he has a talent for making rousing adventure movies, and, though Castle has some of the ecological messages found in Nausicaa (and later, in Princess Mononoke), they always take a backseat to the events that drive the movie.
The characters here are a varied, strange, and incredibly fun lot. The Dola Pirates are always entertaining when their banter flys, Mark Hammil has a blast as the scheming villian, and Pazu and Sheeta are two of the cutest leads you could ask for. They're also a refreshing taste from the "ordinary" in the anime genre. Sheeta is more than capable of handling herself, and Pazu is a cheerful idealist, a nice break from the surly teenage leads that overpopulate anime. In addition, their relationship is wonderfully done; it's the simplest, most pure form of love imaginable, that neither tries to be romantic or plutonic, but is just shown as it is. There is never a single kiss on screen, but the audience knows, through the body language and the words in their moments together that these two will be together one way or another for life.
And even though this is one of Miyazaki's earlier films, the animation is still fairly impressive. Of course, it looks a little dated next to the likes of Spirited Away, but it still looks and feels like a wonder. The character designs are Miyazaki's usual simplistic but expressionistic fare, and the vehicles that populate the world are imaginative and plausible, and the architecture has a surprising amount of variety.
The real treasure on this DVD release is the completely redone musical score on the English Language version of the film. Back in the mid-'80's, Studio Ghibli was not nearly the powerhouse it is today, and consequently, composer Joe Hisaishi was at times forced to put his rather sparse score on sythesizers and such. However, the new score contains everything from the original release, and a heck of a lot more, all done in beatiful orchestral renditions. And as for actual quality of music, the score for Castle in the Sky easily holds its own against Mononoke in terms of quality and power.
Of course, you have to watch the english dub of the movie to hear this, but having said that, it's not a bad job, arguably superior to Mononoke and Kiki's Delivery Service in terms of the actor's performances. Cloris Leachman is hilarious as Dola, Paquin does a fine job of Sheeta, and even Van Der Beek manages to be only marginally annoying. And really, how can you not like Mark Hammill?
Overall, Castle in the Sky is one of Miyazaki's best films, showcasing some of the most imagination, colorful characters, and dazzling adventure, it also carries some fairly powerful emotions. It also looks great, even after eighteen years, and is simply a great deal of fun to watch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another charming story, April 11 2004
By 
wiredweird "wiredweird" (Earth, or somewhere nearby) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
More than anything else, this is a delightful, gentle story, beautifully animated. It's exciting, but without [much] violence or dark edge that might upset younger viewers. Also, like at least two of Miyazaki's other animations, it centers on a resolute little girl separated from her family.
That recurring character must have some personal meaning for Miyazaki, but I'm not sure what. Even though the girl appears in several of his films, she doesn't really repeat herself; she really is new each time. Miyazaki also has some fascination with flight in general and airships in particular. They appeared in "Kiki's Delivery Service" and have a central place in this movie. I admit, they're quite amazing: majestic, wallowing dinosaurs from the early age of human flight. Maybe that's enough.
The only thing that left me puzzled was the floating island of Laputa itself. The sky-city with that name appears in "Gulliver's Travels." The former lords of Miyazaki's Laputa risked becoming tyrants by strength of their weaponry. Gulliver's Laputa was also known to crush, literally crush rebellion among its vassal territories. Any other connection between the two Laputas escaped me, though.
This is another cute movie from Miyazaki. It doesn't get by on just cuteness, though. It's not especially deep, but adults shouldn't be bored watching it with their kids. Or, like me, watching it without them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone who love Japanese anime, must see!, March 27 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
Laputa is great for both Children and Adult.
Miyazaki tells "a story that involves discoveries and wonderful encounters...a story that carries a message of hope."
The production of Laputa also led to the establishment of Studio Ghibli in 1985.
I highly recommend everyone to see this movie. My favorite scene is when Sheeta said to Muska "people can't live away from the ground."
But my favorite Miyazaki movie is "Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind". Many people are saying that Nausicaa is similer to "The Lord of the Rings". I don't agree at all (Hey, I love The Lord of the Rings too by the way! Did everyone like Return of the King? I thought that was the best out of 3 movies). Nausicaa has storonger message for environmental disruption more than fellowship.
For this movie, Nausicaa, I recommend you to see movie first. Then you should read books because books go much deeper than movie. Nausicaa tries to stop other warring nations from destroying themselves and from destroying the only means by which their world can be saved from the spread of polluted wastelands.
Plus please read books over and over again. You won't get message right away. It's pretty complecated.
As an additional info., "My Neighbor Totoro", "Kiki's Delivery Service" and "Princess Mononoke" are something which you should consider to just enjoy adventure action and fantasy world. "Princess Mononoke" is similer to Nausicaa and Laputa but this movie is based on Japan land. And remember, this movie is pretty violent for children.
I heard from many people didn't like "Spirited Away".
I love Miyazaki movie and normaly, I can get Miyazaki message from the movie easily but for this one, I couldn't get much message right away. So! I personally suggest to watch more than once. I realized later, it had meaning everywhere how much we pollute our planet and make us think there is something we can do for it. You won't realize that if you don't pay attention enough (just like what I did ^_^).
At last, Miyazaki says the following, "We are not trying to solve the global problems. There can not be a happy ending to the fight between the Raging Gods and humans. However, even in the middle of hatred and killings, there are things worth living for. A wonderful meeting, or a beautiful thing can exist."
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5.0 out of 5 stars 2nd movie for Mr.Miyazaki, March 10 2004
By 
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
The movie is 2nd movie for Miyazaki actually. In the previous days of first movie[kazeno tanino nausika], he had made many movies. But as the chief directer, from [nausika]. Castle in the Sky[japanese title is Tenkuuno Siro Rapyuta] and Nasusika is the most favorite movies for me. Because they include fantasie inspiration and is simply adventure movies. After that, he have made a lot of movies but I think that recently the movies is difficult that I understand the story. Mr. Miyazaki think that want to express many meanings and messages through the movie?
For instance, war and peace, poor and rich, environmental problem...
It is no doubt and important to make the movie with the awareness of the problems. But when movies is very difficult, the animation movie is not.
I think that is wonderful thing that there is the movie like Castle in the Sky.
I'm sorry for poor English.
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5.0 out of 5 stars my favorite miyazaki film, Jan. 24 2004
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
Everyone has their favorite miyazaki work, and this one is mine (along with kiki's delivery). There is a bit of sadness to this film about the kinds of evil that humans do that is all too real. It really isn't violent compared to the jaded brutality of videogames, movies, and the evening news that kids are exposed to nowadays. If anything, the movie clearly delineates that people who use violence and cruelty as their methods are evil and unworthy of emulation. Unfortunately, a lot of anime and movies (i suppose history textbooks as well) glorify power and materialism above all else, but then I'm just rambling now ... [leaps off soapbox]
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful film by Miyazaki, Jan. 8 2004
By 
H. A Huffman "haumf" (Mt. Prospect, IL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) (DVD)
Miyazaki's "Warriors of the Wind" was one my first anime film experiences; it was amazing. Watching Castle in the Sky rekindled that experience. Miyaziki's style and rich, breathtaking animations draw you in to the world of Laputa, this movie is simply stunning.
Castle in the Sky is also a great adventure story that will appeal to anyone who likes a good movie, kids will love this one. This is the type of cell animation that Disney should be making today.
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Castle in the Sky (Bilingual)
Castle in the Sky (Bilingual) by Hayao Miyazaki (DVD - 2003)
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