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Laputa - Castle In The Sky - £5.97

Inspired by Gulliver's Travels, the fantasy-adventure Castle in the Sky was Hayao Miyazaki's third feature, and helped to establish his reputation as a visionary in both Japan and America. The orphan Sheeta inherited a mysterious crystal that links her to the legendary sky-kingdom of Laputa. With the help of resourceful Pazu and a rollicking band of sky pirates, she makes her way to the ruins of the once-great civilization. Sheeta and Pazu must outwit the evil Muska, who plans to use Laputa's science to make himself ruler of the world. Castle echoes elements in Myazaki's earlier Nausicaš, and anticipates imagery in his later films, from My Neighbor Totoro to Spirited Away. Disney's new English dub, which features Anna Paquin (Sheeta), James Van Der Beek (Pazu), and Cloris Leachman (pirate matriarch Dola), is lively and close in tone to the original Japanese, if a bit talkier. The exciting flying sequences, appealing characters, and fantastic vision of a steam-powered future Jules Verne might have imagined make Castle in the Sky a must-have for fans of Japanese and Western animation. --Charles Solomon , Amazon.com

Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):

Rating: 5:
Just for a while i was a kid again...... : This film brought back all the memories of child hood adventures, not a care in the world and every where had a charm all of its own. From messing around on the river with my friends to exploring woods and time worn old buildings, this film brought it all flooding back.
Imagination is a gift that children have in abbundance, which we sadly lose when we grow up with rationallity taking its place.
Watching this film made me long for the days when the only thing i cared about was having fun and wondering what was on the other side of the big stone wall in the park which myself and none of my friends dared to jump over and take a look.
Wonder and mystery are something that i will probably never feel again, but, for an hour and a half, whilst watching this film i felt like a kid again and for that Hayao Miyazaki i am eternally greatful.

Rating: 5:
Extraordinary, exciting, and with levels of meaning behind it : I find it incredibly annoying when I'm watching a supposedly "exciting" film and I can see what's going to happen. A particularly bad example was the supposed SF horror-thriller "Pitch Black" when it was possible to work out who was going to be eaten next just by reading the names from the cast list in reverse order: those who had the biggest parts survived longest. "Laputa: Castle In The Sky" manages to be far more exciting and far less predictable, and does it all without foul language, explicit violence, or the kind of criminal superman Hollywood has loved ever since "The Silence of the Lambs". It would be too complicated for small children, but it's eminently suitable for adults as well as teenagers. As usual with Miyazaki's work the characters were well-rounded and believable, and that helped to keep me guessing as to what was going to happen next. I was on the edge of my seat right until the end. It need hardly be said that the film is visually striking too: perhaps the most astonishing of the Ghibli films I have seen, with the vast perspectives of Slagg's Ravine, houses clinging to the edge, the huge and strangely beautiful city of Laputa, the sullen fort which reaches up into the clouds, and the weird flying machines that are the "Goliath" and the "Tiger Moth". From an SF point of view it might be loosely categorised as steampunk--it's set in an alternative past with high technology--but it is a thrilling, well-written, beautiful film well-leavened with humour which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys imagination.

Rating: 5:
UNFORGETABLE! : I MUST SAY THIS FILM IS COOL! THE ANIMATION IS COOL! STORY IS COOL! AND PLUS MARK HAMILL IS IN IT! SADLY PLAYING THE EVIL DUDE. WELL THIS FILM IS A CLASSIC, NO ONE CAN SAY NO TO THAT! GHIBLI DOES MASTERPIECES, I MAY ONLY BE TWELVE BUT...IVE ALREADY ORDERED MY COPY! SO BUY IT, IF YOU DONT I'LL COME AND GET YOU!!!

Rating: 5:
Amazing - my favourite film in the universe! : Studio Ghibli films are the finest animations imaginable. Laputa is my personal favourite, but hot on its heels are Porco Rosso, Nausicaa and Howls Moving Castle. Kiki, Spirited Away, and Totoro are contenders too. What can i say, an amazing animation studio...

The story is fantastic, fantastical, and totally engrossing. Amazing flying machines, spellbinding robots, a magical flying island: the writers weren't short on creativity.

There are a few candyfloss moments which might be a bit too saccarine for an adult audience - but when you consider this is a intended as family film that is to be expected to some extent, and is definately not a reason to avoid this film, no matter how old or young you are.

The artwork is second to none - it leaves Disney for dust; also remarkable is this was produced in the 1980's and stands up there alongside more modern productions which rely heavily on CAD and CG.

Watch this! You will not regret it!

Rating: 5:
Another Ghibli masterpiece : Laputa is one of the earlier films from the well known and respected Studio Ghibli, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

The story is about a legend of a lost floating castle in the sky - Laputa, of which nobody really believes to exist anymore taking it as an old story, and the story of two children, Pazu, trying to find Laputa to finally prove his father did see it and earn him the respect he should have had, and Sheeta, a girl thrust unwillingly into the story through a family connection and a mystical crystal pendant she inherited.

One of the great things about this film is the fact almost everyone can watch it and get something out of it. I remember watching it as a five year old and enjoying it, and more recently discovering what the name of this film I remember watching was, and finally getting to rewatch it as a twenty year old, and enjoying watching it just as much, if not more than I did in the early ninetys, Miyazaki's incredible talent of telling the story in a completely unpatronising and enjoyable way and the setting of a place so completely different, yet familiar and nice to us watching at home.

All the animation is simple, yet very well done in the now familiar Miyazaki/anime style, all done pre computers by hand, and dosen't look dated or old in the slightest.

I cannot really comment too much on the dubs and voices, as I have only watched the film in it's origonal japanese (subtitled of course) but I do know of two different versions, the origonal english dubs (as shown on tv in the early ninetys) and a newer Disney dub, which is the version on the new dvd's.

This is definately a film I would recommend to pretty much anyone, from anyone getting into anime/Ghibli films and wanting a great film to watch, or for a parent wanting a film to watch on a sunday afternoon with the kids. Spirited Away may seem to be one of the most well known of the Studio Ghibli films, but I would say this one is just as good.

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