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[personal profile] innocent_man
The Castle in the Sky is a 1986 Hayao Miazaki film, dubbed into American with Anna Paquin, James van der Beek, Cloris Leachman and Mandy Patinkin.

In a world with sky-pirates, floating fortresses and coal mining, a young boy named Pazu (van der Beek) catches a girl (Paquin) falling from the sky, slowly, with a glowing crystal around her neck. They make friends, and he reveals that he's looking for Laputa, the fabled floating civilization, kind of like Atlantis but covered in clouds rather than water. His father photographed Laputa once, but never made it there.

Turns out the girl, Sheeta, is the lost heiress to Laputa, but the government (led by an evil operative voiced by Mark Hamill) and some sky-pirates (led by Cloris Leachman as the pink-pigtailed, rough and rowdy matriarch) are all after her. Pazu and Sheeta eventually wind up hooking up with the pirates so they can continue on their way without endangering anyone, but of course everyone arrives at Laputa anyway, where it's revealed that Laputa used to dominate the world until their arms-race mentality doomed the whole civilization. Now their magitech is left for nothing but gardening, with huge, long-armed robots doing the upkeep.

It's a pretty classic Miazaki movie, absolutely beautiful to watch. I think that, story wise, it goes on a little longer than necessary and it's not anywhere near as tight as Spirited Away or even My Neighbor Totoro, but it's definitely worth having, and my kids liked it.

My grade: B+
Rewatch value: Medium-low

Next up: Elf

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