Friday, October 13, 2006

Castle in the Sky (1986)

Great film. Even had good American dubbing (for the most part -- Amanda Paquin likes to change her accent constantly, which is distracting).

It has the wonderful visuals you expect from Miyazaki, the grand sense of adventure, and the thoroughly likeable and plucky protagonist (voiced well by James Van Der Beek of all people). At times I worried it would veer too far into making "nature is god" its ultimate message, but I since it only really got into that in two parts (in the mine and at Laputa's heart -- oh, and the "we protected the tree, so the tree protected us!" part), it thankfully avoided this. The "we protected the tree" line was stupid anyway, because the failing roots and crumbling stone structure nearly killed Pazu like a million times. Damn tree.

Hero Pazu scrambles up a tube

More on the visuals: I love the designs Miyazaki puts in his films. In this one, the ship designs were fantastic. It's the sort of quasi-technologically-advanced deal (like Steamboy) where the world stopped its technologocal advancement at a certain level, in this case a method of propulsion (rotors), and then went nuts developing that form of power. And I absolutely loved the guardian robots and the different modes they adopted.

Guardian robot with missing arm

The pirates who were all brothers were hilarious. They were voiced by Mandy Patinkin (Inigo Montoya), Andy Dick (Andy Dick), and Jim Cummins (every cartoon you've ever loved).

Pirate Mom on her dragonfly-esque vehicle

John Lasseter does a short introduction where he names Castle in the Sky one of his favorite movies, and it's easy to see why.

Awesome life-size sculpture of robot in some "World of Laputa" sculpture garden


Kenfield said...

How funny, Katie and I were just watching Spirited Away today! Another wonderful production by Miyazaki. I love Castle in the Sky, especially the flying vehicles. I'm glad that peole like Lasseter are incharge of translating these wonderful films in a way that I think is well done, which is a rare with Japanime.

Ryan said...


I just bought Princess Mononoke today. It wasn't my favorite, but for $5 it was easily worth some of the visuals contained therein.