Here is another great masterpiece film from Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. In line with Howl’s Moving Castle and Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky is my all-time favorite. What I love most about these anime films is the breadth of imagination. Think fantasy and steampunk, toss in quirky characters and gorgeous animation, and add the voice talents of Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamil, Mandy Patinkin, Andy Dick, and many more.
Young Sheeta is a captive on board an airship when it’s attacked by pirates. In a desperate attempt to escape the government secret agents who kidnapped her and the pirate gang looking for her crystal amulet, Sheeta accidentally falls from the ship. Her necklace comes to life and floats her gently to earth where a young Pazu catches her. The two become fast friends, but the army and the pirates are close on their heels. Everyone wants Sheeta’s family crystal for its power in finding the long lost floating city, Laputa. When Sheeta is recaptured by the secret agents, Pazu joins forces with Dola’s pirate gang in order to save her and find the legendary city before its power falls into the wrong hands.
Sheeta grew up in the mountains where her parents taught her the secrets of their family line as the descendents of the people who built the flying cities from so long ago, before all were lost and man returned to the earth. All she wants is to be left alone, but the crystal’s power only responds to her own. She starts out as a scared little girl bent on running away, but with Pazu’s friendship and bravery, she decides to fight back and seek out the city and whatever answers it may hold.
Pazu is an orphan who lives in a mining town. He works the mines and dreams of building an airship and flying to Laputa, the castle in the sky his father saw once. No one believed him, and Pazu wants to prove his father right. He’s always got a smile and a positive attitude. His loyalty for Sheeta leads him to join up with pirates in order to save her.
Dola is the leader of the pirate gang. She’s a crazy old woman with guns instead of cats. Half the crew are her own sons, though she’s insistent they call her “Captain” and not “mother.” She may seem ruthless, but Pazu and Sheeta bring out the heart in her.
Muska is the secret government agent in charge of finding Laputa and discovering the secrets of its power. He has no qualms about kidnapping little girls and forcing Sheeta to cooperate. While he’s got an entire army and huge battleship at his command, Muska’s got secret motives of his own.
It’s a non-stop, fun-filled adventure, and I’ll also add that the soundtrack is pretty good too.