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Castle in the Sky (1986)

James Van Der Beek , Cloris Leachman , Hayao Miyazaki  |  PG |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)

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Castle in the Sky + Kiki's Delivery Service + Spirited Away
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Product Details

  • Actors: James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Richard Dysart, Clifton Wells, John Hostetter
  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Animated, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Disney Presents Studio Ghibli
  • DVD Release Date: March 2, 2010
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (423 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,843 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Castle in the Sky" on IMDb

Special Features

  • World of Ghibli – An Extraordinary Interactive Experience
  • Enter the Lands – Meet the characters and hear the story of the movie
  • Behind the Studio – Discover the film’s inspiration through documentaries, including all-new interviews with Hayao Miyazaki
  • Storyboard Presentation of the Movie
  • Introduction by John Lasseter

Editorial Reviews

Inspired by "Gulliver's Travels," the fantasy-adventure Castle in the Sky (1986) 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 Nausicaä, 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. (Unrated: suitable for ages 10 and older: violence) --Charles Solomon

Product Description

Introduce your entire family to CASTLE IN THE SKY, featuring a timeless story of courage and friendship with stunning animation from acclaimed Academy-Award(R)-winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, SPIRITED AWAY). Plus, this 2-Disc Special Edition DVD includes never-before-seen bonus features that transport you deeper into the film's amazing world! This high-flying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer's apprentice, finds a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, wearing a glowing pendant. Together, they discover both are searching for a legendary floating castle, Laputa, and vow to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal around Sheeta's neck. Their quest won't be easy, however. There are greedy air pirates, secret government agents and astounding obstacles to keep them from the truth -- and from each other. Add CASTLE IN THE SKY to you DVD library, and this magical and uplifting classic from Studio Ghibli and Disney will thrill and amaze your family for years to come.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
141 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winsome fantasy April 17, 2002
"Castle in the Sky" is a masterpiece of one of Japan's finest filmakers. There is a simple artistry to Miyazaki's stories. This is a children's film, but it is in the tradition of children's stories that appeal to all ages. A rare, pure fantasy, the film has the same magic as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and other early Disney films.
I first saw this movie when it was released in US theaters as "Laputa the Floating Island." The mythical floating island of Laputa is taken from Swift's "Gulliver's Travels." Like Swift, Miyazaki cloaks a political statement with a fantasy, giving deeper meaning to his story. Environmentalism has always been central to his films, and "Castle in the Sky" is no exception.
Visual, the film is a literal flight of fancy. Much of the film takes place in the air. Air pirates travel in unwieldy flying machines. Giant dirigibles sail the skies. Travel by kite is an acceptable option. The animation is of the highest quality, as is the sound and acting.
The story may seem familiar to followers of animation. Miyazaki also work briefly on the script of "Nadia: Secret of Blue Water" using some of the same concepts. The story was also adapted by Disney as their film "Atlantis," sending the characters underground instead of up to the sky. However, "Castle in the Sky" is the story in it's original, best form.
I cannot recommend this film enough.
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189 of 214 people found the following review helpful
By K. Shin
*Slight spoiler*
Also disclaimer: This review contains complaints galore so if you're not in the mood, it's best you pass this one by.

I love Studio Ghibli movies. There's a magical element of adventure and heart that are hard to find elsewhere. And Laputa is by far my favorite movie of all Ghibli movies I've seen (seen most of them). I think the English release unfortunately killed it. Note: The 2003 and the newer 2010 DVD versions both point to the same reviews. This review is based on the 2003 Disney American DVD release. It appears that the 2010 version reverts back to the original Japanese soundtrack, extra filler dialogue not present in the Japanese version have been removed. That said, the main points in the review - the choice of voice actors and change in dialogue - still apply. Also, below the title on the Amazon page, you'll see the list of actors as: Barbara Goodson (Actor), James Van Der Beek (Actor) - this is completely confusing as Barbara Goodson is not in the Disney version (read about that in the updated section of this review at the end). I wish Amazon wouldn't blindly combine different versions of this movie onto one page with shared reviews...

I won't focus on the story since many others have done so (it's amazing) but more on the audio, the dub and the translation. First is the dub. It's atrocious. It's horrid. It's painfully subpar. And I cannot help but be overwhelmed with utter frustration that I must accept this as the final product. It's been released. It's done. There's not a do-over. We're unfortunately stuck with this.

I'm a native Japanese speaker so I can tell how well things get translated...
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56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Admired and Adored Miyazaki Film January 24, 2002
Laputa, Castle in the Sky, is the most creative, ambitious, and adventurous Miyazaki film I have ever seen. I like Miyazaki's work very much for its grandeur, originality, and imagination. Sadly to say that Disney has lost its creative edge. It has been copying stories all over the world. Disney promised to release the Castle in the Sky video in 1999 but they failed to keep their promise. (Disney, please include the original Japanese soundtrack on the US release because I don't like the English voice actor behind Pasu.)
After 16 years since Castle in the Sky was first released in the theatres, I still consider it the creme da la creme of all anime movies. Certainly Laputa's art direction cannot compare to today's S/B CGI and S/B 3D animation. However, the story is much more fascinating and breathtaking than KiKi Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro, and even Princess Mononoke. Princess Mononoke is a graphically stunning piece of art but Castle in the Sky is a wonderful story of courage and determination. While there are a few graphically violent scenes in Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky is packed with action without graphic violence.
I considered myself fortunate to be able to see it on the big screen (the original English version.) Castle in the Sky is a grand movie that deserves the big screen. I love the soundtrack of the movie very much. It is very uplifting and motivating. The title song, Carrying You, communicates the same kind of warmheartedness that permeates throughout all of Miyazaki's films.
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73 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disney has utterly destroyed a wonderful film. May 15, 2005
I first saw Castle in the Sky in the original Japanese while living in Japan in the early 90s. I was instantly captivated. The characters were engaging and immediately likeable, the cliffhanging action was fantastic, the plot was original and rather gripping, and the music was just absolutely gorgeous. If I were rating the original film (titled "Tenku no Shiro: Laputa"), I would readily give it five stars. Miyazaki is easily one of the most original and watchable animators in the business.

That said, this is an atrocious rendition for American audiences.

Overall, the voicecasting isn't too shabby. However, the actor playing the main character - the adventurous boy Pazu - is just plain awful. Not only does he sound more like a 28 year old than a 13 year old, but he has two voice settings: loud and soft, and absolutely no nuance in between. Listening to him is a rather teeth-grinding experience.

The translation of the dialogue from the original Japanese is pretty wretched. A lot of the original meaning was simply discarded and replaced by Disney. The lines of the air-pirate sidekicks were completely altered and not for the better. By the end of the movie, their constant stream of inane babble will have you wishing someone would just jettison the entire airship crew at high altitude. Overall, the dialogue of most of the supporting characters shows extremely poor scriptwriting.

For some odd reason, Disney decided to mute most of the sound effects in this movie. The ominous whirr of massive propellers, the sudden crash of explosive shells, the crisp sound of gun shots. All of it was toned down and muted-out by Disney.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
Fantastic movie, as expected since Studio Ghibli is involved. This copy was a gift for my brother's birthday, because 'Castle in the Sky' is one of his favorites.
Published 1 day ago by Carina
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I absolutely love this movie <3 beautiful art work and a good story too (:
Published 20 days ago by Katy White
4.0 out of 5 stars I need more...
I had never had any desire to see a Studio Ghibli film and didn't know much about them until I started reading about the retirement of Hayao Miyazaki. Read more
Published 22 days ago by Jeffrey Sifford
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every child should be lucky enough to have this precious movie in his/her home.
Published 26 days ago by mj
5.0 out of 5 stars Transfer is great. But one star for the dubbed version
Transfer is great.

But one star for the dubbed version.

It's just aweful...
Published 1 month ago by James Chung
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful work.
Definite Studio Ghibli fan. Beautiful work.
Published 1 month ago by Lifetime Learner
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a gift and he loved the movie and the quality right out of...
This was a gift and he loved the movie and the quality right out of the shipping package was brand new and perfect!
Published 1 month ago by Kathryn Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love the cartoon since I was a kid
Published 1 month ago by Justin C Tung
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Published 1 month ago by Arina Tsukada
5.0 out of 5 stars Great family movie!
An amazing movie! A must see for any family
Published 1 month ago by Stephanylyn
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Topic From this Discussion
Nausicaa prequal?
While there are some similarities between NAUSICAA and LAPUTA (one of which that you neglected to mention was that Mark Hamill is a voice actor in both of these films--and he does an awesome job here as villain Muska BTW), the two films aren't really meant to be connected. Each is meant to stand... Read More
May 14, 2007 by Jonathon Turner |  See all 4 posts
Does the blu-ray release have the same awful problems?
Nope. It's basically the 2010 release in HD. If it means anything, the Hong Kong Blu Ray has real subtitles and it's perfectly compatible for North American Blu Ray players.
Jul 14, 2013 by Tyler J. Nieuwendorp |  See all 2 posts
YES! It's true, it's the same in Kiki's Delivery Service.

Castle in the Sky, and Kiki's Delivery Service, were both released on dvd in 2003. Try your hardest to get those releases! Even if you had to buy them used, like I did. I know the English dubs on those releases depart more from the... Read More
Jul 5, 2013 by Goats |  See all 3 posts
Questions on the new 2010 release...
Yes, the new release of CASTLE IN THE SKY (well, 2010) has unfortunately omitted the remixed score as well as most of the extra dialogue from the dub. A lot of Ghibli purists, believe it or not, DETESTED the new score and think the older one, which isn't so constant, is superior, but personally... Read More
Apr 16, 2010 by Jonathon Turner |  See all 6 posts
Will This Be Released On Blu-Ray?
I don't know if it will, but if it does come to BluRay, it'll probably be in Japan first. I think it may happen though.
Jan 1, 2010 by Jonathon Turner |  See all 8 posts
Awesome movie Be the first to reply
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