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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 (395 customer reviews)

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Castle in the Sky + Princess Mononoke + Kiki's Delivery Service
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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: 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 (395 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZTQVHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,240 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

Amazon.com

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–winning director Hayao Miyazaki (2002, Best Animated Feature, Spirited Away). Plus, this 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 your 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
140 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Winsome fantasy April 17, 2002
Format:DVD
"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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173 of 195 people found the following review helpful
By K. Shin
Format:DVD
*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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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Admired and Adored Miyazaki Film January 24, 2002
Format:DVD
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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67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disney has utterly destroyed a wonderful film. May 15, 2005
Format:DVD
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 Fast and an awesome movie
These films are some of the best, especially for Animated movies. We enjoy watching them often and sharing them with our older children. I recommend them to anyone.
Published 12 days ago by Linda G. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Old is Gold!
The newly remastered anniversary edition completely ruined this wonderful movie! I grew up with this version and the background dialogue of the other characters is essential to the... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Theresa Herbold
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary!
This is my second view and it has become even more impressive. Really great movie. It makes me happy! Recommended.
Published 24 days ago by Tung LE
5.0 out of 5 stars Oooh Aaaaah
Our daughter & son-in-law are HUGE fans of this animation group, so this was an excellent present to add to their collection
Published 1 month ago by A. Bird
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest anime movie ever!!
This was a wonderful movie and I think disney did it good justice. I watched it twice the day I got it and it still never gets old. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Zach
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Movie
This was given as a Christmas present. I have not actually had the opportunity to see the entire movie yet. Read more
Published 1 month ago by T. Ransdell
5.0 out of 5 stars By far one of my top 3 Ghibli Films
Got this as a promo that Amazon was doing with all of the Studio Ghibli titles. I bought ALL of them. No Regrets! Read more
Published 1 month ago by ralynn
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
I chose 5 stars because it came exactly as posted. My son and I watched this unedited version. The new one on DVD is missing quite a bit.
Published 1 month ago by Susan E. Barbaran
5.0 out of 5 stars :)
My son saw this in school and was asking for it for the longest time - he loves it (he's 8 years old). I watched it with him when it arrived and I like it - good story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by JG
4.0 out of 5 stars "I was afraid you were an angel."
An animated fantasy film that doesn't quite deliver all that is promised (based on John Lasseter's misleading introduction and the marvelous illustrations, shown during the opening... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Einsatz
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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
Dubtitles
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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