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Castle in the Sky

4.5 out of 5 stars 581 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The magic touch of master animator Hayao Miyazaki is visible from start to finish in CASTLE IN THE SKY -- an imaginative tale full of mystery and adventure. The high-flying journey begins when Pazu, a mining apprentice, finds a young girl wearing a glowing pendant and floating down from the sky. Together, they discover both are searching for the legendary floating castle, Laputa, and vow to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal around her neck. Their quest won't be easy, however. There are air pirates, secret agents, and astounding obstacles to keep them from the truth -- and from each other.

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

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

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: Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Unknown)
  • 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 (581 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002ZTQVHK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,391 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Castle in the Sky" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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...
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
Don't get me wrong, Laputa is one of my all-time favorite movies, and not just for animated movies, and I've eagerly awaited the region 1 release of this DVD (I already own the region 3 release), only because I thought Disney will do a decent job of translating this anime masterpiece in a respectful, and most importantly accurate, way like they did for Mononoke Hime. After all, isn't it in the Disney-Ghibli-Tokuma contract that NOTHING can be changed in the process of traslation? Miyazaki's masterpieces are like the music of Mozart, take away or add one note anywhere, and you'll end up destroying the whole thing. But Disney thought they can improve upon perfection and boy did they do a butcher job to Laputa! First they thought the attention span of American audience is so short that they have to fill every quiet moment with musical background, just like in Hollywood movies. While Joe Hisaishi did a superb job with the updated score under the circumstances, it really distracts from the mood of the movie, because those quiet moments are meant for us to ponder, to reflect and to pick out the subtle background sounds from the movie, but all that is lost by filling almost every minute with background music. But the worst offence of all are the awful voices and the bad bad alterations in the dialog. If you put on the Japanese audio track while watching the English subtitle (dubbed version), you can see the difference even if you don't understand Japanese. My estimate is that there are twice the amount of dialog in the American dub as in the original. Places where the characters shouldn't be talking are replaced by useless remarks or explanations. And worse, many of these remarks are spoilers of things to come!Read more ›
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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
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
Nausicaa prequal?
I think it's funny that people are saying the two are unrelated without any proof. There is in fact much more evidence supporting the theory than disproving it.

It is very likely that the golems of Laputa were eventually developed further into the giant warriors. Their designs are unquestionably... Read More
Jan 1, 2014 by Jack |  See all 4 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
Does the blu-ray release have the same awful problems? Be the first to reply
Awesome movie Be the first to reply
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