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Castle in the Sky

4.5 out of 5 stars 620 customer reviews

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(Apr 15, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

CASTLE IN THE SKY

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

  • Introduction by John Lasseter
  • Behind The Microphone - voice talent featurette
  • Original Japanese trailers
  • Complete Japanese storyboards

Product Details

  • Actors: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Richard Dysart
  • Directors: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Writers: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producers: Hideo Ogata, Isao Takahata, Tatsumi Yamashita, Todd Olsson, Yasuyoshi Tokuma
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English, French, Japanese
  • 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: Walt Disney Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 15, 2003
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (620 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JKYG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,799 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Castle in the Sky" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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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 ›
22 Comments 237 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
More than four years ago I rented the VHS tape of Kiki's Delivery Service, and there was an ad for Castle in the Sky before it. It was listed as "coming soon."
Since then, I've gotten the Japanese version of Castle in the Sky on DVD, and I love it. However, I'm still baffled by the fact that Disney has paid professional actors to voice the characters and gotten the film prepared for release in the US -- even advertised it -- and has since then just sat on it.
It's almost criminal to hold such great films as Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, and Pon Poko in your possession and not share them with the English speaking world.
If and when they see the error of their ways and make this film available, do yourself a favor and buy it. We need to let the media juggernauts know how much we love Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli.
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