When it comes to classics specially Studio Ghibli, one of those titles you can’t ignore is Laputa Castle in the Sky (Tenkū no Shiro Rapyuta). The film was officially released in Japan in august 2, 1986. This film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki is based on Laputa, a fictional place in the book “The Adventures of Gulliver” by Jonathan Switf (Haven’t read? What a shame, you should).
Now, thanks to Disney this amazing classic comes in a Bluray + DVD combo with a unique and elegant presentation, for the joy of not only the fans of the famous director, but for all anime lovers!
In ancient times an advanced civilization came to build and inhabit impressive floating cities, for some mysterious reason they left everything behind, only one of these cities remains, surrounded by myths and legends, Laputa!
The movie starts so phenomenally with sky pirates attacking an aircraft, yes .. Sky pirate, if that doesnt excite you nothing will, but believe me, you’ll like it!
Sheeta is a prisoner of Colonel Muska, a government agent. Sheeta has a crystal which is the target of pirates and the army, she falls into the void while trying to escape the ship and the crystal shows its mysterious power, slowing and softening her fall from the sky. There, a young miner named Pazu sees herl fall down and catches her with his arms.
Their joy will not last long, as both pirates and the army will go to the miner town in search for them, for the crystal which is the key to reveal the whereabouts of Laputa.
The military captures Sheeta, there it’s revealed that the Colonel just like Sheeta descends from the royal family of Laputa, an ancient Laputa robot that was salvaged by the army revives to protect her.
After this event Sheeta and Pazu join the pirates in search of the mysterious floating city! Now to the review.
The best no doubt, being a film by the famous studio and Miyazaki ensures great quality and unique visual style, something many modern films with GCI should learn from. From start to finish you will be delighted with the quality of the animation.
Character Design 8/10
The character design is good, especially if you like the work of Miyazaki in the decade of the 80’s you will enjoy a lot, which reminds me of the style used in Future Boy Conan (Mirai no Shounen Conan), a tv series that Miyazaki directed at the time, an anime I highly recommend you to watch.
Although I am not a fan of the english dub, I decided to watch this version before the japanese with english subs and did not dislike it as I thought at first, they made a good job with the dubbing. Voice acting including Mark Hamill, Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek and Cloris Leachman.
The packaging for this release uses a standard size Blu-ray case (no hinge) with two discs, a bluray and a dvd version of the movie. Sleeve with embossed lettering for the movie title and Studio Ghibli, featuring blue and golden for a pretty elegant presentation. The back cover display screenshots, bit of character art and a list of features.
The dvd include a presentation by John Lesseter, this is also included in the bluray dics plus Original Japanese Storyboards and “Behind the Studio” with a lot of bonuses such a The World of Laputa, Characters Sketches, Behind the Microphone and much, much more!
Bluray: 1080p High Definition / 1 85:1 aspect ratio, English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (48khz/24-bit). Japanese 5.1 DTS-HD Master audio Original Production Audio. English ESL & SDH and French subtitles.
DVD: Widescreen/1 85:1 enhanced for 16×9 televisions. Audio; English 5.1 Dolby Digital Language Track. Japanese 5.1 Dolby Digital Production Audio. English ESL & SDH subtitles.
What they did right
Where should I begin, from the amazing intro showing us the floating cities and ships, the charismatic and lovely characters, the epic mechas and aerial battles… Wowza!
It’s hard to describe how epic the movie is in few words, everything I said before and much more is what you’ll find in this film with a fantastic and very imaginative theme. As I said before this is one of those classics of Japanese animation that any respected anime fan must not miss!
What they did wrong
If any, I wish there was a better explanation of why the inhabitants of Laputa abandoned the many floating islands and the technology they did posses. You have to excuse me, one of my whims as a lover of anime and fiction.
What to say that hasn’t already mentioned in this review? A great classic of animation, one of those titles that no one should miss, whether you’re an old or new fan of Japanese animation, this film by Hayao Miyazaki is a must watch for any anime fan.
Giving the anime 9 rice balls out of 10
**A review copy of the Bluray + dvd combo pack was provided for this review.