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Castle in the Sky (1986)

Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta (original title)
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1:05 | Trailer

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A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

Director:

Hayao Miyazaki

Writer:

Hayao Miyazaki
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4,291 ( 92)
Top Rated Movies #239 | 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anna Paquin ... Sheeta (voice)
James Van Der Beek ... Pazu (voice)
Cloris Leachman ... Dola (voice)
Mark Hamill ... Muska (voice)
Richard Dysart ... Uncle Pom (voice)
Jim Cummings ... General (voice)
John Hostetter ... Boss (voice)
Michael McShane ... Charles (voice)
Mandy Patinkin ... Louis (voice)
Andy Dick ... Henri (voice)
Corey Burton ... Additional Voices (voice)
John DeMita ... Additional Voices (voice)
Debi Derryberry ... Young Sheeta / Madge / Additional Voices (voice)
Eddie Frierson ... Henri (1989 Dub) / Old Engineer (1989 Dub) / Papa (2003 dub) / Additional Voices (voice) (as Ernest Fessler)
Susan Hickman Susan Hickman ... Additional Voices (voice)
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Storyline

A young boy stumbles into a mysterious girl who floats down from the sky. The girl, Sheeta, was chased by pirates, army and government secret agents. In saving her life, they begin a high flying adventure that goes through all sorts of flying machines, eventually searching for Sheeta's identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization. Written by Tzung-I Lin <tzung@hugo.att.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Japan

Language:

Japanese

Release Date:

19 July 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Castle in the Sky See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Laputa is based off of a levitating island in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. However the film had to have "Laputa" taken out of the titles in Spain and severl other Latin and South American countries because "la puta," in Spanish literally means "the whore." Miyazaki apologized for this, saying that Laputa was both meaningless in English and Japanese. See more »

Goofs

In the Disney dub, when Sheeta first shows her crystal to Pazu, she says that her grandmother gave it to her. But later on in the film, she says that her mother gave it to her before she died. See more »

Quotes

General: [when soldiers have gathered in observatory room on Laputa; Muska appears before them as a hologram]
General: What's going on?
Col. Muska: Hold your tongue, commoner! You are in the presence of the king of Laputa.
General: The man has gone *crazy*!
Col. Muska: I thought I would show you an example of Laputa's power. We are about to celebrate the rebirth of the Laputian kingdom.
[lowers crystal over the Black Stone]
Col. Muska: Prepare yourself for the thunder of Laputa!
[unleashes tremendous explosion from underside]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits show the remains of the castle Laputa floating on Earth's orbit. See more »

Alternate Versions

Four minutes are cut from the Hong Kong version making the film 120 minutes. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Neighbor Totoro (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Kimi wo Nosete (Carrying You)
Written by Hayao Miyazaki
Performed by Azumi Inoue
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A delightful fantasy that will bring out the child in anyone
5 October 2006 | by CsikosPostSee all my reviews

Have you ever wished that you could escape your dull and stressful life at school or work and go on a magical adventure of your own, with one of your closest friends at your side, facing all sorts of dangers and villains, and unraveling the mystery of a lost civilization that's just waiting for someone to discover all its secrets? Even if you're not quite that much of a fantasy-lover, have you ever wished you could simply experience what it's like to be a kid again, and not have a care in the world, for just a couple of hours?

This is exactly what Miyazaki's "Castle in the Sky" is all about. Pazu, a young but very brave and ambitious engineer, lives a rustic life in a mining town until one day, a girl named Sheeta falls down from the sky like an angel and takes him on a journey to a place far beyond the clouds, while all the while they have pirates and military units hot on their trail. Simply put, it is just the incredible adventure that every kid dreams of at one point or another, and I can't help but feel my worries melt away every time I see it.

As it is one of Miyazaki's older works and takes much place in the everyday world, the film is not as visually spectacular or deep in its storyline as Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, or even Princess Mononoke. Still, I find it difficult to say that any of these films are superior over the other, because all three of those films are, at some point or another, mystical to the point of being enigmatic, if not perplexing, especially for the youngest of viewers.

"Castle in the Sky", on the other hand, doesn't try so much to be an allegory of any kind, and it's not a coming-of-age story either; it is instead quite possibly one of the best depictions of the inside of a child's mind I've ever seen. Not only is the artwork beautiful, but the use of perspective from the kids' eyes is just amazing; whether it's the panning up of the "camera" to see the enormous trees or clouds overhead, or the incredible sense of height from looking down at the ground or ocean while hundreds of feet in the air, I just can't help but FEEL like I'm there with Pazu and Sheeta, just a kid in another world, far far away from reality.

Even the kids themselves don't have a complex relationship that suggests a need for hope like Ashitaka/San or Chihiro/Haku; Sheeta is Pazu's angel, having literally fallen into his life from the sky one day, the absolutely perfect person for him right from the very start. As the film progresses, more and more of their true adventurous childhood spirit comes out through their kind words and beautifully realistic facial expressions. Not only are they an adorable reminder of who I used to be, but their endearing friendship never lets up throughout the whole film, only growing stronger all the way to the last frame. For that reason, I've fallen in love with the two of them more than I have with any other Miyazaki couple.

At the same time, "Castle in the Sky" is such an easily accessible film because no matter what kind of casual moviegoer you may be, you'll be sure to find your fix here. Mystery, action, drama, comedy, suspense, sci-fi, romance, even some western...it's all here, just about everything people go to the movies for (except maybe horror). This why I can easily recommend it as a first Miyazaki film; it's perfect for those who have no expectations from having already seen the incredible otherworldliness of some of his more recent works.

Even the ending song of the film, when translated into English, conveys the sense of longing for the discovery of some kind of lost civilization, and some kind of soul-mate, that could not be found in our mundane lives. "The reason I long for the many lights is that you are there in one of them...The earth spins, carrying you, carrying us both who'll surely meet." Miyazaki has always provided poetic lyrics to make ending songs out of Joe Hiasashi's gorgeous scores, but this is the only one I've seen that's both a touching love song and an inspirational dream. I have found myself near tears just listening to it.

"Castle in the Sky" may not be Miyazaki's most developed, spectacular, or meaningful work, but it's absolutely perfect for what it really was meant to be: a true vision of childhood fantasy, and a wonderful escape from reality for any adults who wish they could have the same wonderful sense of imagination they had when they were just carefree little kids. Sit back, relax, and love it for what it is.


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