Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

4.3 50
Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Cast: Hayao Miyazaki, James Van Der Beek, Anna Paquin, Mark Hamill


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Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy adventure Castle in the Sky begins with a chase scene through a flying ship, where all the passengers are after the young girl, Sheeta (voice of Anna Paquin). Going overboard to avoid capture, Sheeta is rescued by her powerful crystal necklace which floats her down to safety. She's recovered by Pazu (voice of James Van Der Beek), a


Hayao Miyazaki's fantasy adventure Castle in the Sky begins with a chase scene through a flying ship, where all the passengers are after the young girl, Sheeta (voice of Anna Paquin). Going overboard to avoid capture, Sheeta is rescued by her powerful crystal necklace which floats her down to safety. She's recovered by Pazu (voice of James Van Der Beek), a young resourceful boy who works in a small mining town. Sharing a common desire to see Laputa, the castle in the sky, Pazu and Sheeta team up to outrun the pirates and the military. Led by hard-bitten matriarch Dola (voice of Cloris Leachman), the pirates are a rowdy yet dimwitted group of brothers who are after Laputa's treasure. Led by the greedy yet civilized Muska (voice of Mark Hamill), the military is after Laputa's secret powers. Everyone races to get to the abandoned castle of Laputa, which has been overgrown with vines and plant life. Its only inhabitants are the animals and robots who protect a magical garden. As the different parties fight over who gets to control Laputa, it's up to Sheeta to use her ancient knowledge to save it from ultimate destruction. The English-language version also includes the voices of Mandy Patinkin and Andy Dick.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Perhaps the finest early creation by Spirited Away's anime auteur Hayao Miyazaki, Castle in the Sky (1986) is a soaring mix of gentle fairy-tale enchantment and high-flying aerial adventure. Inspired as much by Jonathan Swift (who conceived of the idea of a "castle in the sky" in Gulliver's Travels) as by Miyazaki's avowed love of aircraft, the story concerns two young children, Sheeta, a tragically orphaned girl, and Pazu, a boy determined to journey to a legendary kingdom in the clouds that his father once discovered. With the help of a band of air pirates (led by one of Miyazaki's most memorable creations, the fiery Ma Dola), Sheeta and Pazu make it to the castle in the sky, but only to face the threat of Muska, a scheming government agent who wants control of the kingdom's ancient-but-lethal technology. Although considered a box office disappointment when first released to Japanese theaters, Castle in the Sky retains all the linchpins of a Miyazaki classic: strong child characters, fantastic gadgets, and a visionary's sense of wonder. In a continued championing of the director's work, Disney's DVD offers a new English dub of the movie, featuring performances by Anna Paquin (as Sheeta), James Van Der Beek (as Pazu), and Cloris Leachman (as Dola). Volk Lindsay
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Inspired by a passage in Gulliver's Travels about a floating castle, Hayao Miyazaki created the myth of Laputa for Castle in the Sky. Well-suited to younger audiences, it's a fast-paced adventure story filled with many daring chases, captures, and escapes. One of the first feature-length animé films from Japan to receive international distribution, the setting has a strange Western feel to it with Industrial Revolution-style machinery and Caucasian-looking main characters. Being an aviation adventure, a lot of the action takes place in the air, with wildly contrasting flying machines and thousands of propellers. The design is especially notable when they all get to Laputa, which has a futuristic structure amazingly in tune with the natural surroundings. In this film, it seems that Miyazaki is developing the ecological themes, morally complex characters, and fantastic settings that he often returns to. For instance, the lovingly grotesque pirate mom Dora (excellently voiced by Cloris Leachman in the English-language version) manages to stride the line between good and evil like the characters in his subsequent works. Even the robots of Laputa are simultaneously creepy, destructive, and amazingly gentle beings. Though it's visually proficient and contains an expertly re-recorded musical score by Joe Hisaishi, some of the dialogue in the English version is corny and inconsistent with the original images. The story still delivers a standard fantasy adventure with glimpses of the director's trademark humanism and whimsy. Assembling the production team for Castle in the Sky led to the formation of the successful animation company Studio Ghibli.

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Van Der Beek Pazu [English version]
Anna Paquin Sheeta [English version]
Mark Hamill Muska [English version]
Cloris Leachman Dola [English version]
Richard Dysart Uncle Pom [English version]
Jim Cummings General [English version]
John Hostetter Boss [English version]
Michael McShane Charles [English version]
Mandy Patinkin Louie [English version]
Andy Dick Henri [English version]
Mayumi Tanaka Pazu [Japanese version]
Keiko Yokozawa Sheeta [Japanese version]

Technical Credits
Hayao Miyazaki Director,Original Story,Screenwriter
Joe Hisaishi Score Composer
Isao Takahata Producer
Yasuyoshi Tokuma Executive Producer
Tatsumi Yamashita Producer

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4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic humor, wonderful musical score, magnificent story with a voicecast to match! What could be better? My all-time favorite film from Miyazaki, I recently bought Castle in the Sky and Kiki's Delivery Service on Blu Ray and was disappointed (and pissed) to find out both of them had been edited compared to the 1998 and 2003 releases I grew up watching. For Castle in the Sky, though the timelength of the film is the same (2 hours, 4 minutes), some of the musical score is rearraged or changed all together and alot of the extra background chatter and more funnier quotes, especially coming from the pirates, were taken out. For Kiki, same situation: the two songs from intro and finale replaced by original Japanese music, some of the musical score taken out, as well as most of the comments coming from Jiji the cat, voiced by the great and late Phil Hartman. Highly offensive considering that movie was one of his last!!! My Advice? While most movies are a wonder to watch in Blu Ray quality, I recommend the 2003 DVDs or VHS tapes of these two Miyazaki masterpieces. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
VinodPalSingh More than 1 year ago
A cartoon movie from HAYAO MIYAZAKI, rest assured that storyline would be wonderful, visuals would be absolutely stunning and above all it would be emotional. CASTLE IN THE SKY is a story of a girl from an enigmatic location floating in the sky. Everyone, from gov officials to sky pirates, is after her for their on selfish ends. But, she is not alone ....
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EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
*Great animation, good storyline with a "cool" and "neat" protagonist, and the other characters are developed enough for you to enjoy this voyage. This DVD is suitable for 10 to 14 year olds; it has some action violence.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful, clever story. Really well done. Animation is breathtaking. I hope that some of the story isn't lost in translation, because the subtitled story is really well thought out, and artfully done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a good movie but kinda wierd, if u like that kind stuff. It's a fantasy about 2 kids who find an old flying island
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was a great, It had the Indiana jones type action, love , and the casual eerie yet very interesting and cool Miyazaki type piece to it the music was great the animation was perfect I'd recommend it to anyone and I mean anyone
Guest More than 1 year ago
This one is my least favorite Miyazaki film. The characters were not very interesting, the animation was not too good, and what is with that whole fist fight in the street scene?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is another example of Hayao Miyazaki's great artistic talent. His collaboration with Studio Ghibli always creates masterpieces.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My God Castle in the sky sucks big time. The original laputa, that was put on TV in the UK is far superior. If anyone can tell me where this copy is available please will you text me at Thanx
Guest More than 1 year ago
you should show this movie to the little chiledren. it create imagination and dream!
Guest More than 1 year ago
it was awesome....laputa is the coolest castle thing with the etherem cyrstal!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this movie was utterly, stunningly, gorgeous. It is not violent or sexual anime, which I think is why some other reviewers were...disappointed. Rather than an action flick (though there _is_ action) it is a parable about violence, technology, and the human spirit. I would recommend it to any thoughtful adult.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK, so I never really did get to love this film, but I bought it anyway because I'm collecting all the Miyazaki films. It's really my 5th pick for Best Miyazaki Films, so you can see that I don't really reccomend it. I definitely liked Princess Mononoke better. Anna Paquin could have done much, much better, but Mark Hamill and Cloris Leachman did an OUTSTANDING job. Personally, I think it was some of the actors' faults for not bringing the movie to life enough. I seriously skip the scene with the mine because it's so dull (but you really need to see it in order to understand Sheeta's crystal's power). The ending, I think most people will agree, is not good. The story needs to go on at least to say where Sheeta and Pazu finally end up! As a lover of anime, you've got to take it from me: this isn't the best anime. I'm not saying don't buy it, just that you might want to really, REALLY think about it before you do. But I do have to salute Mark Hamill for his performance. Awesome!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The new voice acting and sound track totally butcher the film, the original English version was one of my favourite films of all time however I think I've worn out the tape. The voice acting is extremely poor and the music isnt a patch on the original. Rather than complement the beautiful artwork and wonderful story line it clashes with horrific results. However, with all the above the story is still fantastic, as is the original artwork. As above, if any knows where to find the original please contact me at
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw this title originally waaaay back in 1985-86 when I caught a sneak preview at a convention in San Jose, CA. Couldn't wait for it to come out on LD. Fast forward nearly twenty years and finally, here it is. Odd to see after so long. At the same time, it is about time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This, as with most of Miyazaki's titles, is a feast for the eyes, for the intellect, for the soul, and for all ages. These seeming boundaries are effortlessly dissolved by one of the modern world's master storytellers, who deserves even far more celebration internationally than he is currently given. Sit back and and quietly enjoy as Ojiisama spins another enthralling yarn. With the success of Princess Mononoke and Sen To Chihiro (Spirited Away), the rest of the world is finally slowly waking up to the rare brilliance of Miyazaki Hayao. The fact that some of his finest work is STILL not available to the rest of the world in its original form is criminal. Here in Japan, Miyazaki is a household word. I have been tearing my hair out to find a region 1 version of Laputa, as well as of Totoro and Nausicaa, with original Japanese audio and English subtitles. I don't know why that's so much to ask, but apparently it is. (Incidentally, if anyone wants to help me out with information, I would be grateful.) I can't even tell if this version of Laputa has the original Japanese audio or not, but I won't buy it until I'm sure. I'm also reading in the reviews on this thread that the soundtrack has been tampered with as well, which isn't encouraging. The original music is fine, and often BEAUTIFUL. It was also composed by Miyazaki himself. WHY tamper with it? Maybe the producers of this DVD couldn't get the rights, I don't know. A visit to the model of Miyazaki's study in the Ghibli museum in Mitaka reveals a glimpse of his wealth of knowledge of and respect for all things organic and devised, which finds its way into, and augments the richness of, his stories. His bookshelves are loaded with volumes on history (his books on the history of the U.S. Navy alone take up an entire shelf!) art, landscapes, human form, crafts, photography, architecture, technology, as well as fiction. His desk is flooded with stacks of CDs which engulf a player and the headphones plugged into it. Laputa definitely has all of the themes one would expect from a Miyazaki film: timelessness, respect for nature, whimsical technology that seems to be based on historical designs, yet are fantastical creations all their own, seemingly futuristic and rustic at the same time (an airship powered by propellers, communication by telegraph), child heroes, and a wealth of three-dimensional characters that constantly defy the stock Western profiles of 'good guys' and 'bad guys.' Also, as in his other films, Miyazaki gives Laputa a somewhat open ending, something else that may be uncomfortable to Western viewers. This is one of his trademarks, however, and part of what has come to be expected from his Japanese fans who love him so. As one of my students, a 14 year-old girl from Kagawa explained it, he leaves it to our own imaginations to wonder how and where the characters finally 'end up.' In Miyazaki's world, as in our world, there is no end. Just as every history is merely a part of a bigger one, so Miyazaki does not follow every line to the end. Instead he weaves his tales into the latticework of a bigger, yet untold tale.
Guest More than 1 year ago
okay so the movie was one of this guys best works second to Nausicaa in my opinion. but watchinga dubbed version is torturing, the original japanese recording with english subtitles is thse best way to watch
Guest More than 1 year ago
Castle in the Sky alonge with every other movie by Hayao Miyazaki is ensperational and heart worming films. They worm the hearts of the viewers and can show them how hard but special life can be. I know that these films will always be remembered and thought of along with Hayao Miyazaki time and time again for making such master pieces. Thanks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a fan of Miyazaki's films, I can proudly say that Castle in the Sky is my favorite. Although the animation is old-this film was originally out in 1985/86-it still contains a well written story, lovable characters, and outstanding music. It is the story of Sheeta, an orphaned child, and Pazu, an eager boy struggling to redeem his father's name. The pair meet after Sheeta carefully falls from the sky, with the help of the ancient crystal. Both seek a castle in the sky, Laputa. As does the military and a gang of pirates led by the rowdy Dola, voiced by Cloris Leachman. Being pirates, they are after the treasure. Whereas the special government agent Muska, whom is voiced by Mark Hamill, is acting leader of the military, and only wants one thing. The ancient power of Laputa. The three sides meet and Sheeta must decide to let Laputa fall into the hands of an abusing power or save Laputa the only way she knows how. Immerse yourself in this witty tale spiced with action, science fiction, technology, and a hint of romance. If the film itself does not capture you, the characters or the musical score will. You will not be disappointed with this work of Miyazaki.