Blu-Ray Review: Laputa Castle In The Sky


LAPUTA – CASTLE IN THE SKY 

Reviewer Dexter Kong
Rated: PG
Release Date: mAY 9, 2011 (UK & Ireland)
DirectorHayao Miyazaki
CastMayumi TanakaJames Van Der Beek , Anna Paquin
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Studio Ghilbi are currently re-releasing their back catalogue of films on Blu-Ray. I’ve had the chance to check out a couple of movies. I found the picture quality in the transfers to be incredibly sharp, which really brings out the minute details in animation. So if you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli I’d definitely recommend investing in the Blu-Rays.

Laputa Castle in the Sky, released in 1986, is directed by Hayao Miyazaki. It is set an a steampunk-esqe world where the skies are dominated by airships.

The plot follows a young girl called Sheeta (voiced by Anna Paquin) who is being hunted by pirates, the army and a secretive government agent, Muska (voiced by Mark Hammil); for a necklace that she wears. It first manifest its abilities when she is snatched from an airship that comes under attack from Pirates. She falls to earth, but her mysterious necklace somehow slowly floats her to the ground when in danger. A young boy called Pazu (voiced by James Van Der Beek) spots Sheeta falling and goes to her rescue, he has a love of the skies and technology just like his father.

They both discover they are connected in some way to a floating castle in the sky called Laputa and set off to find it, and answers.

There are strong themes of mans control of technology. The ethics of using technology as war machines vs. helping mankind, as with the destructive mechanical beings we see.

It follows the same visual anime style as most Ghilbi films and in stunning high definition you can really appreciate just how much detail there is in the drawing of mechanical objects, gears turning, even in the details of the clouds.

The world doesn’t quite feel as populated or promising as the beginning offers. Though there is a lot of interesting visuals and action, it doesn’t quite hit the stride of other Ghibli films such as Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle.

MOVIE RATING: 3.5/5

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Extras:

  • Storyboards (PiP)
  •  Promotional Video (12 mins 38)
  •  Behind the Studio (11 mins 46) (new): The World of Laputa, Creating Castle in the Sky, Character Sketches, Producer’s Perspective: Meeting Miyazaki
  •  Textless Opening and End credits
  • TV Spots
  • Original Japanese Theatrical trailers
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