Castle in the Sky Review: The First Indicator of Studio Ghibli’s Greatness.

4 and a half stars
With many of Studio Ghibli’s films having come to Netflix, I figured that now was the perfect time to watch them for the first time.
And what better film to start with than the studio’s first film, Castle in the Sky?
Directed by the great Hayao Miyazaki, the 1986 film follows two children, Pazu (Mayumi Tanaka) and Sheeta (Keiko Yokozawa) on their journey to find Laputa, the legendary floating island.
With Sheeta being pursued by both the military and a family of pirates, Pazu vows to protect her, and thus begins an adventure that is a magical experience.
Despite being decades old, the animation of Castle in the Sky is still great, with the OP using an art style that is unique compared to the rest of the film and really stands out.

Op castle in the sky
Castle in the Sky has a lot of excellent animation moments, especially in the OP.

Other outstanding animation moments include the reveal of Laputa itself and a particular shootout during the film’s midpoint.
Along with the animation, the characters are also especially endearing.
Pazu and Sheeta are both relatable and you root for them the whole way through.
But my favourite character is definitely Dola (Kotoe Hatsui), the leader of the pirates pursuing Sheeta.
Originally, I thought she would turn out to be a one dimensional antagonist but this perception was quickly proven wrong when she took on an unexpected role in the story that made her all the more likeable.

Dola appeared to be a one note villain upon her introduction but quickly became the film’s most likeable character, for me.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the main villain, Muska (Minori Terada), who is as one dimensional as they come.
Thankfully, the other characters are nowhere near as bad, with even some of the side characters having stand out moments, like Pazu’s boss.
Overall, Castle in the Sky is a very enjoyable film with great animation for the time, an interesting plot and memorable characters.

Pazu and Sheeta
All in all, Castle in the Sky was a great film for Studio Ghibli to start off with, as it serves as an indication of the quality films to come.

I cannot wait to watch the rest of the Studio Ghibli films on Netflix, which you can expect to see my reviews of after I watch them.


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