Castle in the Sky

Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta

dir. Hayao Miyazaki

TIFF Cinematheque - Retrospective

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In this dazzling action/adventure epic, a corrupt military regime and a band of sky pirates pursue a young girl who holds the secret to a legendary floating city.

Hayao Miyazaki's dazzling action-adventure epic was the first film released under the Studio Ghibli banner, establishing the studio's trademark art style, its tradition of strong female protagonists, and the political/ecological underpinnings of its intricate fantasies. The young heroine Sheeta possesses a powerful crystal that might hold the key to the discovery of Laputa, a legendary floating city concealed within a violent thundercloud. Escaping from the clutches of the sinister Colonel Muska, Sheeta joins forces with engineering apprentice Pazu and the two friends set out to find Laputa on their own, hotly pursued by Muska's men and a band of sky pirates lusting after Laputa's fabled treasure hoard. Released in an excellent English-dubbed version by Disney in 2003 (with the voice talents of Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, and Mark Hamill), Castle in the Sky is a luminous testament to the power of hand-drawn animation.