Castle in the Sky ★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

this is the film i was least excited to watch in my month long miyazaki marathon. i should never be allowed to have an opinion again.

when it hits it hits really hard and when it misses it isn't excessively offensive. the end drags on a bit too long and the messaging seems very on the nose.

however, there is vastly more good than bad. the relationship between Sheeta and Pazu is one of the best i've seen. both are strong and independent, but work best together. they are not codependent as much as they are brought up by the other.

whenever miyazaki indulges in his obvious love for airplanes the passion comes through. laputa: castle in the sky works its way up from the mines to the clouds during the course of its heroes journey and not exclusively metaphorically.

the ensemble cast makes for comedic relief and a great foil to the whimsy of the main two. the juxtaposition of Sheeta and Pazu's friendship with the main villain's corruption drives a hard line between their motivations for discovering laputa.

my favorite part of this film was whenever the two leads interacted with the pirates introduced in the beginning. i love how miyazaki is able to realize the shades of grey between right and wrong behavior.

finally, the visuals. was it just me or has the distribution company not done the quality of the drawings justice? it looks like everything has been de-grained, flattened, and sharpened to hell. some lines look erased! am i crazy? maybe. probably. either way, these are some of miyazaki's best designs. they work well in their very well developed world with intricate and stunning backgrounds. yoshinori kanada steals the show in my opinion with an iconic scene with some iconic lightning effects.

i was very surprised and very impressed. i literally stopped it halfway through yesterday. this was dumb of me. as a whole, laputa rocks.