Castle in the Sky ★★★

The animation is lovely and the performances are wholesome but the story is immediately swallowed up by the grandeur of the world-building. The structure of this film kind of culminates as one huge-ass, beautifully fluid chase sequence. I just realized I don't think this movie actually contains a first act narratively-speaking. It feels like the opening sequence of the movie more accurately represents the transition point between the first and second acts as the story never seems to properly take time to ease us into what's going on. The characters are awfully contrived and I never got a sense anyone really had a unique personality.