Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • PG
  • Adventure, Animation
  • 1986
  • 120 mins

Castle In The Sky

Film4 Castle in the Sky

Synopsis

An orphaned boy and girl go in search of the mysterious floating kingdom of Laputa in this engaging animated feature from Hayao Miyazaki

Critic's Review

Possibly the most quintessential adventure from Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki, Castle In The Sky (aka Laputa: Castle in the Sky) distils the artist's key obsessions into a story that takes Swift's Gulliver's Travels as its starting point and then spirals off in all kinds of directions that would leave the eighteenth century satirist reeling in (possibly delighted) shock. With its understated ecological message, asides on the importance of gainful employment, orphaned pre-pubescent hero and heroine and overarching belief in the liberating power of flight, this is the film that sums up the exhaustingly inventive beauty of Miyazaki's work.

Young orphan girl Sheeta (Keiko Yokozawa; or Anna Paquin in the US dub) discovers that she is the heir to the throne of an ancient airborne society. She hooks up with another orphan, a young member of a mining community named Pazu (Mayumi Tanaka; or James Van Der Beek), and together they try to elude the military forces pursuing Sheeta and make their way to the lost kingdom of Laputa.

While story and animation may not be quite as sophisticated as that found in Miyazaki's masterpiece Spirited Away, the seriousness of the underlying themes is often quite surprising. Yet what is really amazing is just how much imagination Miyazaki expends on filling in the details of this strange new world, sketching away at airships, rampaging robots and cloud-covered floating cities with a visionary flourish that's frequently astonishing. Like Leonardo Da Vinci sketches come to life, Miyazaki's flying contraptions are a sight to behold, rivalled only by the film's epic sweep and non-stop parade of action set-pieces.

In a nutshell: A sprawling airborne adventure, this is one of Hayao Miyazaki's most characteristic films with an action-packed storyline and a range of quite remarkable visual flourishes bolstering his customary thematic concerns.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Minori Terada, Fujio Tokita, Richard A Dysart, James Van Der Beek, Mayumi Tanaka, Keiko Yokozawa, Mark Hamill, Jim Cummings, Kotoe Hatsui, Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman
  • Director: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Screen Writer: Hayao Miyazaki
  • Producer: Isao Takahata
  • Composer: Joe Hisaishi

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

    Lily Collins stars in Harald Zwart's fantasy action-adventure, based on the first novel in Cassandra Clare's bestselling series for young adults.

  • Film4

    The Rise

    Luke Treadaway, Neil Maskell and Timothy Spall star in this Leeds-set heist caper, the debut feature from writer-director Rowan Athale.

  • Film4

    This Is 40 on Film4

    (2012) 124 mins 15 Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star in writer-director-producer Judd Apatow's relationship comedy-drama, a 'sort of sequel' to his second hit feature, Knocked Up.

  • Film4

    The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones on Film4

    The first installment from Cassandra Clare's bestselling YA franchise starring Lily Collins.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Channel 4 announces major increase to Film4 funding

    Film4 funding has increased to a record £25m in 2016, with major new deals announced with Fox Searchlight and FP Films. Film4 will be backing new work from Lenny Abrahamson, Yorgos Lanthimos, Andrew H

  • Channel 4 Blog

    The 36th London Film Critics Circle Awards

    The Film4-backed 45 Years takes Best Actor, Best Actress and Best British Film at the 36th London Critics' Circle Film Awards Other prizes for Film4-backed films included Breakthrough Filmmaker for d

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share