HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
Shortcut
Stray
Butterfly Murders, The
Pimp
Feedback
Lady is a Square, The
Zack Snyder's Justice League
Dark Rendezvous
Silk Road
   
 
Newest Articles
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
   
 
  Laputa: Castle in the Sky flying dreams
Year: 1986
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Stars: Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Mark Hamill
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 8 votes)
Review: Laputa is Hayao Miyazaki’s perpetual motion machine. Like George LucasStar Wars (1977) or Walt Disney’s Pinocchio (1940) it is an ode to joy, movement and being young, headstrong and idealistic in a world alive with possibilities. It also features the wackiest array of airborne contraptions since Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines (1965). No accident, since Miyazaki is a huge aircraft buff. Following the box office success of Nausicaä from the Valley of the Wind (1984), he gave himself free reign to indulge his wildest flying dreams.

From the moment orphan heroine Sheeta leaps from an airship and plummets to the earth, the movie charges along like a runaway freight train. If My Neighbour Totoro (1988) is Miyazaki’s E.T. (1982), Laputa is his Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981). Sheeta’s life is saved by the necklace she wears containing a fragment of the Levitation Stone that powers the legendary flying island Laputa, and by boy hero Pazu. Another orphan, Pazu longs to fulfil his father’s dream and discover Laputa. A pirate gang led by the notorious Ma Dola are after Sheeta’s necklace, so Pazu brings her to his idyllic mining community. In the mid-eighties, ardent Marxist Miyazaki visited Wales for research and drew inspiration from the miners’ strike. Scenes of boisterous brawling and cartoon camaraderie recall John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941). Super-strong miners face down pernickety pirates. A muscleman flexes and rips his shirt. “Who is going to sew that back together?” quips his wife, cutting him down to size. A helter-skelter chase ends with the Dola gang beguiled by Sheeta’s innocence, while Ma melts at the kids’ blossoming love, recalling her own youthful romance. Everyone bonds against a common enemy: the corrupt military and psychotic secret policeman Muska. Pazu and Sheeta discover high-flying Laputa, a pastoral wonderland protected by gentle, giant robots. But Muska breaks in with his hidden agenda, to reactivate Laputa as an all-powerful superweapon. Can true love and youthful idealism rescue humanity?

Laputa is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride, mixing steampunk sci-fi, eco-politics, and heartfelt idealism. An extrapolation of Miyazaki’s earlier television anime Future Boy Conan (1978), it is a perfect introduction to his oeuvre, although maniacal Muska remains his only two-dimensional villain. The anime maestro crams his film full to bursting with shootouts, gravity defying leaps, shape-shifting robots and literary allusions (Laputa features in Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels). Yet it remains Miyazaki’s tightest screenplay, featuring some of his most moving scenes (the dying robots, Muska shooting off Sheeta’s pigtails – symbolic of her lost innocence), and persuasive political argument. You’ll never be more convinced that nature fused with technology can bring together idealistic workers, sentimental rogues, noble robots and selfless children to save the day.
Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3762 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: