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Castle in the Sky Reviews
Ranked #158 in DVD

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    Recommended? You Betcha!
    September 28, 2016

    Castle in the Sky is a film both written and directed by acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli. The film was released in its native Japan in 1986, and when Disney acquired the rights, it was dubbed for English-speaking audiences and released again in 1998.

    The story is about a boy named Pazu, who is working one evening when a girl named Sheeta floats down, unconscious, from the sky, aided by the glow of a mysterious necklace. Two opposing groups of people are after Sheeta and her necklace, which is a relic of a long-forgotten floating kingdom in the sky.

    This is one of the earliest films in the Studio Ghibli catalogue, and though it shows its age in terms of the animation not being quite as crisp or bright, it's still a wonderful film. It's one of my favourites when it comes to the story and its thematic elements, as well as the characters and their development. Out of all of Studio Ghibli's films, this one definitely has the most clearly defined villain. He is truly despicable.

    I have always enjoyed how Hayao Miyazaki puts strong female characters at the centre of his works, without sexualizing them or making them reliant on male love interests. Their roles are just as important as the men in his films, and they are always portrayed as unique and intelligent individuals. In a world where so many films, even animated films, have poor excuses for female characters, his always stand out, and they become great role models for girls and women of any age.

    The film is rated PG and has a running time of 124 minutes. Although there is no actual blood, the use of guns is quite frequent, and a grown man even shoots at a little girl. This may frighten some, so please use your beat judgment on who to show this to.

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