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Laputa: Castle In The Sky

Laputa: Castle In The Sky“When you read that Laputa: Castle In
  The Sky
is from the brilliant Studio
  Ghibli stable, you can guarantee that
  you are in for a delightful interlude
  of pure escapism...

STUDIO GHIBLI'S LAPUTA: CASTLE IN THE SKY is one of the best films from the consistently fine examples of animé that regularly grace the silver screen.

From the creators of Spirited Away comes Hayao Miyazaki's homage to Jules Verne and Jonathan Swift, Laputa: Castle In The Sky. The first feature film from the now-legendary Studio Ghibli, the film is a superb combination of the Japanese master-director's twin obsessions of eco-thriller and aerial escapades.

On board a fantastic futuristic airship is a young girl, Sheeta (voice of Anna Paquin) wearing a very special crystal. When the airship is attacked by pirates led by the feisty Dola (voice of Cloris Leachman), she manages to elude both the pirates and the government agents detaining her. She slips and falls, miraculously floating down to earth where she is caught by Pazu (voice of James van der Beek), a young miner. Interesting to note that the scenery is very much like Cornwall and the local tin mines, but the houses look more like the industrial north of England.

Pazu believes in the power of the crystal, which has been in Sheeta's family for generations. Sheeta is drawn to a picture on the wall of Pazu's hut — it shows Laputa, the island that floats in the sky, which has passed into legend. Pazu explains that it has long been his dream to build a plane and find Laputa, which his father claimed to have seen and that was once a major power that dominated the entire planet.

Pursued by both the pirates and government agent Charles (voice of Michael McShane), who was holding Sheeta on the airship and is determined to have the crystal as there is reputed to be valuable treasure on Laputa, Pazu and Sheeta manage to escape after Pazu disguises Sheeta as a boy. On the run, Sheeta tells Pazu that she is an orphan and comes from Gondor, deep in the Northern Mountains.

Hiding out in the underground mines they meet Uncle Pomme (voice of Richard Dysart), who tells them more about the crystal and says that only the people that once lived on the floating city of Laputa knew how to make the crystals. He warns that if the crystals are used for selfish reasons they will bring great unhappiness.

Convinced that the crystal will indeed help them to find Laputa, Pazu and Sheeta set out on a mission. But the pirates and the army, led by a dogged general (voice of Jim Cummings) and helped by Charles, are hot on their trail.

What is Sheeta's real identity and will she and Pazu be able to unlock the secrets of the crystal and Laputa? Will they escape their pursuers and finally get to safety? Laputa: Castle In The Sky is a treasure hunt; an unforgettable adventure and a fight against evil that is utterly charming, totally unmissable and simply magical. All manner of wonderful vehicles enhance the story, including the airships, a marvellous retro car and an armoured train.

Laputa: Castle In The Sky also features: Mark Hamil as Muska; John Hostetter as Boss; Mandy Patinkin as Louis; Andy Dick as Henri and Peter Fernandez as The Narrator.

Executive Producer is Yasuyoshi Tokuma; Supervising Animator is Tsukasa Tannai; Art Direction is by Toshio Nozaki & Nizou Yamamoto; Original Music is by Joe Hisaishi; special Effects by Go Abe; Cinematography is by Hirokata Takahashi; Production is by Toru Hara & Studio Ghibli; Producer is Isao Takahata; Original Story and Screenplay Written & Directed by Hayao Miyazaki.

Studio Ghibli's Laputa: Castle In The Sky, directed by Hayao Miyazaki, comes to Blu-ray for the first time and is out on Double Play on 9 May 2011. Total Running Time: 124 Minutes | Catalogue No: OPTBD0291 | RRP: £24.99.

Extras: Storyboards (PiP)/Promotional Video (13 Mins) | Behind the Studio (12 mins) [new]: The World of Laputa, Creating Castle In The Sky, Character Sketches, Producer's Perspective: Meeting Miyazaki | Textless Opening and End Credits | TV Spots | Original Japanese theatrical trailers.

"Laputa: Castle In The Sky… is utterly charming, totally unmissable and simply magical"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar