A young boy named Pazu sees a girl slowly floating to the ground with a magic amulet. The girls name is Sheeta, who comes from a Castle in the sky called Laputa(Inspired by the book "Gulliver's Travels"). Pazu dreams of finding the Castle and Sheeta misses her life there. Along the journey they're being chased by an army lead by the villainous Colonel Muska and join a pirate crew lead by Captain Dola.
Our two main characters are characters I loved throughout the film. Sheeta is the typical innocent damsel in distress but I just love her. She's sweet, she's innocent, she has a tragic back story and there's never a moment where I found her bland. There are also moments where she does a few brave things, so I can't say she's not entirely a damsel in distress. Pazu the hero again I love him but then again he's not that heroic, he's like you and me. He's just a regular kid that has dreams and he gets mixed up in the action and goes from being useful to becoming heroic at the end. Yeah, they're really just cliched characters that we've seen a bunch of times, but I still find them lovable.
Now the supporting characters are just as likable as the main characters are. First there's Uncle Pom who acts like a crazy lunatic on the outside but at heart he's a very smart and wise old man. Then you have the Neighbors that fight with the people chasing after the characters. You also have a Robot that protects her. Of course the one who shows up the most is Captain Dola and her band of airborne Pirates. Captain Dola is always fun to watch and there's never a moment where I find her boring or unnecessarily over the top. At the first half hour of the film we're led to believe that she's the villain and seeing her become an anti hero brings a really good twist on the character. By the way, what's with the pirates having a crush on Sheeta.
Finally you have the films villain Colonel Muska. This guy starts out as a political Ahole to an over powered dictator. He's a villain, I really want to see get killed. He lies, steals, kills his own troops and uses the stuff in Laputa as weapons. If that's not villainous enough, he's voiced by Mark Hamill who's known as playing villains in animated films and shows. I guess Luke joined the dark side after all. His henchmen are basically army men but the one he spends the most time with is the General, who's a hot head and very over the top.
One of the great things about this film is it's full of action. The film starts out with a shoot out on an airship being invaded by Pirates, that's one heck of a way to start a film. Then you have chases on land and in the sky, fighting and shoot outs. The best action packed moment is when the giant Robot is protecting Sheeta from an army of soldiers. I won't give away of what happens but trust me it's really cool.
Now finally the animation. It's Hayao Miyazaki and most of his films are incredible. This is one of his best animated feature films. It looks amazing, it's very well detailed and feels like seeing a painting come to life in a few scenes. A few of my favorite animated moments is the Cave with rocks that glow, I love the designs for the airships and once again the action sequences look cool. Best part of the animation is Laputa which I will NOT spoil for you. I will however say it looks really really cool and amazing and the climax that takes place their is brilliant. As for the score, it's really really good and does a great job giving this film its atmosphere.
The film has great characters, funny ,suttle and action packed moments, great animation along with a good score and a very creativity premise with a landmark that kids are probably are going to look for when they're flying in a plane or watching the clouds.