Laputa : Castle in the Sky (Tenkū no Shiro Rapyuta)
Director and Writer : Hayao Miyazaki
My very first impression about this movie is some adventure-type kid shows. But, as the show goes one, there’s a lot of pretty animation, setting, and character interaction that made me interest to keep watching until finished.
The plot started from Sheeta, the last princess of Laputa, who abducted by government agent because they want find the lost floating castle in sky, called Laputa, which had most sophisticated technology at that time and believe had lot of gold in there. During travel, Captain Dola and her air pirate crew strike to steal Sheeta crystal amulet. In middle of conflict between air pirate and government, Sheeta manage to escape from government airship, which technically fall off from there and saved by crystal amulet which make her float and land safely in small mining town. She passed out and later saved by Pazu, the orphan boy from that town.
Sheeta didn’t talk much about the abduction to Pazu, but she know she can believe Pazu genuine help. She also can relate to Pazu dream to find Laputa because Pazu Father lost in the middle of searching Laputa. The peaceful moment didn’t last forever because the air pirate crew come to Pazu house. Sheeta choose to escape by herself but Pazu decide to save her. The chasing started in town and ended by Pazu and Sheeta fall from railway, but then saved (again) by Sheeta crystal amulet that made both of them floating and land into small mine. In there, they meet Uncle Pomme who tell them that the crystal amulet is created from Volucite Crystal, crystal that originally come from Laputa. Knowing that and Sheeta story, Pazu decide to take journey with Sheeta to Laputa.
Unfortunately, Pazu and Sheeta captured by military government and taken to Fortress of Tedis. Sheeta told Pazu that her real name is Lucita Toel Ul Laputa and had royal blood related to Laputa castle. She worried Pazu safety so she ask the government to release him in exchange she will cooperate with government to find Laputa. Later on, Pazu ‘get paid’ by Government and expelled by them.
Pazu who feel defeated back to his hometown with self hatred. Surpisingly he ‘welcomed’ by Captain Dola and her crew in his home, mocked because his cowardness then feel motivated to go back and save Sheeta with Captain Dola and her crew, even he know Dola only want Sheeta’s crystal amulet.
At the same time, Sheeta accidentally activated the broken robot who come from Laputa. The robot starting rage when he detect there’s threat to Sheeta. He take Sheeta while destroying the entire fortress with his deadly laser. Sheeta still panic though because she can’t control the robot. The government fight back by shooting the robot with their strongest cannon in fortress. Before the Robot exploded, Pazu came and save Sheeta, left the Fortress into rain of fire.
Sheeta, together with Pazu, joins the Air Pirate to find Laputa Castle in sky while Musk and the Government follow along. Both of them succed strive into wall of cloud and storm, where the Laputa Castle floating inside. There’s no human remains in the castle except the birds and the robot who still functioning in there. Sheeta and Pazu can feel the peacefulness in the castle, not long after the Government strive and made them separated again. The Government starting the raid without doubt to stole every gold remains in castle. Musk different though. He come inside throne room with Sheeta forcefully, where he can control the special weapon in Laputa, which is the castle itself.
Same like Sheeta, Musk is royal blood of Laputa. He want conquer world by using Laputa castle as his ultimate weapon and ressurect Laputa from it’s extinction. In the middle of that chaos, Pazu comes after saving Captain Dolan and her crew. He succed saved Sheeta, even they both still lose because Musk had gun to threat them. They both planned to made Laputa self-destruct using Sheeta crystal power and secret code that only the royal blood know, even they both know they can die because this decision. The plan succeed, Laputa destroyed and Musk fall, probably dead, along with castle’s debris. Pazu and Sheeta, conveniently, saved by their last airplane. Captain Dolan and her crew also survived with some Laputa gold. They separate each other and the adventure of Laputa ends.
I understand this is a kid adventure movie. There’s a a lot convenient thing to Sheeta and Pazu to survive their journey, but then again, I feel it’s not in the degree of breaking the immersion. The relationship of Pazu and Sheeta is sweet and innocent. They still kids who oftentimes confused and scared of the adult’s mischief, but they still fight with their own way. It amazes me that they choose to make Laputa self-destruct in final act even that decision risk their very life. The main themes in the story I guess about anti-war message, which is corny for old man like me, but I still can enjoy for what it is because the MC is two innocent kid, which I can’t hate because their sweet relationship and innocent and brave act, not being annoying by doing cheesy stuff. Other than that, you can enjoy watch it by the beautiful setting, fluid animation, and sometimes cartoony comedic.