#229: Castle In the Sky (1986/1999ish)

When and how did I watch this?

September 18th, 2015, on a friend’s Plex account.

Had I seen this film already?


What did I know about the movie before watching it?

Japanese animation, English dubbed by an ensemble cast.  A few people had told me this is a top-quality film.  The movie had a “family film” label on it.

What do I know about it now?

It instantly reminded me of Adventures of the Little Koala from my childhood.  I was captivated by the animation and artwork early on, and as the film moved along it became even more spectacular.  I was surprised with how much it resembled storylines from video games I played, along with how many people end up dying. Symbolism prevailed throughout, allowing accessibility for a wide age range. Longer than I expected (over two hours), which might lose a young viewer, or someone that’s holding a restless baby.

What are some themes in the film?

Greed, power, loyalty, fantasy/legend and reality, posterity (seems like most Asian films elevate this theme), destiny/fate

Did this affect me personally?

Yeah.  It had a nostalgic element to it, though I’m certain I’ve never come across this one before.

Why is this ranked #229?

Being anime helps, along with being a prevalent film in Japan, and then in the U.S. thereafter. I read that it featured Mark Hamill as a voice, but that didn’t seem like a big deal to me — perhaps the film’s rating was bolstered by that.  But credit is due: this is a powerful and well-drawn animated feature. I was impressed, and many others probably were.

Did my wife watch/like it?

She wasn’t able to stay awake, but it had nothing to do with the quality of the film.  She said she’ll get to it later.

Would I watch it again?

Yes.  I think this film deserves several re-viewings.

Would I recommend it to a friend?


Does it deserve to be on this list as one of the greatest films of all time?

It’s sort of a quiet entry, but it works well enough to be considered among the greats.

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