Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta [Castle in the Sky] (1986)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Tenkû no shiro Rapyuta</strong> [<strong class="MovieTitle">Castle in the Sky</strong>] (1986)

(On DVD, September 2018) The reason why Miyazaki movies have endured is that they display, even thirty years later, a vast imagination that has not often been matched. In Castle in the Sky’s case, for instance, we have flying cities, duelling airships, robots and steampunk influence, meaning that it influenced and maybe even defined steampunk. Plot-wise, we have lost princesses, fighting empires, a pirate matriarch that evolves from villain to hero throughout the story … it’s a lot and it’s a lot of fun too. The quality of the animation can be disappointing by today’s standards, but it does have its hand-drawn charms and, after a while, you barely notice the low frame rate. There wasn’t anything quite like it in the American repertoire for a long while—and, in fact, you can argue that there still isn’t despite the recent rise of computer-animated movies. Castle in the Sky doesn’t always work, but it keeps trying until the end.

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