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Film Analysis - Laputa Castle in the Sky

Film Analysis - Laputa Castle in the Sky
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Here is the film review of Laputa Castle in the Sky. Hope you enjoy it.


Laputa- Castle in the Sky or "Tenkuu no Shiro Rapyuta" is an Anime film directed by Hayao Miyazaki in 1986 about the adventure of girl called Sheeta and a boy named Pazu as they find out the truth about Laputa, the Castle in the Sky. The story goes that Pazu rescues an unconscious girl (Sheeta) descending from the sky with a glowing pendant around her neck. He helps the girl to escape from the pirates and the military. They also find the secret of Laputa which Sheeta is suspected of being connected with. Laputa- Castle in the Sky was inspired by Gulliver's travels written by Jonathan Swift. It is rated PG.

Laputa- Castle in the sky is aimed at a younger audience who will enjoy the themes of the quest and happy endings. Although it is aimed at children people of all ages can enjoy this masterpiece created by Miyazaki.

Laputa- Castle in the Sky falls under the genre of anime or adventure. In Japanese this anime subgenre is called Komodo although the film incorporates high quality animation and themes like greed, love, courage, power.

The issues dealt with in Laputa include that for every bad trait in a character there is also a good one and this is demonstrated by Dola. It also proves that appearances may be deceiving. Dola seems to be quite evil and ugly but once the viewer gets to know her she becomes quite soft at heart. Although this is the case for Dola it isn't the case for Muska who stays the same throughout the movie. Love is another issue in the movie. Pazu and Sheeta are always together unless they are separated by the military.

Although Laputa- Castle in the Sky was produced in 1986 its animation quality can still rival other modern films. An exceptionally good piece of animation happened with the opening titles when the history of Earth, Laputa, flying machines and industry was shown. It shows the work as quite a bleak place with skies darkened by pollution and flying machines succeeding and failing. It also shows an old-fashioned image of a woman's head blowing wind. The yellow and dark tones reminds of paper or parchment that is old.

In the film Pazu is portrayed as a kind boy who already, despite his apparent age, has a job as an assistant in a mine outside the village that he lives in. He wears a brown cap with tinted blue flying goggles which in the storm makes him look much older than he really is. He also wears blue pants with a brown patch on his right kneecap. He also wears a white shirt which he constantly keeps rolled up. He also wears a green satchel bag which he uses to keep items in throughout the film. All of these features give Pazu the look a laborer.

On the other hand Sheeta starts the movie wearing a blue dress but ends up wearing pink oversized pants and a yellow long sleeved shirt that was given to her by Dola. She is always neat and her clothes are never stained. She gives of the opposite impression of Pazu.

The military seems to have a very similar uniform to the German army in World War I complete with the metal spike on the helmets. The weapons that the military uses are both old yet some aspects are advanced like the spy plane and Goliath. Laputa seems to be set in a parallel universe to our own. Most of the film seems to be set in the 1920s. Things like the Morse code communication system that Muska uses at the start of the film.

Muska can easily be seen as a government agent. He wears a clichéd suit with sunglasses and old style of tie. The two men who accompany him wear identical black suits and sunglasses. At times this outfit gives him a threatening feel.

Laputa- Castle in the Sky reflects the values of western cultures in the way the Japanese see it. All the characters in the Laputa are notably western. The reason for this is because the film was designed to succeed in the western world. The film might also reflect that because of the boom of industry particularly in western countries the world will become more polluted and reserves of metals and oil will disappear. This can be seen in the opening titles as well as early in the film when Pazu is working at the mine. He operates the crane which brings up the miners and a cart of rocks. They comment that there in no longer any more iron and not even silver.

Laputa- Castle in the Sky uses suitable music and high quality film techniques which makes Laputa a masterpiece. The use of the fanfare played by Pazu in the morning as a wakeup call suits the purpose of waking up Princess Sheeta. The music is also effective in times of action, where combined with the visuals creates a great atmosphere of excitement. The music throughout the movie can also convey feelings of fear, joy and relief at certain times.

The use of various combinations of close ups and long shots enhance the viewers understanding of the characters. Some examples include the close of up Sheeta at the beginning guarded by the government men on the airship which makes her seem very vulnerable. An example of the long shot being used would be when the army looted Laputa while Pazu and Sheeta looked on from the outside through a window. The scene gave the view a sense of the destruction that was going on. It also displays the greed of the general and his army.

Hayao Miyazaki was born in Tokyo on the fifth of January 1940. He started animating in 1963. His first film with Studio Ghibli was Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind in 1984. Hayao Miyazaki is strongly influenced by Marxism. He also loved flying so in all of his films there would be a flying scene this is partly because his family owned a business that produced wingtips for Zero fighters in World War II. He also believes in optimism and makes his films so that his young viewers can share his view of the world. Hayao also prefers boys to girls in his films as he says that this is no longer the era for men, and women should have an equal share.

Overall, Laputa- Castle in the sky is an adventure anime film that uses many techniques to make it an enjoyable masterpiece even twenty year after it was released and this aspect continues to make Laputa a success.

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