Movie Review: Castle in the Sky

Length: 124 min Rating: PG Director: Hayao Miyazaki  Genre: fantasy, action, adventure
Length: 124 min
Rating: PG
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: fantasy, action, adventure

A young boy stumbles into a mysterious girl who floats down from the sky. The girl, Sheeta, was chased by pirates, army and government secret agents. In saving her life, they begin a high flying adventure that goes through all sorts of flying machines, eventually searching for Sheeta’s identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization.


There was some math involved in the selection of this movie: love of graphic novels + search for quality movies = Hayao Miyazaki? Basically, I’ve decided that I’m so done what goes for a movie nowadays and wish that producers and directors would make use of the visual art form available to them rather than just pumping out tasteless movies just to make big bucks. So in my quest for movies that should be a movies I decided I was long overdue in watching one of Hayao Miyazaki’s.

The plot is touching, humorous, tense and captivating. It is wonderfully imaginative and unusual; a blend of fantasy with gritty action that never ceases to be wondrous.  I was eagerly anticipating the invention or fantasy scenery I would view next. Nothing is clear cut, and nothing is given away too easily. I was constantly surprised by small twists and turns in the story. The characterization is surprisingly good as well, slowly building portraits of each of the characters. It’s the little details and nuances that add to character development, and Castle in the Sky does this really well.

Visually, the film is quite stunning. The balance between dark and light is exquisite as is the vibrant colour scheme. Each frame is perfectly posed so that were you to press pause at any point during the movie, you would be left with a picture you could almost hang up on your wall. I was often so enthralled by the visuals that I found myself zoning out on the story. I think what will stick with me is not the story, but images of trains and robots and giant trees. Oh and I really enjoyed the music.

My only issue with the film, and this is on a personal note, is that I did not agree with the characters decision at the end of the movie, which ruined my experience slightly. There was so much more that could have been done with the elements set up in the story and I would have liked a different ending. However, don’t let this dissuade you, the movie is a hundred percent worth watching.

The Castle in the Sky is a great family movie that deserves a watch. I look forward to seeing more of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies!

Have you watched this movie? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


7 thoughts on “Movie Review: Castle in the Sky

  1. 3.5? Ah well, that movie is a 4.5 for me. I have seen all Studio Ghibli movies. I wanted to watch a movie to cheer me up and I picked Grave of the Fireflies without knowing what it was about… well, big mistake. It’s an incredible movie. When it comes to the Studio, Grave of the Fireflies is my top choice… I have seen them all, so I can point you to some, if you want!

      1. Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favourite directors.. and I don’t throw this word around! If I like one movie, I have to check all others out to check the director is consistent (in my own personal opinion)…. Hayao Miyazaki (well, studio ghibli) and Wes Anderson top my list!

        1. It’s the same for me. I don’t feel comfortable saying I like an author, singer, director… unless I’ve enjoyed the majority of their work. I think the only Wes Anderson movie I’ve seen is Fantastic Mr. Fox.

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