This classic from 1986 is one of the most popular and beloved movies to come from writer and director Hayao Miyazaki. It also happens to be one of the most creative according to many. Both an English redubbed version, as well as the original Japanese version, is available. It was actually Disney that officially brought the film to the West and redubbed it. Those who are purists, which include many anime fans, will likely want to try to seek out the original if they can. For those who aren’t familiar with the story and who are looking for a great classic anime, a brief description of the plot follows.
What’s It About?
The story is fantasy through and through, and that’s always where Miyazaki shines. At its most basic, this is the story of a young girl named Sheeta and the search for the fabled air fortress named Laputa, the last of the mighty air fortresses that once filled the skies. At that start of the film, Sheeta is aboard an airship and has been abducted by a secret government agent named Muska. During their flight, a group of air pirates attacks the ship trying to get at Sheeta’s crystal amulet. She ends up falling from the ship, but the amulet saves her from death.
She lands in a small mining town where she meets a boy names Pazu, who tells her that he’s been building a small aircraft so he can search for Laputa. Shortly thereafter, they’re chased by the pirates and then by Muska’s soldiers. We can’t really go too much further into the plot details without giving away too much of the story. Yes, even a film that’s going on thirty years old deserves to be spoiler free for those going into it for the first time!
What Makes It a Classic?
What’s not to love? It has an unusual setting, and you can see influences in the story from a number of different places, including Gulliver’s Travels. The story has adventure, fun, some scares, and an intriguing plot. It is easily one of the top anime movies of all time, and this is backed up by an audience poll of more than 80,000 people. If you haven’t seen it yet, or if it has been a while, it is time to get acquainted, or reacquainted, with this film. If you loved it when you were younger, why not show it to the kids?