Studio Ghibli’s first feature film, Castle in the Sky is filled with otherworldly adventures worthy of Jules Verne. Young Pazu is an inventor who dreams of finding Laputa—a peaceful floating island in the sky built by an advanced, long-gone civilization. When Sheeta, a mysterious girl, literally falls (well, rather floats) out of the sky and into Pazu’s mining town, they become friends. But Sheeta’s pendant holds the secret to Laputa, and the kids are suddenly pursued by both evil government agents and a family of good-hearted aerial pirates. Set in an imaginary Europe of a century ago, Miyazaki’s hand-drawn film—accompanied by an unforgettable Joe Hisaishi score—won him the third Ofuji Noburo Award at the Mainichi Film Concours. Its timeless story of courage and friendship left a deep impression on Makoto Shinkai, who decided to follow Miyazaki’s path after seeing the film in high school. Shinkai’s Children who Chase Lost Voices is an homage to Laputa. The Harvard Film Archive will be screening a rare 35mm print of this Miyazaki classic.
Age recommendation: 8+. Scenes of gun violence and peril.