I am certainly not an anime expert - but after being in Japan for a couple of months last year I started developing an appreciation for this form of art. In particular, I fell in love with the work of Studio Ghibli, the Tokyo-based animation film studio which includes award director Hayao Miyazaki.
The other day I watched for the first time "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" [wikipedia | imdb], the first film created and released by Studio Ghibli in 1986. I found the cartoon so inspirational and touching that I though I'd post something about it.
The themes that emerge are not at all new in Studio Ghibli's anime: the love for a primordial dimension where nature still remains untouched; the celebration of the human values of honesty and respect for others; the relationship between technology and ecology; the fascination with sci-fi, futuristic worlds. All of this conveyed in two hours of Indiana Jones-style adventure..
[check out this youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3AN0eDxE7E I couldn't embed it due to copyright violation in some countries!]
Other information and reviews are available on this site, including:
Washington Post "Miyazaki's world, so full of color and life, is always just across the borderline of imagination"
Stomp Tokyo's Review "Although the basic storyline (intrepid young hero rescues princess) is as cliche as can be, the world Miyazaki has created here is unlike any you've seen in any animated film, especially one made by Disney. Vaguely post-apocalyptic, this (mostly) pre-industrial society has produced a mix of simple farm life and fabulously complex propeller-driven flying machines. Laputa itself is wondrous."
Anime World This story is one of the best I have ever heard and it is what makes this film really stand out. Twisting and turning, never giving you any clues as to what will happen next and keeping you constantly surprised and engaged, Laputa is a magnificent tale, the likes of which only Miyazaki could create.
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