Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky

Phil Kim

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I'm surprised by relatively low amount of discussion on this title. While I love Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away, Castle in the Sky is Miyazaki's first true masterpiece.

Clocking in at 125 minutes, Miyazaki spends a good deal of time developing the story (it's one of the best developed animes I've seen) and when the moment comes, it's truly a "wow" moment.

As an older film, Castle in the Sky may not look as amazing as later films, but the print is in very good shape overall. Disney went a bit aggressive with edge enhancement (contributing to a bit of halo and compression artifacts), but overall, it looks very good in anamorphic 1.85:1 transfer.

Unlike Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away, only the English dub is presented in 5.1-channel Dolby Digital (with good deal of bass), but the Japanese soundtrack is more than adequate. The English dub uses many well-known actors (e.g., Mandy Patinkin, Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Andy Dick), but the translation is often out of place.

Supplements are pretty sparse: introduction by John Lasseter, English dubbing session featurette, teasers and trailers, and on second DVD, a complete storyboard with soundtrack.

Overall, if you loved any one of Miyazaki's film, you are probably gonna love Castle in the Sky as well.
 

Lou Sytsma

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Thanks Phil - I picked up the other two and have waited on this one as I hadn't heard much about or seen anything review wise.
 

HowieG

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Oct 30, 2000
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Also, Castle in the Sky's Japanese track has the original music by Joe Hisaishi as well, which is way cool.

I especially like comparing that score with his new (bigger) one commissioned for Disney’s later U.S. English track release (which I guess never happened).

It’s very interesting to hear how music is used for U.S. consumption and in other parts of the world. I must say that I like both myself…
 

Aaron Cohen

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Jul 25, 2002
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I'll post my thoughts after viewing the film. I'm preparing for it to be amazing. I also own and have seen Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, and Kiki's Delivery Service. I'll get around to watching Castle In The Sky later today most likely.
 

David Lambert

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I'll just be brief and say that I agree with Phil, as does my wife: This was a fun and adventurous film that was beautifully animated and the English dub (sorry Jeff & Rob...it's hard to enjoy these in OSL with a 5-year-old who cannot read) was quite enjoyable and entertaining.

The long wait from the tease at the end of the old Kiki VHS was well worth it; my entire family loved this early Miyazaki classic!
 

Jon Martin

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I rented it last week and can't say I agree.

Liked the animation, some stunning scnes. But storywise, it wasn't up to the others. Not at all involving and could have easily been edited down quite a bit.
 

Jeff Ulmer

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Too bad they had amateur compressionists on all the Miyazakis. I can't say I've seen that many compression artifacts in a single feature in years.
 

Matthew_Millheiser

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May 1, 2000
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Castle in the Sky is my favorite Miyazaki. I think he's firing with full cylinders on that one.

Pazu and Sheeta are two of the greatest screen heroes ever!
 

Aaron Cohen

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Jeff, I thought the Spirited Away transfer was wonderful! Castle In The Sky and Kiki's certainly could have been a lot better, but I'm just glad they're out! Going to watch Castle In The Sky now! (my judging of the transfer stems from me cuing up a few different scenes and looking at it when I first bought the dvd, my opinion might change after watching the whole feature)
 

Jeff Kleist

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Unlike Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away
Kiki's J track is 2.0 stereo, as it should be.

Castle in the Sky has had the score totally re-recorded for the dub track, and the extra music that Disney commissioned (which was composed and directed by Joe Hisaishi, the original composer) radically alters the tone of the scenes.
 

TheLongshot

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It is probably on the bottom of the list of Miyasaki films, mainly because it doesn't feel mature. There's a lot of things going on, but not a whole lot of setup and backround information for this world.

That doesn't mean it isn't good, since it still rates an 8/10, it is just in comparison to his other works.

One thing I do want to comment about is the subtitles. What is the deal with the crappy timing on these subtitles? There are a lot of times that they are off and some stuff that isn't translated. I'm pretty sure I got the right subtitle track too, since the other one looks like the CC track (names before each character speaking.)

Jason
 

Aaron Cohen

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Jul 25, 2002
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I just finished watching Castle In The Sky and I loved it! I definitely noticed the compression artifacts, but ah well...

Only thing I noticed that seemed a bit out of the ordinary was something in the upper left corner of the screen. I am viewing the film on a widescreen tv and the film fits the screen (1.85 film). However, every now and then, upper left corner of the screen showed area that looked like black bar. It happened all throughout the film at different points. I can try and get an exact time. Is this just the way the film is? It would catch my eye everytime it happened but was not too distracting. It was like the picture was dipping down or perhaps part of it was covered up? Let me know if anyone else saw this!
 

Aaron Cohen

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A specific moment is at the 1 hour 43 minutes and 49 seconds mark. When it happens it happens for several seconds and happens many, many times throughout the film. It's almost like the picture is bending a bit!
 

Richard Kim

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Castle in the Sky is my favorite Miyazaki film, after Spirited Away. Pazu and Sheeta's love for each other, so innocent and trusting, was very touching, and the best part of the film.

The dub was actually pretty good, although James Van Der Beek was too old to play Pazu.
 

Damin J Toell

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It is encoded as such, but is a 2.0 mix.
Then when it was encoded as 5.1, it stopped being 2.0. Even if the track contains mono surrounds and the LFE channel is empty, each channel is encoded discretely and it is no longer properly called a 2.0 mix. The X.X format of describing soundtracks describes the way the track is actually encoded on the disc (or film, or tape, etc.), not how the mix was made. This is how we're able to have otherwise contradictory animals like "2.0 mono"; the mix might only have been for a 1.0 mono track, but the encoded track itself is 2.0 and is only properly referred to as 2.0. Referring to such a 2.0 mono track as 1.0 because of the mix would be erroneous.

DJ
 

Russell G

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I just got a DVD-Rom and could not get Castle to play. Interactual player came up saying it couldn't find a registry and to check for updates. On the site it says my player is updated. I downloaded the most recently released Interactual player, and the same thing happened. Anyone else experiance this problem? I have not tried other DVDs (havn't had a chance, and this thread jogged my memory), the register online feature worked, but the disk menues wouldn't play, nor the movie.
 

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