Before Spirited Away, Hayao Miyazake made some kickass adventure films; Disney owns the rights and they're gradually coming out on DVD. Castle in the Sky (1986), also known as Laputa, is available this month (no more links to amazon since they censored me). This is non-stop excitement and breathtaking art! The designs are straight out of Jules Verne and the scenery is based on Welsh mining country, where Miyazake took his animators for a sketching trip. In the scenes below (top to bottom), (1) a military airship docks at a castle before a fateful journey to the cloud city Laputa, (2) a gang of air pirates rides dragonfly-winged vehicles to rescue Princess Sheeta from the castle, (3) Sheeta awakens a dormant, damaged Laputan robot, and (4) discovers the crystal she's carried since childhood bonds her to it.

- tom moody 4-17-2003 7:29 am

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