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Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ Tenkū no Shiro Rapyuta?) is a 1986 Japanese animated adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki and is also the first film produced and released by Studio Ghibli. The film was distributed by Toei Kabushiki Kaisha. Castle in the Sky won the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 1986.


An airship carrying a young girl, Sheeta and her abductor, a secret agent working for the government named Muska is attacked by the air-pirate Dola and her sons in search of Sheeta's crystal amulet. In the resulting struggle, Sheeta falls from the airship, slowed by the amulet mid-fall. Floating safely down to a small mining town, she is discovered by a boy named Pazu, who takes her into his home to recover. On waking, Sheeta is surprised to find that Pazu is building a small aeroplane, with the intention of finding the lost city of Laputa, as his father had taken a photograph of it while flying. She tells him that her family lived in a small valley to the north named Gondoa, and that she had lived alone once her grandmother had died, until being abducted by Muska and his agents. Later in the day they are pursued by Dola's pirates, and later by Muska's soldiers. Eventually, the two fall into an abandoned mine, where they encounter the local eccentric 'Uncle Pomme', who informs them that Sheeta's amulet is one of the 'volucite' crystals formerly used to keep Laputa aloft.

Upon leaving the mines, Sheeta reveals her full name of 'Lusheeta Toel Ul Laputa'; after which they are captured by Muska, and when Pazu tries to defend Sheeta from the soldiers, he is knocked out in the process and is taken to the fortress of Tedis; Pazu is imprisoned in the fortress' dark, cold and damp tower while Sheeta is imprisoned in a more lavish room. Later, Muska shows Sheeta a dormant Laputan robot and reveals his knowledge of her secret name, which he interprets as that of a Laputan royal line. Muska then threatens to have the military kill Pazu if Sheeta refuses to cooperate. To prevent this from happening, Sheeta orders Pazu to leave for his own safety. Distraught, Pazu returns to his own house, only to be dragged forcibly inside the house by Dola's sons and tied up. After being questioned harshly and rudely, Dola explains to Pazu that Sheeta was forced to tell him this to protect him. She also explains that once Muska has what he wants from her, he will most likely kill her. Upon hearing that airship, Goliath will be taking off with Sheeta to find Laputa, Dola and her sons prepare to intercept and capture the crystal. Pazu asks Dola to join her pirates to save her. Dola initially refuses but, after a moment of thought, reluctantly accepts and cuts Pazu loose and immediately leaves for the fortress of Tedis. Sheeta, retained by Muska, recites an apotropaic verse and unexpectedly activates the amulet and the robot, who proceeds to destroy the fortress, while Pazu and Dola's pirates embark in winged 'flaptors' to rescue Sheeta themselves. Meanwhile, the robot seizes Sheeta, but when struck by Muska's artillery, it retaliates against the fortress until Sheeta orders it to cease, losing her amulet in the process. The robot is then overcome by Goliath, and Pazu rescues Sheeta while Muska obtains the amulet.

The pirates, accompanied by Pazu and Sheeta, return to their airship Tiger Moth, where Dola assigns Sheeta to the galley and Pazu to assist her engineer, and in which they pursue the direction identified by Sheeta's amulet as that of Laputa, while Muska follows in the same direction in the Goliath. Both airships arrive at Laputa the following day, where the two children, separated from Dola's pirates, discover a city devoid of human life but possessed of a park-like woodland with a gigantic "Eternal tree of life", maintained by a robot resembling that of the fortress. Muska's soldiers plunder the city's treasures, holding Dola's pirates captive, to have them lynched. The ancient city is revealed to be twofold; a crumbling, overgrown yet beautiful ruin of a castle above, and a perfectly preserved scientific marvel below, utilizing the ultimate evolution of the crystal levitation technology displayed by Sheeta's amulet, as well as holography, magnetic cohesion, pseudo-nuclear weaponry and a veritable army of the semi-sentient robots. Upon gaining entrance to the city's central sphere, Muska captures Sheeta, and his agents open fire upon Pazu, receiving a scratch to his left cheek, after which Pazu frees Dola's pirates and pursues Muska.

In the center of Laputa, containing the immense 'volucite' crystal keeping the city aloft, Muska identifies himself as "Romuska Palo Ul Laputa", another royal line, and uses Sheeta's "key" crystal to access the advanced Laputian technology. He then destroys the soldiers and the "Goliath" outside, after which Sheeta seizes her crystal amulet and flees, prompting him to pursue her. Encountering Pazu through a gap in a wall, Sheeta gives him her amulet and is herself later cornered by Muska in Laputa's abandoned throne room. Arguing with Muska, Sheeta realizes and explains that the people of Laputa left the castle because it had no life. Muska refuses to believe her and shoots off her two pigtails, threatening to shoot her ears as well unless the crystal amulet is given to him. Pazu then enters and says he'll give the crystal amulet to Muska if Pazu can talk to Sheeta; Muska grants the two one minute to negotiate. Sheeta and Pazu then recite a "Spell of Destruction", blinding and killing Muska and destroying much of the city. Having survived the collapse, Pazu and Sheeta re-unite with Dola and her pirates (who have had the presence of mind to swipe some of the city's treasures before fleeing), and later part from them to fly to Gondoa as Pazu had promised, after which the ending credits show the remains of Laputa still aloft, with the guardian robot still tending the garden, maintained by the volucite crystal embedded in the roots of the central tree, in high orbit above the Earth.


Characters Original Japanese Cast  1989 English Dub Cast
1998 English Dub Cast
Princess Sheeta
(Lusheeta Toel Ul Laputa)
Keiko Yokozawa Lara Cody Anna Paquin
Debi Derryberry (young Sheeta)
Pazu Mayumi Tanaka Barbara Goodson James Van Der Beek
Captain Dola Kotoe Hatsui Rachel Vanowen Cloris Leachman
Colonel Muska
(Romuska Palo Ul Laputa)
Minori Terada Jeff Winkless Mark Hamill
General Muoro Ichirō Nagai Mike Reynolds Jim Cummings
Uncle Pom Fujio Tokita Ed Mannix Richard Dysart
Takuzō Kamiyama Barry Stigler Mike McShane
Yoshito Yasuhara Dave Mallow Mandy Patinkin
Sukekiyo Kamiyama Eddie Frierson Andy Dick
Boss Hiroshi Ito Clifton Wells John Hostetter
Old Engineer Ryūji Saikachi Eddie Frierson Matt K. Miller
Okami Machiko Washio Lara Cody Tress MacNeille
Madge Tarako Barbara Goodson Debi Derryberry


  • The movie's full title is Laputa: Castle in the Sky. However, it is known both oficially and unofficially as Castle in the Sky due to "la puta" meaning "the whore" in Spanish. Within the movie itself, the city of Laputa is pronounced in a way that doesn't sound like the Spanish phrase "la puta".

v - e - d
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Nausicaä of the Valley of the WindCastle in the SkyMy Neighbor TotoroKiki's Delivery ServicePorco RossoPom PokoWhisper of the HeartPrincess MononokeMy Neighbors the YamadasSpirited AwayThe Cat ReturnsHowl's Moving CastleTales from EarthseaPonyoThe Secret World of ArriettyFrom Up On Poppy HillThe Wind RisesThe Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Nausicaä
Castle in the Sky: SheetaPazuCaptain DolaColonel MuskaDola Gang

My Neighbor Totoro: TotoroMei KusakabeSatsuki KusakabeCatbus
Kiki's Delivery Service: KikiJijiOsonoFukuoUrsulaTombo
Porco Rosso: Porco RossoMadame GinaFio Piccolo
Princess Mononoke: SanYakulAshitakaLady EboshiKiyoJigo
Spirited Away: Chihiro OginoYubabaZenibaHakuLin
The Cat Returns: HaruTotoBaron Humbert von Gikkingen
Howl's Moving Castle: SophieThe Witch of the WasteMadam SulimanPrince JustinMarklHowl
Tales from Earthsea: ArrenTherruGed
Ponyo: PonyoSosukeFujimotoGranmamareLisa
The Secret World of Arrietty: ArriettyShō
The Wind Rises: Jiro HorikoshiNaoko SatomiGiovanni Battista Caproni

Toxic JungleBathhouse
MehvePorco's Plane
I'm Gonna FlyMy Neighbor TotoroPonyo on the Cliff by the SeaSanpoSoaringSummertime
See Also
Ghibli ga Ippai Collection