A young boy stumbles into a mysterious girl who floats down from the sky. The girl, Sheeta, was chased by pirates, army and government secret agents. In saving her life, they begin a high flying adventure that goes through all sorts of flying machines, eventually searching for Sheeta’s identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization.
Tzung-I Lin <[email protected]>
User Reviews: I first saw this film when I was about 8 years old on TV in the UK (where it was called "Laupta: The Flying Island"). I absolutely loved it, and was heartbroken when it was repeated a while later and I missed it. I was enchanted by the story and characters, but most of all by the haunting and beautiful music. It would have been the original English dubbed version which I saw – sometimes erroneously referred to as the "Streamline Dub" (the dub was actually by Ghibli themselves and only distributed by Streamline) which is sadly unavailable except as part of a ridiculously expensive laser disc box-set.
Unfortunately I feel that the release has been partly spoiled by Disney. The voice acting is OK but the dialogue doesn’t have the same raw energy that the "streamline" dub or the original Japanese had, and I think James Van Der Beek sounds too old to play the lead. They have made some pointless alterations, such as changing the main character’s name from "Pazu" to "Patzu", and added some dialogue. But worst of all I feel that they have ruined many scenes with intrusive music – the opening scene of the airships for example was originally silent but has been spoiled thanks to Disney’s moronic requirement that there be music playing whenever anyone is not speaking, which I find annoying in many Disney films.
This film still blows away most recent animated films, and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The plot is simple yet captivating and the film shows a flair which is sadly missing from most modern mass-market, homogenized animation.