(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from Castle in the Sky)
Doug (vo): The awesomeness of Castle in the Sky can be summed up right in the very opening. Ships are soaring through the air, a young girl falls out, a boy discovers her, and suddenly, a glowing crystal causes her to slowly but surely float down to the ground while enchanting music is played. Yep, that's the movie in a nutshell, and I mean that in a very positive way. Castle in the Sky has all of the ambitious adventure of a kids' film that you remember watching in the 80s, the ones that had a touch of an edge but mostly a very timeless, endearing feel to them, the ones like Return to Oz or Labyrinth, the ones that still seem to hold up after so many years...eh, for the most part. There's no David Bowie codpiece in this. Though maybe the head of that robot could...anyway.
Doug (vo): The film starts off exactly like I said, a girl falling to the ground and a boy discovers her. The boy's name is Pazu and the girl's name is Sheeta, voiced by Anna Paquin and James Van Der Beek. He nurses her back to health and she admits that she's being chased by some evildoers, the kind that know that she is the key to some sort of mystical something or other. Again, very 80s fantasy. Quite coincidentally, Pazu has been looking for that something or other, a floating city known as Laputa. Some believe it's been destroyed, others say it never existed, but, of course, our young heroes are destined to discover it. Along the way, they come across some treacherous air pirates, with their leader voiced by Cloris Leachman, who, in my opinion, can do no wrong. She once again plays up both the comedy and the awesomeness of this character, being both goofy and badass at the same time. The villains chasing them are led by Mark Hamill, who, if you know his voiceover work, once again gives a deviously delicious performance, dragging out his lines and constantly making you question does he have a British accent or not.
Doug (vo): Once again, not only does the artwork in this movie show a lot of patience and a lot of passion, but the creativity is just wonderful. I feel like I'm watching an extended version of the timeless Disney Afternoon shows, kind of like DuckTales meets TaleSpin, DuckTaleSpin, with people. Whatever you call it, it's a ton of fun.
[The characters are shown]
Doug (vo): The dubbing is once again very well done, with the main characters' voices displaying the wide-eyed whimsy, and the side characters being goofy and memorable.
[The film's lighting is shown]
Doug (vo): For whatever reason, I especially like the lighting in this film, too, particularly the day versus night. I'm always a sucker for night shots that have that warm glow from a building, and something about Miyazaki's skies are always just so blue. You can get lost in them somehow. I don't know what color he's choosing or what pallet he has, but they're always just incredible. You want to fly through these skies every time you see them.
[The main characters are shown again]
Doug (vo): If I had to nitpick anything wrong, I guess I could say that maybe James Van Der Beek sounds a touch too old to be playing this part, but then again, you can't quite figure out the boy's age, maybe just his voice is changing.
[The robots in the film are shown]
Doug (vo): Everything else in this movie is classic Miyazaki, a lot of focus on the technicals and how they work, a lot of using machinery but also this very high respect for plant life. There's something so cool about seeing those rusted robots and yet having green grow on them. In a strange way, I think that almost sums up Miyazaki's work, a perfect combination of advanced technology that's also kind of old, kind of new, but always has a good mix of nature in there, too.
[The pirate characters are shown]
Doug (vo): The pirates, especially, are just so likeable. I don't know what it is about them, they're just so much energy and they're so goofy and they have such an awesome leader. It's pretty hard not to wish you can be a part of this group.
Doug (vo): It has a lot of the pretty imagery, a lot of the nice colors, and a lot of the imagination that you usually associate with his work. It's hard to know what else to say about it. I mean, I don't know if it's gonna be breaking any big barriers necessarily, at least, none that I know of. But as these general fantasies go, ones that mix technology with great characters and a gripping story with lots of nature and excitement and romance and just all that good stuff that you've grown to love, this one mixes them up pretty good. Take flight and discover for yourself.
[A scene showing the main characters dancing on Laputa, the castle in the sky, is shown]