After a good year of wanting to do so, I watched Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky. With it I’ve seen five Miyazaki movies (Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Kiki’s, Howl’s Moving Castle), and it is probably one of my favorite of his works. Older than the rest, the story seemed a little darker than the ones I had seen (except maybe Mononoke), but like all of his movies it was magic on the screen. The artwork was beautiful; the landscapes and the scenery on Laputa was something fantastical, a world of dreams. The same could be applied to all the technical parts of the film (i.e. all the flying contraptions). The movie, like other Miyazaki movies, had heartwarming themes of loyalty, friendship, power of love and innocence, and respect for life and earth. (As in, being grounded–in contrast to being in the sky, like the castle–was a theme of the movie.)
I think the reason why I really like Miyazaki movies is because they are an escape from reality, into a wonderland of sorts; it’s a wonderland that reflects the good and evil of reality, but at the ends of the spectrum and with a veil of innocence. The movies always leave me with a warm, content feeling at the end.
If you like Miyazaki/animated movies, I definitely recommend it (particularly Japanese version with English subtitles). Next up on my list: Nausicaä.