#25 LAPUTA: CASTLE IN THE SKY
Studio Ghibil production, directed by Hayao Miysaki. 126 minutes long.
One of my Top Ten favourite films of all times. The first Anime I ever watched, recorded one Christmas on a whim back in the late 80s and loved ever since. Also one of the first animated films I ever saw that wasn't a generic kids film, but an original, action-packed, adventure story with rounded characters, a compelling story, some seriously impressive visuals and not a single song and dance number. The design of the film is glorious and its mighty robotic guardians are both wholly unique and, at times, terrifying in equal measure.
In some far-flung post-apocalyptic Wales, mankind is slowly recovering from some undisclosed global catastrophe - some 600 years - previously that saw the peak of civilisation - vast floating cities kept aloft by levitation stones - brought crashing down to earth, literally.
Now, Sheeta, the last descendant of the floating city, Laputa, is abducted by a sinister government agent, with his own agenda, so she can lead him back to a mythical floating city obscured by clouds and unlock the deadly forces the city harbours. Along the way she teams up with a young orphan called Putzu and a family of aerial pirates called the Dola family in a race to reach Laputa first.
I bloody love this film. It's my favourite Studio Ghibil film. I've lost count of the number of times I've watched it on TV, DVD and Blu-Ray, but to see it up on a big screen was an absolute treat.