Laputa: The Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ Tenkū no Shiro Rapyuta) (re-titled Castle in the Sky for release in the United States) is a 1986 Japanese animated adventure film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki that marked the cinematic feature debut of Studio Ghibli. It follows the adventures of a young boy and girl attempting to keep a magic crystal from a group of military agents, while searching for a legendary floating castle.
The film was distributed by Toei Kabushiki Kaisha. Laputa: Castle in the Sky won the Animage Anime Grand Prix in 1986.
In the late 1980s, an English dubbed version, produced by Magnum Video Tape and Dubbing for international Japan Airlines flights at the request of Tokuma Shoten, was briefly screened in the United States by Streamline Pictures in 1989 and 1990, as well as being aired on UK television on New Years Eve in 1988 and on at least one more following occasion in the early 1990s. Carl Macek, the head of Streamline, was disappointed with this dub, deeming it "adequate, but clumsy". Following this, Tokuma allowed Streamline to dub their future acquisitions My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. The Magnum-produced dub of Castle in the Sky was released only on the Japanese Studio Ghibli Laserdisc Collection in 1996 and on the first Region 2 DVD release in 2002, both of which are now out of print.
The Disney-produced English dub was recorded in 1998 and planned for release on video in 1999, but the release was canceled after Princess Mononoke did not fare as well in the US as Japan, and so Laputa's release date was pushed back yet again; on occasion, the completed dub was screened at select children's festivals. The film was finally released on DVD and video in the US on August 16, 2003 alongside a re-release of Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away. As with Mononoke and Kiki, critical opinion was mixed about the new dub, but Cloris Leachman and Mark Hamill's performances as Dola and Muska drew praise.
Although the plot and much of the script was left intact, Disney's English dub of Castle in the Sky contains some changes, including added background chatter and one-liners where dialogue was not originally present, and most notably an extended score by original composer Joe Hisashi to fill in moments of silence. Although all these alterations were approved by Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki, some critics have called them into question. Regarding the soundtrack, Miyazaki himself is said to have approved of Hisaishi's reworking. Post 2010 releases of the film undo a large amount of these changes, including the music score and added dialogue. Recently, however, the film has been rereleased by GKids with two different cuts of the Disney dub: one with the original score, and one with the revised score.
|Magnum Dub||Buena Vista Dub|
|Pazu||Mayumi Tanaka||Barbara Goodson||James Van Der Beek|
|Sheeta||Keiko Yokozawa||Lara Cody||Anna Paquin|
|Muska||Minori Terada||Jeff Winkless||Mark Hamill|
|Dola||Kotoe Hatsui||Rachel Vanowen||Cloris Leachman|
|General Shogun Muoro||Ichirō Nagai||Mike Reynolds||Jim Cummings|
|Uncle Pom||Fuji Tokita||Edward Mannix||Richard Dysart|
|Takuzō Kamiyama||Barry Stigler||Michael McShane|
|Yoshito Yasuhara||Dave Mallow||Mandy Patinkin|
|Sukekiyo Kameyama||Eddie Frierson||Andy Dick|
|Hiroshi Itō||Clifton Wells||John Hostetter|
|Okami Duffi||Machiko Washio||Lara Cody||Tress MacNeille|
|Train Operator||Tomomichi Nishimura||Eddie Frierson||Matthew Kermit Miller|
|Ryūji Saikachi||Clifton Wells||Eddie Frierson|
|Madge||Tarako Isono||Barbara Goodson||Debi Derryberry|
- Most releases in America drop "Laputa" from the title. Although meaningless in Japanese, the name "Laputa" comes from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. English language dubs of Laputa have been released under three different titles by three separate distributors, which is largely because it is identical to the Spanish rude term "la puta" (lit. "the whore").
- Some of the other changes in Disney's dub
- Pazu and Sheeta are made to sound several years older, placing them in their mid-teens rather than their pre-teens.
- Several modifications were made to the Dola gang's dialogue regarding Sheeta, including a declaration of love by one of the pirates. In the original Japanese version, the dialogue presented Sheeta as a potential mother figure to the pirates, rather than a potential romantic interest.
- References to Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels were removed, the latter of which had also been removed from the original Magnum dub.
- Both of Magnum and Disney’s dubs feature identical dialogue in certain scenes, most notably The General’s congratulatory remarks towards Muska in the finale and Charles’ line “All good pirates listen to their mom!”. Possibly due to Disney using the original dub’s script as a basis for their dub script, as a similar situation occurred with Kiki's Delivery Service, though this has never been confirmed.
- Bizarrely, Magnum’s dub features several instances where characters would be shouting and screaming in both Japanese and Disney versions, yet remain silent despite obvious mouth movements. These undubbed scenes include
- Madge Duffi shouting about how she wants to see the Pirates.
- Sheeta screaming after her crystal pendent starts glowing once she casts the spell to awaken the robot.
- Soldiers evacuating Laputa after Muska’s betrayal.
- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (an anime that was based on a similar idea by Hayao Miyazaki)
- Castle in the Sky (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia
- Castle in the Sky at the Internet Movie Database