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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.

Dubbing History

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.

Cast

Image Character Seiyū Japan Dub Actor United States
Magnum Dub Buena Vista Dub
Pazu.jpg Pazu Mayumi Tanaka Barbara Goodson James Van Der Beek
Sheeta.jpg Sheeta Keiko Yokozawa Lara Cody Anna Paquin
Muska.jpg Muska Minori Terada Jeff Winkless Mark Hamill
Dola.jpg Dola Kotoe Hatsui Rachel Vanowen Cloris Leachman
General-Muoro.jpg General Shogun Muoro Ichirō Nagai Mike Reynolds Jim Cummings
Uncle-Pom.jpg Uncle Pom Fuji Tokita Edward Mannix Richard Dysart
Shalulu.jpg Charles
(Shalulu)
Takuzō Kamiyama Barry Stigler Michael McShane
Lui.jpg Louis
(Lui)
Yoshito Yasuhara Dave Mallow Mandy Patinkin
Anli.jpg Henri
(Anli)
Sukekiyo Kameyama Eddie Frierson Andy Dick
Mr-Duffy.jpg Mr. Duffi
(Boss)
Hiroshi Itō Clifton Wells John Hostetter
Okami-Duffi.jpg Okami Duffi Machiko Washio Lara Cody Tress MacNeille
Train Operator.jpg Train Operator Tomomichi Nishimura Eddie Frierson Matthew Kermit Miller
Dolas-Engineer.jpg Pa Dola
(Motro)
Ryūji Saikachi Clifton Wells Eddie Frierson
Madge CitS.jpg Madge Tarako Isono Barbara Goodson Debi Derryberry

Additional Voices

Magnum Dub

  • Daniel Foster

Notes

  • 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.

Video Releases

Distributor Year Format Dub Region Country
Tokuma Shoten 1996 Laserdisc.png Magnum NTSC Japan Japan
2002 DVD.jpg 2
NTSC
Buena Vista
Home Entertainment
2003 VHS.jpg Disney NTSC United States United States
DVD.jpg 1
NTSC
2010
Madman Entertainment 2011 BD B
DVB-T
Australia Australia
Buena Vista
Home Entertainment
2012 A
DVB-T
United States United States
Optimum Releasing 2017 B
DVB-T
United Kingdom United Kingdom
GKIDS A
DVB-T
United States United States

See Also

External Links

vdeStudio Ghibli logo.png
Films

Nausicaä of the Valley of the WindCastle in the SkyGrave of the FirefliesMy Neighbor TotoroKiki's Delivery ServiceOnly YesterdayPorco RossoPom PokoWhisper of the HeartPrincess MononokeMy Neighbors the YamadasSpirited AwayThe Cat ReturnsHowl's Moving CastleTales from EarthseaPonyoThe Secret World of ArriettyFrom Up on Poppy HillThe Wind RisesThe Tale of the Princess KaguyaWhen Marnie Was ThereEarwig and the Witch

Series

Ronja, the Robber's Daughter

External Links
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