Castle in the Sky ★★½

Seventh watch of Japanese July. Very awkward scene when all adult male ‘sky pirates’ go bezerk over the fourteen?-year-old Sheeta. Like very awkward. Anyways, Castle in the Sky is yet another cute, beautifully animated, Miyazaki feature. Nor Pazu, nor Sheeta will go down as some of his best developed characters - the bandleader of the sky pirates, Captain Dola, is a much better attempt in this respect - but the world building is stunning as always with a steampunkish aeronautical Europe as its central domain. Funny to see both the fox-squirrels from Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Kamaji from Spirited Away (re)appear in here, but I can’t help but feel that there was a little too short of a plot to really justify the two-hour run-time, which I began to feel after about ninety minutes. Loved the slapstick opening half an hour though, especially the fight between Mr. Duffi and the bearded sky pirate was hilarious!

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