Laputa- Castle in the sky
‘Laputa, Castle in the Sky’ is an animated film made in Japan in 1986 by director Hayao Miyazaki. The story too is scripted by the director himself. The idea for this children’s movie is derived from the book ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. The name Laputa was first used by Jonathan Swift in this book to describe a fictional flying island. The inhabitants of Laputa had vast knowledge in areas of mathematics, astrology, astronomy, science and technology. They used the properties of magnetic levitation to make the island float in the clouds. Here also it is no different, except, just that the civilization no longer exists there and the land is guarded, protected and taken care of by a robot.
What I really liked about the movie is how it portrayed the mining culture of Japan during those times. The children’s rendezvous in the deep abandoned mines where they meet an old uncle, chat a lot and learn about Etherium- the magical thing that the crystal is made of, is one of my favorite scenes. Another endearing scene is when the robot recognizes Sheeta and protects her with all his might. And the depiction of Laputa itself is so beautiful. It is protected by a hurricane around it. The eye of the storm is a very peaceful place. The final song has a sense of longing for the things that have passed, long lost in time, as is the beautiful life in Laputa.
The entire movie felt like living a childhood fantasy, a childhood dream. The best thing about anime is that it never even once mocks these childhood fancies, rather it brings out the child in you that is somewhere lost under responsibilities and duties.