I had a pretty good day at work today, combined with my residual warm-fuzzies from my most excellent day of reading yesterday. When I came home after spending my afternoon outside washing vehicles in the 45 degree weather with water-logged footwear and socks, I decided tonight was going to be a soup/cuddly blanket/uplifting movie night. I decided to go with Castle in the Sky, another of the studio Ghibli movies.
I first saw this movie probably around a year ago, under very different circumstances. This was before I broke my ankle and when we were having movie night every night, sometimes watching a couple of movies while eating either whatever we could make on a crappy, tilted, two-burner stove or playing games ordering very different pizza. It was always part mystery and part surprise to see if we ordered what we thought we ordered and if the delivery person would actually be able to find and reach the house. So my memories of this movie are actually a lot like a warm, fuzzy blanket, fresh from the dryer, after you come back from spending nineteen days straight in the rain on an extended camping trip. I remember the residual warmth, the residual happiness, and the residual fullness of my heart.
And you know what? It really feels good to remember what that feels like. Even though my life isn’t at all in the same place that it was a year ago, things are okay. Most days are even really good. I miss hanging out with adventure buddy every day and in every way, but I understand where we are right now. And there isn’t a single part of my life that hasn’t been made better because of adventure buddy’s role and presence in my life.
Now that I’ve set the atmosphere for my movie review, the first thing that I’m going to talk about is how creative, imaginative, and beautiful this movie is. I really miss movies like this, where the very opening scene is filled with wonder and sets the stage to really help you look at your life and appreciate the little things. The movie starts out with an airship, attacked by air pirates on machines that look like mechanized dragonflies. Airships! I mean, how cool is that! To think that someone had the imagination that someday, we could have luxury ships or even military ships, just cruising around in the air like we cruise around in the ocean? I think it’s a pretty neat idea. And then the opening titles had all the drawings of the different floating islands and the ships and I felt nostalgic for the days of my past when we used to build worlds with our imaginations; to travel through space, to have adventures, or to experience fantastic and unbelievable wonders.
This movie also has a great crew of pirates who I cheered for the entire time. When I first saw them, I thought they weren’t quite right for pirates, and as the movie progresses, you see they definitely aren’t what most people would describe as pirates at all. They’re a family, with a female Captain and her husband who loves the airship and is the engineer. They discuss the two kids they rescue while playing chess and I thought that was such a great example of the kind of relationship that would be fun to have in the future.
As with most of the studio Ghibli movies, I really enjoyed the soundtrack and the artwork. I also like that this story is more about friendship than it is about anything. Pazu and Sheeta have adventures and they care about each other, but there is no mention of marriage or having children or anything of that nature. They don’t kiss and all of their actions throughout the movie are the same actions two friends would take, and that really made me like and appreciate this movie even more. I get so sick and tired of blatant romance in absolutely every entertainment venue these days that I find the absence of the romantic subplots very refreshing.
Overall, I think this is movie is a four on my rating scale. It made me sad for the robots who could be so kind and caring and how selfish people would use them for their own bids for power and domination. But my overall end emotional state with this movie remains the same as it was when I first watched it, which is nice, and also means that this will remain a positive movie for me.