In my collection of DVDs, there's a small section reserved for the SO's movies. And in that section, it's filled with anime. Of all the genres that movies can be, my SO has to like anime. I've never been a fan of it. I actually have never bought one on DVD. So it has to come as some surprise that I would have any in my collection, but it's all because of the SO. And worse than just being anime, they are Disney. Disney!!
I know, I just had a post about a Disney movie (see earlier post) and I love Disney movies, but there's just something fishy about them (and as I'm writing this, I get this sense that a certain mouse is putting my name on the "Banned from DisneyWorld/Land" list). Don't get me wrong, my childhood is based on Disney (and Warner Bros., too) and I have a soft spot for their movies. But I have this sense that that's how they get you. You fall in love with Disney as a kid, then you can't let them go as an adult (and don't get me started on McDonald's...I've broken free from them for five-and-a-half years now, and it feels good).
But back to the movie. The SO says the director of most of these movies we own now, Hayao Miyazaki, is one of the most influential people in the world because of the underlying themes of his movies. That's true for what we watched this weekend, a movie with a strong theme about the importance of maintaining our environment for generations, the award-winning Castle in the Sky.
We're first introduced to Sheeta, a young girl in an airship who appears to be in possession of something the air pirates (who attack the ship) want badly. Able to get away from the ship with her locket, she inexplicably lands softly into the arms of a young boy, Pazu, who catches her as she's in mid-air. Unconscious at the time, Pazu takes her to his home so she can rest, and in the morning we find out that not only is she running from the air pirates but the government as well. It appears her locket has some power to find Laputa (the castle in the sky). Pazu's father was one person who actually saw Laputa, so Pazu believes her story.
As we follow Pazu and Sheeta's adventures to find Laputa and avoid pirates and evil government/army officials, we learn that Sheeta's locket is an etherium crystal, and this could only come from Laputa. This also explains how she was able to be saved from her long fall in the sky. Ultimately, the army captures her so she can unlock the secrets of the locket and find Laputa. Of course, the antagonist in charge, Muska (voice by Mark Hamill) is bent on finding Laputa and harness its power (from what we learn in the movie, Laputa was responsible for some of the most important events in human history, i.e. it has very influential power!).
Once Laputa is found, it appears nature has taken over and the people have died off. Once Muska has the power, he is bent on getting rid of all the nature on the island (the roots have covered most of the inner heart of the island - the etherium that keeps the island afloat). Only Sheeta has the power to stop him, and Laputa's natural beauty is saved. Sheeta and Pazu leave the island (and it's in much better shape) a little bit wiser, a little bit richer (the reason the pirates wanted her locket - Laputa's treausre!) and with new friends (of course the pirates would prove to be the best allies). In the end, I understand the power of nature and how we have to be in balance with our environment. Even though we may think we're invincible, the only thing we know is that our time will end someday, but Mother Nature will still be here long after we're gone. But while we are here, what we do does have an effect on what tomorrow will be like.
The SO has been waiting to hear what I think of the movie. So here it is: it was a nice story, with wonderful music (until the end), but because the SO has been turning me into a Greenie, I already understand the importance of keeping this planet for future generations. Because this theme is repeated in a lot of Miyazaki's movies, I feel he should try some other important issue. But on its own merit, I liked the movie. Would I buy it? That's a strong no. But because the SO loves it, it's staying. So next week, it's back to my selection, and I can't wait. Later!