Remember those funky-looking robots in last week's showing of Farewell, Lovely Lupin? Well, if you stick around, you'll see them again in this week's showing of Laputa: Castle in the Sky. It turns out that that particular episode of Lupin III and Laputa were both directed by the extremely popular Hayao Miyazaki. If you've never heard of Miyazaki, he's arguably the best director of full length animated feature films alive. Many of his films are considered classics, including Nausicaš of the Valley of the Wind, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, and My Neighbor Totoro. On the surface, his films may seem to be focused toward a young audience because the main character is usually fairly young and there isn't any excessive violence or gratuitous nudity. Miyazaki's gift of storytelling and conveying morals, however, makes his films appealing to audiences of all ages all over the world. Miyazaki's films are characterized by strong character development, beautiful landscapes, and memorable soundtracks by legendary composer Joe Hisaishi. (Man, has this guy ever written a bad soundtrack?)
A young girl named Sheeta literally floats down from the sky after an attack by air pirates. Pazu, a young boy, finds Sheeta, along with her seemingly magic pendant, and takes her in. It turns out that Sheeta is a descendant of a family so technologically advanced that it constructed a floating city and huge robots to do their bidding. But government agents as well as greedy pirates are after Sheeta and her pendant in the hopes of finding the now-lost floating city. One thing leads to another, and Pazu and Sheeta end up in the adventure of their lives seeking the castle in the sky.