[[caption-width-right:350:''"No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology may be, [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower the world cannot live without love]]."'']]

The first {{Deuteragonist}} of the story, Sheeta is a young girl who used to live on a farm with her grandmother. Although living an ordinary life, she secretly holds a mysterious amulet connected to the legendary city of Laputa, making her a target of the army and sky-pirates wishing to locate the city for themselves. Luckily, she meets up with Pazu, who helps her make her own search.

->'''Voiced by''': Keiko Yokozawa (JP), Lara Cody (US '89), Creator/AnnaPaquin (US '03), Ester Sjögren (SV)
* BadassAdorable: The badass part becomes gradually clear, unlike the adorable part.
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: [[spoiler:Averted in the very end when Muska shoots off her pigtails.]]
* BlessedWithSuck: She's the legitimate heir to Laputa and possesses incredible powers courtesy of her crystal. Unfortunately, this makes her a seemingly endless number of enemies who all wish to use her to find the city and the treasures found within.
* BondingOverMissingParents: With Pazu, obviously.
* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim: Sheeta makes a deal with Muska to save Pazu's life. It involves telling Pazu to return to his home town and forget about her and Laputa, which he reluctantly does. Until Dola points this out, at which point he opts to rescue her.
* BrokenBird: She's a little cold and hesitant around other people after losing her grandmother and being kidnapped by the military, not to mention everything that happens afterwards.
* CombatPragmatist: A bottle will do just fine to knock out the technically defenseless man with his back turned to her.
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: Her mother and grandmother are established as having both passed on, and it's never stated what became of her father.
* TheCutie: The photo speaks for itself. Her behaviour makes her qualify even more though.
* DangerousForbiddenTechnique: Her spells, but mostly [[spoiler:the destruction spell.]]
* DeclarationOfProtection: She is immediately very protective of Pazu, although it takes her a while to put words into action.
* DefiantCaptive: People may complain she is a bit more "whiny" than other Ghibli heroines, but she did [[EstablishingCharacterMoment knock out Muska in her first scene]] and later [[spoiler:stood up to him quite epically in the throne room.]]
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: She's introduced as a kind of DamselInDistress, but quickly manages to free herself when opportunity strikes.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: [[spoiler:Deconstructed - Sheeta is the legitimate heir to the throne of Laputa, but this brings her a ''lot'' of unwanted attention from those who want to get their hands on its fabled riches and power.]]
* ExpressiveHair: Her braids tend to stand out to the side whenever she's afraid for Pazu's safety.
* GirlInTheTower: She's briefly seen in a [[GildedCage lavishly decorated room]] in a tower after being recaptured and brought to the army base.
* HairDecorations: Her headband.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:Using the destruction spell to stop Muska and destroy Laputa. She knew it was most likely going to kill her, but she did it anyway. [[TogetherInDeath together with Pazu]]. Subverted when they live through it.]]
* IAmWho: [[spoiler:She's a descendant of the Laputian royal family, making her a princess.]]
* ImportantHaircut: [[spoiler:Muska shoots off her pigtails when she defiantly refuses to cooperate with him.]]
* ImprovisedWeapon: She uses a bottle to hit Muska over the head and later a shovel to knock out two of Dola's boys.
* MementoMacguffin: Her necklace. [[spoiler:It's an heirloom of the Laputean royal family from which she is directly descended.]]
* OverlyLongName: Her full name. [[spoiler:[=LuSheeta=] Toel Ul Laputa.]]
%%* PluckyGirl
* PuppyLove: With Pazu.
* RoyalBlood: [[spoiler:She's actually a Laputian princess.]]
* SilkHidingSteel: Especially in her first scene and the climax.
* SleepCute: She isn't any less cute when she is awake.
* SweetPollyOliver: She disguises herself as a boy to escape the Dola gang.
* TakingYouWithMe: [[spoiler:To Muska. "We will die here together."]]
* TragicKeepsake: Her crystal necklace, which was passed down to her by her deceased parents and acts as her protector in times of need. However, upon witnessing the kind of death and destruction it is capable of she is determined to rid herself of it.
* TroubledButCute: Considering her past and the fact that both the military and pirates are after her.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: Alone in her room after being recaptured by the army, she absently recites a spell her grandmother taught her to use in times of trouble. [[spoiler:This awakens the robot, which proceeds to inflict devastating damage on the army base as it tries to get to her. What's worse, she doesn't realize the robot is trying to protect her until just before the army manages to destroy it.]] The poor girl is left in horrified tears after the fact.

[[caption-width-right:350:''"If my head were any harder, you could use it as a cannonball."'']]

The second {{Deuteragonist}} of the story, a young boy working in a mining town whose father died after a lifetime of fruitlessly seeking the legendary flying city, Laputa. Wishing to clear his name, he jumps at the chance to find Laputa after rescuing a girl named Sheeta, who possesses a connection to the city.

->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/MayumiTanaka (JP), Creator/BarbaraGoodson (US '89 dub), James van der Beek (US '03 dub), Oliver Åberg (SV)
* AcePilot: He takes after his father in that regard, flying a number of vehicles under extreme stress.
* AdorablyPrecociousChild: He's a skilled mechanic despite his age, earning him the respect of the Dola gang's mechanic.
* BadassAdorable: He does a pretty decent job of holding off pirates pretty much single-handedly, not to mention surviving an ''entire army's'' attempts to kill him.
* BigEater: Which makes him a fitting dinner partner with the pirates.
* BoisterousBruiser: Seems to get it from his Boss, even standing the same way before a fight. But he's still a kid so he can't do quite as much damage.
* BondingOverMissingParents: With Sheeta, obviously. "We orphans gotta stick together."
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler:He takes Muska's money, somewhat realizing it's wrong and upset over Sheeta telling him to forget about Laputa. Cue Dola rubbing it in his face, resulting in a short HeroicBSOD.]]
* CassandraTruth: The existence of Laputa, even more so for his father.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: He is quite precocious for his age, but also quite naturally ignorant of many things.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: In the climax, where he refuses to leave Sheeta alone even though it could mean a swift resolution of Muska's entire gamut. Muska plays him like a fiddle because of this.
* ClearTheirName: He is trying to clear his father's, who was ridiculed for his belief in Laputa.
* ConvenientlyAnOrphan: His father died after being ridiculed and there's no mention of his mother. Consequently, no one in his life to stop him from going on a quest to discover an ancient flying city.
* DawsonCasting: Rather eccentrically, a then 21-year-old James van der Beek is cast as this character in Disney's dub, [[VocalDissonance resulting in him sounding considerably more mature than his intended age.]]
** On the flipside, both Mayumi Tanaka and Barbara Goodson were in their ''thirties'' when they voiced this character in the Japanese and JAL dubs, respectively. It remains debatable on whose take on this character is preferable.
* {{Determinator}}: In his quest to find Laputa. [[spoiler:Up until the moment he takes Muska's bribe, of course - but after he gets in with Dola's gang, it comes right back up.]]
* DidntThinkThisThrough: His escape plan from the mines.
* GenerationXerox: Not unlike his dad, he builds flying machines and has an obsession with Laputa.
* HardHead: The reason he doesn't get any lasting injuries from his fall early in the movie.
--> '''Pazu''': If my head were any harder, you could use it as a cannonball.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler:With Sheeta in the end, saying the spell knowing it'll most likely end in his death. It doesn't though.]]
* HonorBeforeReason: Attempts to take on '''the entire military by himself''' for Sheeta.
* HotBlooded: Is willing to stand up to and fight of sky pirates and the military ''alone'' [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl for Sheeta.]]
* IndyPloy: His plan to escape from the pirates and the military by catching on to the collapsing train rails, counting on the chance that Sheeta's crystal will save them.
* JumpedAtTheCall: "Are you kidding? This is the most exciting thing that's ever happened to me!"
* MadeOfIron: He falls '''straight through a brick floor''' and sustains no injuries whatsoever.
* NervesOfSteel: Being shot at and nearly killed doesn't slow him down at all.
* ParentalAbandonment: There is no mention of his mother. His father is implied to have gone missing during attempts to prove Laputa's existence.
* LeParkour: He moves like a frickin' monkey, and he's definitely not afraid of heights since he leaps large distances, swings from vines and clings to ledges on Laputa pretty high in the sky.
* PuppyLove: With Sheeta.

[[caption-width-right:350:''"Oh, well, ya can't be a sensitive woman like me without learnin' a few things."'']]

The captain and mother of the sky-pirates; she's another of the people on the hunt for Sheeta and her amulet, pursuing her along with the military.

->'''Voiced by''': Kotoe Hatsui (JP), Rachel Vanowen (US '89), Cloris Leachman (US '03), Annica Smedius (SV)
* ActionMom: All of the other pirates call her mom, likely all being her actual sons--she's still a badass captain though.
* AntiHero: While still a pirate and reckless with other people's safety to get what she wants, she and her sons are not nearly as bad as [[ArmiesAreEvil the actual military.]]
* ApronMatron: She keeps all her 'boys' close at hand to serve as pirate crew. Not that most of them can be trusted with even the simplest tasks on their own.
* BigBadEnsemble: At the beginning of the movie, Dola VS Muska. [[spoiler:Until it becomes clear Dola is really a good guy.]]
* BoobsOfSteel: She has ''remarkably'' large breasts.
* BraidsOfAction: Wears her hair this way.
* CoolAirship: Her ship, ''Tiger Moth''.
* CoolOldLady: She's a sky pirate, aged about 70.
* DefeatMeansFriendship: Once Pazu manages to outrace Dola and her boys, she respects him enough to take him onto her crew.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: In the chase scene while in the automobile. Holy cow.
* EnemyMine: [[spoiler:Teams up with Pazu and Sheeta because of their mutual enemy, Muska, as well as their mutual interest/need for Laputa.]]
* EverybodyHasStandards: She calls out Pazu when she mistakenly believes he sold Sheeta to Muska in exchange for a payoff. When he explains that Sheeta told him to leave her behind, she reprimands him for being a gullible coward instead.
* GirlishPigtails: A trait she shares with Sheeta, which is why she empathizes most that [[spoiler:Muska shot Sheeta's pigtails off.]] The photograph of her [[IWasQuiteALooker when she was younger]] shows that she's kept this hairstyle for a long time.
* GoodIsNotSoft: She's gruff, doesn't go out of her way to help other people, and steals whatever she can get her hands on, but she is a good person at heart.
* HappilyMarried: Implied with her husband, Motro, who's also the ship's engineer. They have a good relationship, with him even teasing her about her hidden soft side, and play chess together.
* InsistentTerminology: She's a ''captain'', not just Dola or "mom."
* IWasQuiteALooker: Take a look at the photograph of her inside her personal quarters. She looks exactly like a red-haired Sheeta.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Pazu even points it out, she isn't as mean as she pretends to be.
* LargeHam: Very loud and very upfront. At one points she is even eating a very large ham, which would count as a LampshadeHanging had this film been made later. Cloris Leachman's voice acting in the Disney dub takes it UpToEleven.
* LovableRogue: A pirate, but in the bottom she is nicer than you think.
* AMotherToHerMen: Quite literally, since she ''is'' their mother.
* NeverMessWithGranny: She is one of the most capable and tough as nails adults in the film.
* NobleDemon: She tries to paint herself as a ruthless pirate out for nothing but treasure, but it becomes clear to Sheeta and Pazu that she's much nicer than she appears, despite her claims to the contrary.
* NotInThisForYourRevolution: She only wanted to loot Laputa.
* PetTheDog: [[spoiler:Taking Sheeta under her wing, giving her clothes and letting her sleep in her room.]]
* PinkMeansFeminine: Her hair is pink and, despite her gruffness, she does play up her femininity occasionally.
* SkyPirate: She's the leader of a band of sky pirates.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: With her husband.
* SurroundedByIdiots: Most of her sons are pretty goofy or easy to distract. She lampshades it in the car chase scene.
* TookALevelInKindness: She gets a lot nicer when it's made more apparent that Muska's the true BigBad.
* VictoriasSecretCompartment: She stuffs a lot of jewelry in her bra.

[[folder:Colonel Muska]]
[[caption-width-right:350:''"Laputa will live. I will return it to life! Laputa's power is the dream of all mankind!"'']]

A colonel who acts as a covert operative in the military; he takes control of the government's effort to discover Laputa. He's the movie's BigBad and another person trying to use Sheeta to find the city, having lead the soldiers who kidnapped her before the start of the plot. Unbeknownst to the rest of the military, he seems to have his own motives for finding Laputa.

->Voiced by: Minori Terada (JP), Jeff Winkless (US '89), Creator/MarkHamill (US '03), Jakob Stadell (SV)
* AxCrazy: By the end he is reduced to this, once subtlety isn't really a necessity.
* BadBoss: [[spoiler:Not only does he kill all the soldiers who helped him find Laputa, he also traps his two loyal bodyguards in the bowels of the castle while he goes on alone to seize the control room for himself.]]
* BigBad: He is the head villain here. The one with the EvilPlan that Sheeta and Pazu have to stop.
* ColonelKilgore: He's a colonel and proves himself to be a total maniac when he [[spoiler:murders the soldiers who accompanied him to Laputa and expresses psychotic glee at the prospect of using the floating city as a weapon of war to conquer the world.]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler:He's blinded and stumbles around the crumbling Laputean floors. Though attention isn't called to it, his body can be seen falling among Laputa's debris as part of a FreezeFrameBonus.]]
* DragonWithAnAgenda: He's working as a covert operative for the government, [[spoiler:but he really wants to use Laputa to conquer the world.]]
* DrunkOnTheDarkSide: [[spoiler:The massive violent episode he goes through after gaining control of Laputa's powers.]]
* EvilCannotComprehendGood: He has no idea why [[spoiler:his ancestors,]] the Laputeans abandoned their city and all their advanced technology to live as humans. Even when Sheeta spells it out for him, Muska either doesn't get it or doesn't care.
* EvilIsHammy: Especially with Mark Hamill's hammy voice work.
-->'''Muska''': The same technology that kept Laputa airborne also made it A MAJOR POWER THAT ONCE DOMINATED THE ENTIRE planet.
* EvilLaugh: Especially with Mark Hamill as his voice.
* EvilPlan: Using [[KillSat Laputa]] to [[TakeOverTheWorld rule the earth once again]]. Which is unfortunately an entirely plausible plan due to the enormous capabilities of the Laputean machinery and technology.
* EvilerThanThou: He proves himself to be far more evil than the pirate Dola, who turns out to be pretty nice, and his associate, General Muoro, [[spoiler:whom he murders when his usefulness is at an end.]]
* FantasticNuke: How he uses Laputa, especially after he gains control of the (usually benevolent) robots.
* FauxAffablyEvil: As Sheeta's captor, he is quite corteous and polite, also toward Pazu. Once he gains control of [[spoiler:Laputa]], however, he sheds the facade.
* FourEyesZeroSoul: Never without his shades, and is every bit as evil as they come, ''and more''.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: "Your ears are next", he tells Sheeta after shooting off her pigtails.
* InkSuitActor: An accidental and [[HilariousInHindsight somewhat prophetic]] example, as he actually looks a bit like Creator/MarkHamill.
* InterserviceRivalry: He's a covert operative for the government who butts heads with General Muoro over who's in charge of their operation.
* ItsAllAboutMe: [[spoiler:Muska's ultimate goal is to use Laputa to conquer the world for himself. All he wants is to hailed as king, and he's willing to kill anyone to make that happen.]]
* KneelBeforeZod: [[spoiler:He threatens to shoot of Sheeta's ears if she doesn't "kneel before her king."]]
* KnightOfCerebus: A particularly notable case for a Hayao Miyazaki film. Colonel Muska has no comical traits, being a FauxAffablyEvil government agent treated very seriously by the protagonists. But Muska gets ''much worse'' after he [[spoiler: massacres an entire army that helped him conquer Laputa, laughing maniacally at their deaths.]]
* LongLostRelative: [[spoiler:In a dark version of this trope, Muska is one to Sheeta.]]
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:He reveals to Sheeta that they're both descended from Laputa's royalty, though it's downplayed since they're distant relations.]] It helps that he's [[ActorAllusion voiced]] by Creator/MarkHamill in the dub.
* MeaningfulName: ''Musca'' is the Latin word for "fly", an insect often associated with the dead, which it feeds off of. Muska is obsessed with the long-dead civilization of Laputa.
* TheNeidermeyer: Not openly as obnoxious as other examples but one of the most uncaring and disloyal towards his subordinates.
* AnOfferYouCantRefuse: Makes one to Sheeta. Albeit with his FauxAffablyEvil facade still going, but the threat is still there; either she helps them find Laputa or they will kill Pazu.
* OverlyLongName: [[spoiler: His full name is [=RoMuska=] Palo Ul Laputa.]]
* OvertOperative: He acts as one in the military, and has a higher authority over General Mouro.
* PersonOfMassDestruction: [[spoiler:When he takes over control of Laputa.]]
* PragmaticVillainy: When General Muoro suggests torturing Sheeta to get her to help find Laputa, Muska disagrees. Not for moral reasons but because it's easier to just manipulate her into helping them by threatening the life of her friend. Later on, he proves more than willing to [[WouldHurtAChild would hurt a child.]]
* RoyalBlood: [[spoiler:Like Sheeta, he is the heir to the Laputean throne. Although it's likely he's from a lesser branch, considering it was Sheeta's family that inherited the royal crystal.]]
* ScaryShinyGlasses: Doubles as an example of SinisterShades.
* SocialDarwinist: Which means that he deems everyone else apart from himself as too weak to be worthy to live, even Sheeta who's also Laputian.
* TheSociopath: Possibly the most monsterous Hayao Miyazaki antagonist. He is manipulative, greedy, vicious, power hungry and boy does fly of the chain when he goes mad with power.
* VileVillainSaccharineShow: Having a higher status above General Muroro's military and in control of their operations to find Laputa, he's single-handledy responsible for all of the grave danger in the film, in contrast with the comical Dola Gang who never pose a threat to anyone's lives.
* VillainousBreakdown: Moments before [[spoiler:the collapse of Laputa.]]
* VillainWithGoodPublicity: Having governmental ties and being above a General hierarchically is a good start.
* WouldHurtAChild: Towards Sheeta and Pazu. He threatens to kill the latter to get the former to cooperate, and threatens to shoot Sheeta's ears off near the end of the movie.
* YellowEyesOfSneakiness: One of the hints that something's off about him.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler:As soon as Muska arrives on Laputa, he destroys all the radios so the army can't report their success, then abandons his two loyal bodyguards to be trapped in the city. When General Muoro tries to arrest him, Muska lures him and his men into a trap then kills them all. Though Muoro tries to kill Muska first, it's clear Muska planned to dispose of all his allies from the beginning.]]
-->'''Muska''': I have really had enough of your incredible stupidity.

[[folder:General Muoro]]

A general in the army who is one of the leaders behind the effort to find Laputa. He works with Muska only reluctantly, suspicious of his covert operations.

->'''Voiced by''': Creator/IchiroNagai (JP), Mike Reynolds (US '89), Creator/JimCummings (US '03), Björn Gedda (SV)
* ArmiesAreEvil: He's brutal and even [[WouldHurtAChild advocates torturing Sheeta]] to get her to show them how to use the amulet. Despite all that, [[spoiler:he's ''still'' not as bad as Muska.]]
* DisneyVillainDeath: [[spoiler: An AssholeVictim along with many other soldiers.]]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: [[spoiler:Probably led to his decision to try and kill Muska. Notably, Muoro only tries to kill Muska after Muska fired Laputa's weapons as a display of his power.]]
* EvilIsHammy: Not as much as Hamill and Leachman in the Disney dub, but Jim Cummings does get to have fun with the character in places.
* EvilerThanThou: [[spoiler:He's on the receiving end at the hands of Muska, who kills Muoro and his entire army to prove himself as the real threat.]]
* FatBastard: He's a cruel general who's also very fat.
* GlorySeeker: And he's too easily distracted by glitter to see any further.
* {{Greed}}: The second he and his men arrive on Laputa, they begin looting the place of all its treasures.
* InterserviceRivalry: He's a general who's at odds with Muska, a secret agent for the government.
* TooDumbToLive: [[spoiler:Shooting bullets at a projected image of Muska.]]
* WouldHurtAChild: He casually suggests torturing Sheeta to get her to help them find Laputa. [[PragmaticVillainy For pragmatic reasons]], Muska prefers a more honeyed touch.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: [[spoiler: The other reason he likely tried to kill Muska at the end, considering that he demonstrated Laputa's true potential. Unfortunately, Muska feels the same way, and has him and his men promptly killed via a massive trap door.]]

[[folder:Uncle Pom]]

An old man living in the caves beneath the city. He possesses knowledge of Laputa and its resources, such as the aetherium that helps it to fly.

->'''Voiced by''': Fujio Tokita (JP), Ed Mannix (US '89), Richard Dysart (US '03), Johan Hedenberg (SV)
* CoolOldGuy: Pazu seems to think so.
* HermitGuru: But he lives underneath the ground instead of a cave or other secluded area.

[[folder:Dola's Crew]]

Dola's crew, composed almost certainly of all her sons. While occasionally bumbling and incompetent, they're all incredibly loyal to her and a formidable force in numbers.
* BadassBeard: One of them has a long beard and is quite strong.
* BigEater: They need much to sustain themselves after all.
* BoisterousBruiser: Especially the one that can make his shirt explode by flexing his muscles.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Some of them are pretty competent in spite of their goofiness.
* TheDitz: Some are a little better about this than others--the ones with beards are the goofiest.
* TheEngineer: Motro acts as the engineer for the Tiger Moth. He's also Dola's husband.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: "All good pirates listen to their mom."
* EyepatchOfPower: The one member with darker complexion sports one.
* FiveTokenBand: There are more than five, but they fit the trope. Some of them are [[TokenMinority black-skinned]], others have distinctly Asian features. Most of the other characters look Caucasian (which figures since the movie is set in a fantasy version of Wales). There is some debate as to whether the different-looking pirates are crew instead of family, Dola's adopted children or her children by different fathers. They all call her Mom.
* HappilyMarried: Motro, the ship's engineer, is also Dola's husband, and it's clear they care about each other from their few interactions. He teases her about her hidden soft side, and the two play chess together.
* JabbaTableManners: They don't bother with savoir vivre.
* LargeHam: Mandy Patinkin, Mike [=McShane=], and Andy Dick were clearly having a lot of fun with their roles.
* ManChild: All of Dola's sons are grown men but they still act immature and childish.
%%* ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything
* PunchClockVillain: In the first act.