YMMV / Castle in the Sky

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is the General really having an Even Evil Has Standards moment when he tries to kill Muska after seeing him test fire Laputa's superlaser? Or did he just decide that Muska had outlived his usefulness?
  • Awesome Music: The entire soundtrack, in both the original Japanese version and the longer, more extensive rescore for the Disney dub (Can also count as Woolseyism). Both composed by Joe Hisaishi. Special mention goes to the main theme.
    • Regrettably, the only way to hear the rescore on HD is to import the BD from Japan, UK, or Australia.
  • Complete Monster: Romuska Palo Ul/Ur Laputa, known as Colonel Muska, is one of the few antagonists from a Miyazaki film who is purely evil. Muska was a ruthless government secret agent who tried to take the flying city of Laputa by force, being actually a descendant of the Laputean monarchy just like Sheeta. Along the way, he committed many heinous crimes such as kidnapping Sheeta and Pazu, threatening to kill Pazu if Sheeta didn't give him the amulet that held the power to control Laputa. When he finally conquers Laputa, however, he became mad with power and proceeded to toss his own henchmen from the floating city, all while laughing about it, and intends to use the flying castle's power to wipe out everything in his way so that he can become ruler of the world. He also threatened to shoot Sheeta's ears off after she tried to convince him that the people left Laputa because it was uninhabitable, and when Pazzu arrived on the scene, Muska threatened the lives of both children unless they surrendered the crystal back to him. Throughout the film, Muska showed manipulative and emotionally abusive tendencies, a sense of entitlement, greed, hunger for power, revulsion of "disgusting" natural wildlife that he wanted to have burned down, and a willingness to hurt or even kill children if it got him closer to what he wanted.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Magnificent Bastard: Colonel Muska, at least before it's revealed how completely insane he is.
  • Memetic Mutation: Nico Nico Douga goers often use Muska walking around blinded, screaming "My eyes!" in their Stupid Statement Dance Mixes.
    • In fan art, Muska is seen to be able to do literally- freaking -anything.
    • Fountain of Memes: Muska is regarded as one of the most quotable anime villains - in Japan, at least. His line "Look! The people are like garbage!" (said while watching soldiers fall to their deaths) is a fan favorite.
  • Market-Based Title: The word "Laputa" was dropped from the title in the Spanish and US releases because it means "the whore" in Spanish. Miyazaki took the name from Gulliver's Travels, likely without even realizing that Jonathan Swift had chosen the name for that very reason. However, most international releases of the film kept the word anyway. It is exclusively called Laputa in Australia.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Muska causing the General and his men to fall to their deaths, followed by his straight up Evil Laugh as he tells them to "enjoy the ride." That is if threatening and attempting to kill Pazu didn't do it for you.
    • General Muoro and his lackeys showed their complete willingness to torture Sheeta to squeeze the secrets out of her and also tried to kill Pazu. Which also makes Muska's massacre of them a case of Kick the Son of a Bitch.
  • Narm: The older JAL dub, despite not being as loosely adapted as Disney's dub and making the leads younger, is still very much this. It really is hard to take seriously when the pirates and Uncle Pom sound like cartoon caricatures, and especially when Muska says "Now say bye-bye!" as he aims at Sheeta during the fateful showdown. (The latter moment, in particular, disrupts the tension with unintentional humor.) And this is supposed to be more "accurate" than the Disney version!
    • Muska is kind of hard to take seriously as a villain when he looks like evil Elton John.
  • Squick: Although the clumsy overtures of the Sky Pirates towards Sheeta once she dresses like a pirate are Actually Pretty Funny, it doesn't quite distract from the fact that we have a group of men, the oldest looking like they're well in their thirties, trying to court a girl of twelve or thirteen.
    • Granted, Sheeta is the only woman they've met apart from their mom, so it could be justified.
      • Their mother is a domineering, broody sort who has kept them all in a sort of perpetual boyhood: that doesn't make the crushes appropriate, but it does make them comprehensible.
    • Also, an important note: This relationship was apparently only true in the Disney Dub - In the original version, the pirates treated her more like a mother figure (though that doesn't stop one of them from bringing her flowers).
      • Buying a mother figure flowers isn't that weird - people do it all the time on mother's day.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: This is not the only Disney-Ghibli dub to receive such an atmosphere (Kiki's Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro also qualify), but it seems as though viewers can't really seem to unanimously agree if the Disney dub is an entertaining experience in its own right, better than the Japanese in many ways, or even a watered down travesty of a great film. Purists strongly claim it is the latter (often stating that the Japanese version is the ONLY way you should watch the film, to a lesser extent the JAL English dub), but there are still many fans of the Disney dub. In an even more ironic case, when the now extinct Streamline dub was released, it too received a similar split reaction. But when Disney's dub was released, the atmosphere quickly changed for some into a They Changed It, Now It Sucks attitude. Some still even resent the Disney version for replacing the older dub, period. All the more ironic because Carl Macek thought the original '80s dub didn't turn out so well.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: As mentioned, the '80s dub of Laputa wasn't well received upon its initial release, but when Disney's came along, many longtime fans of that version excoriated both the dub and rescore.
    • To the point where Disney omitted the extra chatter and rescore. But now there are fans who are furious at Disney for removing both (even if others applaud Disney for trying to be more faithful). Ironically, removing the rescore has only caused some recent reviews to recognize its own greatness and lament its loss from the dub. (e.g. Jacob Hope Chapman's review at Anime News Network).
    • The first Spanish dub was controversial for replacing "Laputa" with "Lapuntu" (as, famously, Laputa is a homophone for "the whore" in Spanish). Seven years later, the movie received a new dub keeping the original name, but reception was overwhelmingly negative, as it had a completely different cast and was considered as very poor in VA choices and quite uninspired in performance, especially when compared to the original. This is one of the few examples in Spanish media where a Bowdlerise is universally prefered to the uncensored version, even if it is due to quality and not the censorship itself.
  • Toy Ship: Obviously Pazu and Sheeta; there are lots of moments where we see them holding hands and/or hugging each other. They roll around in the grass together, tied together by a rope, arm around waist, for quite a while upon arriving in Laputa.
  • "Weird Al" Effect: The original "Laputa" was a floating island of idiot-savants, named for a vile Spanish epithet and intended as a scathing Take That satire against scientists and British royalty. (The satire was so very dire that part of that chapter of Gulliver's Travels—in which Laputa went around dropping rocks on nations it didn't like—had to be censored on its original publication. When Isaac Asimov did an annotated version of the book, he was so nettled by it, centuries later, that he felt the need to spend much of a page in fine print coming to scientists' defense!) But the book was centuries old and in another language when it inspired Miyazaki to make his movie. Whether or not Miyazaki knew about the work's satirical origins, his version of "Laputa" was played straight as a place of higher science and learning—and he also titled his movie after that island's unfortunate name. (See Unfortunate Name on the main page.)

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