These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
He was probably just pissed because Muska was being a Smug Snake.
I assumed the General was a My Country, Right or Wrong kind of guy. As long as Muska was his 'lawful' superior, he was a Sour Supporter: but when Muska announced that he was going to start terrorizing the entire world (including whatever nation the General serves) with 'his' new flying death-ray fortress, the General quite rightfully decided Muska needed a bullet-hole in him.
Broken Base: This is not the only Disney-Ghibli dub to receive such an atmosphere (Kikis 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. All the more ironic because Carl Macek thought the original '80s dub didn't turn out so well.
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.
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.
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."
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).
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.