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     " Look, I don't care how tempting it is, when a girl comes floating out of the sky- just keep your distance. She's gonna be trouble. "

      Title: Castle in the Sky by Studio Ghibli, distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment

      Format: Anime DVD

      Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A

      The Hype: One of Miyazaki's classics is being brought to you anew. For those who don't know, this is the story of a young girl with a crystal, Sheeta, and her erstwhile companion Pazu. Join their adventures as they search for (of all things) a Castle in the Sky…

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Animation: This film's quite old, actually. Its re-release has seen a few touch ups here and there, but the animation is a little more jagged around the edges than modern fans may be used to. Don't get me wrong though, it's still quite pretty and certainly worthy of note. The classic Ghibli style is in full force, with soft rounded faces and features all about. The visuals are stunning, the colors are bright and vivid; and artistically it's a great looking piece. It just tends to show its age a bit. Still, it won't jump or stutter when the action gets heavy. 4 out of 5

      Story and Voice Acting: You know the old story. Girl falls from sky while looking for ancient city of wonders. Boy finds girl, boy is also looking for ancient city of wonders… wacky pirate tales ensue… Something like that. It's one of Miyazaki's simpler tales, essentially as simple as what I just stated. The plot follows a fairly straight path. Pazu and Sheeta adventure through the world, with a gaggle of fun filled side characters, and a few dastardly villains to be thwarted. As with most Studio Ghibli works, it's a charming tale, and will certainly enchant.
          Of course, the English dub is replete with a celebrity cast (How do they score these people anyway?). The surprise of the film is James Van Der Beek… That's right, Mr. Creek voices Pazu. Not only does he voice him, but he does so both well and in such a way that you probably won't recognize him. Only the credits give away the truth of the matter. Anna Paquin and Cloris Leachman also make starring appearances. Mark "Will do Voice Work for food" Hamil even plays a role. Anna Paquin's performance has some issues, but otherwise the quality of the English dub is great. The translation is a little extreme, it seems like most of the script has been entirely rewritten. Lines are added where there not only were none, but none were needed. You're really going to have to watch the original Japanese to get the original feeling of the film. 3.5 out of 5

      Value vs. Price: This disc is a little short on the extras. The John Lasseter introduction that's graced the three recent Ghibli Studio releases is here as well. A brief feature with the American voice cast. The second disc actually just contains the movie… entirely in storyboard form. So if you want to watch the film, only without all that annoying… animation… getting in the way, this is the format for you. Honestly, it can be be kind of interesting watching the story boards, unless you've watched the movie enough times to know the actual animation back and forth, the transformation is going to take a while to fully appreciate. All things told, though, nothing too fantastic. Probably not even enough to sway somebody on the edge. Still, the film itself is great, and worth the price. 3 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       What you have here is a great old film brought to new light. It's a little rough around the edges, and the translation leaves a lot to be desired, but at least the English voice cast does a great job (I'll admit to liking several English actors better than the original Japanese, if only the lines had been kept the same…). All told though, this is a charmingly cute story, and certainly worth taking a look at.

      The Good: A cute story with great visuals.

      The Bad: The animation is a little rough, they changed practically the entire script

      The Overall Ugly: Look, I don't care how tempting it is, when a girl comes floating out of the sky- just keep your distance. She's gonna be trouble.

      What it's Worth: At least a rental, market is worth it for fans.

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