Ghibli Talk: First Film

What was your first experience of Ghibli Studios?

Mine was Castle in the Sky.

This was the cover

I was in 10 or 11 when I saw a VHS (yep, a VHS!) with a castle floating in the sky, people flying about, and two kids staring off into the distance. Immediately, I was entranced. Sure, you shouldn’t judge a book or movie by it’s cover, but I knew I had to have it.

So, with my allowance money, I bought it then and there.

The flying machines. The magic. The colors–I couldn’t get enough of it. It became my favorite movie. Even though it was 2 hours long, I’d watch it over and over. My art and writing projects at school began to incorporate flying scooters and magical stones. The movie had my heart full of adventure.

The scenes getting to and on Laputa are the most prevalent in my mind. Storm clouds whipping about and ripping up airships that are unlucky enough to enter them. Buildings underwater! Animals! Especially the indoor garden. Oh the colors…

As I watch the movie as I get older, I latch onto different details. The real danger Sheeta and Pazu are in, and how courageous they are in the face of a situation they were forced into. How crazy Muska is. Dola’s impressive adaptability (who runs on train carts??). And how smart and skilled Sheeta and Pazu are–I’m always inspired to identify my own skills and improve on my confidence with them after watching them interact on Dola’s ship.

There was no way I’d know this was the opening to a love of animation and pictures to tell a story. I watched Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh on my Saturday mornings, but those didn’t foster a spark to tell my own stories.

Castle in the Sky isn’t my ultimate favorite Ghibli film, but it holds a very special place in my heart. What’s your first Ghibli film? Please share in the comments below!


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