Now With More Than 3600 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 3600 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


This 1986 animé is an early feature from Hayao Miyazaki, right before MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO/’88 and PORCO ROSSO/’92. It never received a theatrical Stateside release, but here’s a fully-rigged Disney DVD edition with a starry English dub. (It also comes with the original Japanese and a French track from a 2003 release.) The plot concerns a couple of sweet-faced adolescents who meet-cute when the girl floats down from the sky. (She wears a gem with great powers.) After initially being chased by some dastardly pirates, they wind up joining them (in a flying ship) on a race to find the eponymous castle before an evil army finds the island’s treasure & secret power source. It’s a bit of a mishmash with bits of Jules Verne, Swift, R.L. Stevenson, even a grab from the Jewish ghetto in Prague, THE GOLEM. But it doesn’t feel as overburdened, dark or impenetrable as some recent Miyazaki; it’s a mess, but a jolly, friendly mess, and very likable. The palette is cheerful & wonderfully bright, the characterizations are winning (within the limits of animé facial styling) and there are fabulous set pieces scattered along the journey. An early chase in the first act between a track-bound train and the pirates madly driving on a curving mountain road is a real standout. (Did Spielberg have this scene in the back of his head making TIN TIN?) And some of the airborne flights, especially when the kids take flight in a high flying kite-lookout, are rapturous. What a treat this would have been on the big screen.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Don’t know why, but the French track really fits the action. Sounds silly, but turn the subtitles on and give it a try.

No comments: