I just watched Castle in the Sky with my kids and Howard. None of us had seen it before. It was fantastic. It is the only Anime movie that I’ve ever seen where I outright loved all of it. Kiki’s Delivery Service is cute, but the pacing feels off and I didn’t get wrapped up in the story. Ditto My Neighbor Totoro. I’ve grown to love both, but didn’t love them right away. The other anime that I’ve seen is beautifully drawn, but all of the stories failed to engage me. It is entirely possible that I’ve just missed all of the good stuff. (Feel free to recommend some, but be aware that I’m not keen on graphic violence or sex even animated.)
Castle in the Sky was an instant hit with all of us. Gleek kept making delighted exclaimations throughout the movie. (“The robot is their friend!”) Link and Kiki were enraptured. All three kids wanted to watch the movie again right away. After I refused to allow an imediate re-showing, the kids all engaged in a delightful discussions about whether it would be possible for a tree to grow up in the sky. Kiki and Gleek both asserted that it was. Kiki said the tree needed something floating to grow on. Gleek said it only needed a blue diamond. Link was doubtful about this, but agreed that it might work if there was magic involved. They all went to bed happily musing on castles and crystals and trees and giant robots.
I suspect that the kind friend who loaned us the DVD won’t be getting it back for several weeks.