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5 Conversations to Have with Your Kids After "Castle in the Sky"

Common Sense Media logo Common Sense Media 6/1/2017 Frannie Ucciferri

Castle in the Sky is a fantastic adventure film for anime fans who are looking for something with a little more action than gentler classics such as My Neighbor Totoro or Kiki's Delivery Service. Hayao Miyazaki's swashbuckling story about a flying sky fortress is the first movie produced by Studio Ghibli, the celebrated production house co-founded by Miyazaki himself. The film's two young heroes -- Sheeta and Pazu -- face pirates, robots, heat rays, and more, which could prompt conversations about everything from courage and teamwork to how much scariness your family is ready for. And with several versions available to English-speaking audiences, this movie could also spark an interest in foreign films and cultural differences. In other words, there's a lot here for families to talk about.

Throughout the United States in 2017, Studio Ghibli is releasing several of its most popular kids' movies on the big screen. Type in your city or ZIP code here to find out whether Castle in the Sky is showing at a theater near you. Then afterward, try some of these discussion questions with your kids:

  • How do Sheeta and Pazu demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

  • Do you consider the main characters role models? Why, or why not?

  • How do nature and technology interact in the story? Do the robots and airships seem more futuristic or old-fashioned? How does the movie use both realistic forces and fantasy elements in the imagery of the flying fortress in the sky?

  • Which parts of the movie, if any, were frightening to you? How much scary stuff can young kids handle?

  • Why do you think this movie is considered an anime classic? How is it different from the majority of Hollywood animated movies?

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