So its been around 26 years since hit anime-movie Laputa: Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ) was first released in theatres in Japan in 1986. The movie is going to be broadcasted again on Japanese TV on Friday for the 14th time. It’s a Ghibli classic and it doesn’t seem like people are going to get tired of the movie any time soon. I remember watching it in High school Japanese classes and its definitely one of my favourite Ghibli movies. But what alot of people don’t know is that Laputa was actually made by Ghibli Studios to fight debts caused by other projects. So what’s the full story? Keep reading and I’ll explain it.
Following the release of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind(風の谷のナウシカ) Hayao Miyazaki decided that he did not want to be a work as a director again. This resulted from him having to be tough on his animators as part of fulfilling his job as a director. He decided that losing friends at the cost of being a director was not a good trade. A lot of money came in from Nausicaä and one of the producers of it, Isao Takahata, was next in line be director for Ghibli’s next project.
At first the new project was intended to be an anime release but Takahata ended up moving into the direction of a documentary instead and a lot of time and money was going into the project but it was still left unfinished. Miyazaki hit some money troubles within the studio and asked Producer Toshio Suzuki for advice.
Suzuki proposed that Miyazaki make yet another movie to generate funds for the studio and the two pretty much thought up the premise for Laputa in only 5 minutes during that same conversation. Surprisingly the project that Takahata was directing,The Story of Yanagawa’s Canals(柳川堀割物語), ended up being released a full year after Laputa – what a delay. It’s surprising that such a popular movie would have never been made if Ghibli had been financially sound. I guess putting pretty on people makes them do amazing things.