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Laputa: Synopsis

The story of Laputa is set in near-modern time at a rather generic place on Earth, or at least a place that shared parts of its history with Earth. The look and feel of things while familiar, do bear differences with our reality.

In the opening scene we see our heroine Sheeta being held prisoner on board an airship, having just been captured by government agents. Meanwhile air pirates of the Dola gang began their assault on the airship in the hope of capturing Sheeta. In the midst of confusion, Sheeta smashed an empty bottle over the head of government agent Mooska, took a pendant from him and wore it round her neck. She tried to escape through the window but her feet slipped and she fell from the airship into the clouds below...

[Opening theme (1.2M)]

As Sheeta was falling through the air unconscious, the pendant she's wearing suddenly shone brilliantly and halted Sheeta's fall to a slow descent.

In the mining town below Pazu was busy buying dinner for his boss Daffi. While walking back to work, he saw a light descending from the sky at a distance and hurried to take a closer look. To his surprise it was a girl. He held out his arms to catch Sheeta, which proved difficult once the light of the pendant faded and Sheeta regained her weight. (no pun intended :) Having tried unsuccessfully to bring his boss' attention to Sheeta, Pazu took her home.

The next morning Sheeta was surprised to find herself in a stranger's house, but Pazu told her what happened and tried to show that the pendant saved her life by jumping off the roof wearing her pendant. He smashed through the floor below and into the basement, seemingly uninjured. While Pazu was preparing breakfast, Sheeta noticed a picture on the Wall which showed a corner of what looked like a castle amidst the clouds. Across the front of the picture was written the word "Laputa". Pazu told her that the picture was taken by his late father, an airship pilot. His father said he caught a glimpse of the city while flying through a storm, and he named the place Laputa, meaning the city in the sky. Unfortunately people did not believe him and he died of desolation.

The Dola gang arrived outside Pazu's house looking for Sheeta, but Sheeta managed to slip past them by dressing up as a boy. Before long Sheeta was recognized and the pirates gave chase. Pazu and Sheeta took refuge in his boss' house followed closely by the pirates. They were stopped by Daffi and a fight ensued. Amidst the confusion Pazu and Sheeta slipped away through the backdoor, only to be spotted by Dola from a distance. Pazu and Sheeta boarded a train while the pirates chased after them in their car (!). An army train appeared in front of their train and Pazu thought the army would help them, but Sheeta recognized the government agents onboard as the ones who captured her, so they ran. The army train opened fire and Sheeta and Pazu were left hanging on a segment of the collapsing elevated track. Dola and others could do nothing except watching them fall. In mid air the pendant worked its magic again and they were both floating down into a mine shaft while Dola and the army people watched in amazement from above.

Sheeta and Pazu landed safely at the bottom of the mine shaft and they met "Uncle Pom", an old miner who's a friend of Pazu's. Uncle Pom told them that he came down because the rocks were becoming restless lately. He explained that all the rocks in the mine contained traces of "levitation stone", but they turned to ordinary stone once exposed to air. Sheeta took out her pendant and it shone brightly against the dark cave they're in. Uncle Pom immediately recognized the pendant as a levitation stone crystal and was very surprised since the people of Laputa were the only ones who can extract and refine levitation stones, and that's how they made their city float in the sky. This confirmed the existence of Laputa.

Once outside the mine, Sheeta confessed to Pazu that her full name was "Lusheeta Toelle Ul Laputa", implying her connection to Laputa in some way ... At that instant an army plane arrived and Pazu and Sheeta were captured. They brought them to the Tedis army fortress where Pazu was thrown in the brig. Sheeta was interrogated by government agent Mooska who tried to tempt Sheeta to reveal the secret of the pendant, but without success. He then brought Sheeta to the basement of the fortress where he showed her the remains of a manacing-looking half-crippled lifeless robot. The emblem on the robot matched the emblem on Sheeta's pendant. Mooska told Sheeta that the robot had fell from the sky and was definitive proof that Laputa existed, since the technology needed to build it wasn't known. He also told her that her true name meant that she was the legitimate heir to the throne of Laputa, and that the pendant would only work for her with the correct spell. Sheeta denied that she knew any spells. When Mooska threatened to harm Pazu if Sheeta resisted, she decided to cooperate. She told Pazu to forget about her and Laputa, and Pazu went home dejected.

Once back home, Pazu was ambushed by the Dola gang who taunted him about selling out Sheeta ... Soon they intercepted a telegraph message from the fortress where the army was calling the giant battle airship Goliath to take Sheeta away. Pazu begged the Dola gang to take him with them and so they did.

Back in her detention room, Sheeta felt desperate and recalled a spell her grandma told her to use when in distress. She recited the spell and the pendant was instantly activated, causing quite a bit of commotion inside the room. A side effect of the activation of the pendant was the revival of the robot in the basement. Not only was the robot still functional, it's virtually unstoppable as it crawled out of the basement and headed in the direction of Sheeta, causing tremendous destruction along the way. Mooska tried to force Sheeta to tell him the spell but the robot separated them and Sheeta escaped to the top of a tower, followed by the robot.

Hurriedly, Pazu and the Dola gang flew in their Flapters towards the fortress, when they noticed that the fortress was on fire...

The robot, responding to the activated pendant Sheeta's wearing, tried to reach out to Sheeta on top of the tower but Sheeta was scared. A shot from a cannon hit the robot's chest and it fell, seemingly destroyed. Sheeta was rendered unconscious and the pendant fell off the side of the tower. As the soldiers approached Sheeta, the robot awakened and took Sheeta in his arm while causing even more widespread destruction all around them. Sheeta regained consciousness and was horrified to see the destruction caused by the robot. She begged it to stop and to put her down, which it did, only to be dealt a fatal shot from Goliath which had moved into position above them.

Pazu and Dola spotted Sheeta on top of the tower but failed to reach her on their first pass. Fire raged all around Sheeta and Pazu had only one last chance to rescue her. With Dola at the control, Pazu hanged himself upside down from the plane trying for a trapeze-catch, and succeeded! With the help of smoke screens released by the other planes of the Dola gang, they escaped from the burning fortress.

On the fortress ground below the tower, Sheeta's pendant was found by Mooska and he was delighted to notice that it still emitted a beam of light pointing to the direction of Laputa...

Pazu and Sheeta were taken aboard the pirate ship TigerMoth by the Dola gang, and they headed in the direction of the light beam emitted by the pendant, as recalled accurately by Sheeta. Goliath, with Mooska and the army on board, was heading in the same direction...

Pazu was awakened in the middle of night to stand watch on top of the TigerMoth. Sheeta joined him and told him about the different spells her grandma taught her: There were spells for healing, for searching ... and a spell of destruction, which she was told never to use. Suddenly beneath the cloud Pazu noticed a giant shadow - the Goliath! The TigerMoth took cover inside the clouds and in order to stay watch above the clouds, Pazu and Sheeta were released on a kite tied to the TigerMoth. It wasn't long before they noticed a strange gigantic cloud ahead sucking them in. At that instant Goliath broke through the clouds and started firing. One shell severed the connection between the kite and the TigerMoth and Sheeta and Pazu disappeared into the giant cloud. The TigerMoth was badly damaged and was also sucked in. Goliath circled outside looking for an entrance to the interior of the cloud, since Mooska realized that Laputa was hidden in the cloud center.

Sheeta and Pazu passed out going through the giant cloud, but the kite landed safely on what seemed to be part of a garden. After Pazu and Sheeta regained consciousness, they realized they have reached Laputa at last. They were greeted by a robot looking exactly like the one in the fortress, and it led them through the once fabulous but now deserted streets of Laputa to a grave site where the last of the Laputans laid. A loud explosion in the distance caught their attention and they went to investigate. On the way they discovered that half of city had already been destroyed in ancient time. From a distance they watched the soldiers debark from the Goliath, and they saw the remains of the TigerMoth lying nearby. Dola and her gang had been captured and were due to be executed. While the army was busy plundering the treasures all around, Mooska and his men found an entrance to the inside of Laputa. Pazu was discovered when he tried to free Dola and others, and Sheeta had to throw herself at Mooska's men to prevent them from shooting Pazu. Sheeta thus captured was taken inside Laputa by Mooska. Pazu managed to free the Dola gang and went after Sheeta.

Constantly consulting his notebook, Mooska found his way to the very heart of Laputa, where we see large blocks of levitation stone moving around in a deliberate way, acting as the brain of Laputa. Having reached the royal chamber, Mooska left his men outside and took Sheeta with him to the room where a giant levitation stone crystal was kept. It was as big as a man and was the power source of all of Laputa. Mooska located the control panel nearby and started to match the writings on it with those in his notebook. When Sheeta asked why he knew so much about Laputa, Mooska revealed that his true name was "Romooska Paro Ul Laputa", indicating that he's also of royal lineage like Sheeta. Mooska's and Sheeta's ancestors went their separate ways when they returned to earth 700 years ago, and now Mooska wanted to reclaim the throne of Laputa and rule the Earth. By activating parts of the control panel with Sheeta's pendant, Mooska made an opening on the outside of Laputa and lured the army into a glass-surrounded chamber at the bottom of Laputa. As a show of force and to celebrate Laputa's rebirth, Mooska activated the powerful weapon of Laputa, the "Thunder of Laputa", which produced an effect like a nuclear explosion in the sea below. Mooska told them that this was the same weapon used to destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament. He then proceeded to retract the bottom of the glass chamber, causing all soldiers in the chamber to plunge to their death. Witnessing this, the Goliath opened fire on Laputa but its cannons were no match for Laputa. Mooska sent out hundreds of robots which promptly surrounded and destroyed Goliath.

Sheeta managed to free herself while Mooska was busy doing the killings. She snatched the pendant from Mooska and ran ... Meanwhile Pazu got to the inside of Laputa through luck and called out for Sheeta. Sheeta answered but they were separated by a thick wall with a hole too small to pass through. Pazu wanted to blast through the wall with his minicannon but with Mooska in close pursuit, Sheeta handed Pazu the pendant through the hole in the wall and asked him to throw it into the sea. At that moment Mooska arrived and grabbed Sheeta. He threatened to kill Sheeta unless Pazu hand over the pendant. Pazu blasted through the wall with the last shot of his minicannon and went after them. In the royal chamber Pazu caught up with them and asked to speak with Sheeta alone. Not knowing that Pazu's minicannon was out of ammunition, Mooska gave them three minutes. Pazu told Sheeta that he had the pendant concealed in his left hand and asked her to tell him the spell of destruction. He also told her that Dola and the others were safe, implying that it would only be his and her death. Relieved and resolved, Sheeta whispered the spell to Pazu. Pazu then dropped his minicannon, much to the surprise of Mooska. While holding their hands with the pendant in between, they recited the spell of destruction. Instantly a blinding flash emitted from the pendant and the destruction of Laputa began: The giant levitation stone crystal broke through the roof and flew upward. Without the power source that held the structure together, Laputa disintegrated, stone by stone, all falling into the sea below. The giant levitation stone crystal's ascent was slowed by the giant tree that grew on the garden atop Laputa. As it happened, the roots of that tree also saved the lives of Pazu and Sheeta. Miraculously the kite from the TigerMoth was lying nearby undamaged. Sheeta and Pazu got on the kite and took off, catching a last glimpse of the robot they first met and the garden of Laputa it tended to, both saved by the giant tree which continued to ascend, being supported by the giant levitation stone crystal.

Dola's gang had escaped in their flapters. They tried to reach the giant levitation stone crystal but the planes were overloaded. To their surprise and delight they spotted the kite with Pazu and Sheeta on it. Thus reunited, they flew back together until they almost reached home, at which point Pazu and Sheeta flew off into the sunset in their kite and lived happily ever after

[Ending song (Kimi o Nosete) (2.0M)] [lyrics]

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