Laputa: Castle in the Sky

Laputa: Castle in the Sky directed by Hayao Miyazaki, was created in 1986 and was brought to America in 1996. This movie revolves  a girl named Sheeta, who is kidnapped and chased after throughout the movie for having a mysterious power handed to her by her ancestors. With the help of her new friend Pazu, she is able to understand the origins of her power and dispose of it so that no harm is done to the world.

Miyazaki wrote this story to get away from the notion that the male protagonist must always save the damsel in distress. In this case, Sheeta is supposed to be the damsel in distress with Pazu being the knight in shining armor, but Miyazaki lays out their personalities so that this cliche is not exhibited. Pazu and Sheeta both have their roles in the storyline and neither is viewed to be weak or strong on the bases of their gender. In the beginning of the movie, Sheeta escapes from her kidnappers using her own strength. At another point in the movie, Pazu realizes that he is not strong enough to help Sheeta in her quest so he joins up with pirates to gain allies to help Sheeta. These examples show how the character designs go against the notion of the weak female and the strong male.  Thus, eliminating the damsel in distress cliche from his work, Miyazaki effectively creates an interesting movie that does not involve gender discrimination.

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