7. Castle in the Sky
Miyazaki created classic film after classic film for decades, in a streak that started with Lupin III and ended, I’d argue, with Howl’s Moving Castle. Often forgotten among the wonders is Castle in the Sky, a steampunk entry that is a joyous adventure, akin to Treasure Island but developed for an audience of both boys and girls. Sumptuous cloudscapes fill the screen, as do colorful characters with meaty roles, including a group favored by Miyazaki—pirates (in this movie, air pirates led by Dola, an older female). Reflective of Miyazaki’s ability to master genres, Castle in the Sky again crosses fantasy and sci-fi in perfect proportions, underscoring an uplifting tale with an apocalyptic story line.