A G C’s review published on Letterboxd:
Quite a beautiful movie! Every time I watch another Ghibli film, I think I've seen the most beautiful one. I would call these sort of a competitor to Disney except Ghibli's overall quality is just so much much better. Fewer films will do that but Disney doesn't have this many straight masterpieces. I think I've seen 6 of these so far, and I'd struggle to name 6 Disney movies that I think are of the same quality as this and My Neighbor Totoro and others.
Maybe I'm a little bit biased because I like Ghibli's approach to animation more. Disney does something right because theirs is so easy on the eyes. They smooth out roughness, I think. Ghibli almost goes the other way and brings that roughness to the forefront. There's more focus on textures, more overall detail to things. The robots in Castle in the Sky are fantastic creations and so is the titular castle! Sky pirates are so fun, and the quiet courtyard with the gardener robot and the little foxes on his shoulder? Very peaceful.
I like that Captain Dola genuinely gives Pazu the chance to stop and consider before he decides to fly with pirates. Be ready in 40 seconds.