Don’t you just love it when a random conversation with a stranger online sparks a story idea for your next post? I do.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a tweet about how the next Hayao Miyazaki film will take another three years to be made. For the uninitiated – Hayao Miyazaki is the co-founder of ‘Studio Ghibli’, and those guys make amazing animated films.

For loyal Ghibli fans like me, three years is a long wait. So I tweeted about it and it led to a conversation with a fellow animation enthusiast.

After discussing our shared admiration for some of the films, he happened to mention ‘Laputa’, also known as ‘Castle In The Sky’, which was the first film made by Studio Ghibli in 1986. Both of us felt that the film wasn’t very impressive. Our exchange reminded me of an interesting thought that had struck me while watching it – that the robots in ‘Laputa’ had reminded me of the U.S animated film ‘The Iron Giant’, which came out in 1999.

‘Laputa’ in the Ghibli creation is a floating Island city, with friendly robots and many riches. We see these friendly giants taking care of birds and plants in the city which is no longer inhabited by humans. While the robots are not as elaborately drawn as the one in ‘The Iron Giant’, it’s not too far-fetched to believe that ‘Laputa’ may have served as some inspiration for the American film.

In the American film, the robot comes from space and is a friendly sentient being. The giant then strikes an adorable friendship with a little boy and the story is about their unlikely bond. Kind of like ET, the 1982 film, but I liked it a LOT more than ET.

Well, anyway, I don’t really know if I am the only one who noticed the uncanny resemblance between the robot from ‘The Iron Giant’ and the ones in ‘Castle in the Sky’. But the thought is interesting, that the Japanese movie may have spurred the imagination of American animators. MAY HAVE.