It is probably not Miyazaki’s best film – it is on the less great side but is still a more amazing film than almost any other animation director’s best.
Roger Ebert does not recommend it:
While the movie contains delights and inventions without pause and has undeniable charm, while it is always wonderful to watch, while it has the Miyazaki visual wonderment, it's a disappointment, compared to his recent work.
Rolling Stone calls it "bliss".
6/12/2009: The Husband and The Daughter had not seen this one, so The Younger Son and I (for whom this is a favorite) watched it with them tonight.