When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking castle.
The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.
Reknowned international thief Lupin III (known as "Wolf" in the English dub) comes to the small European duchy of Cagliostro to investigate some excellently-forged money and stumbles across a national conspiracy going back some hundreds of years. Lupin and his friends must rescue the beautiful Clarice from the hands of the evil Count Cagliostro and solve the mystery of a hidden treasure dating back to the 15th century. Written by
Christopher E. Meadows <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was the first anime film to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival, although not in a competitive category; later on Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004) would be screened in that capacity. See more »
In the scene where Lupin saves Lady Clarisse from the shooters you can tell that the license plate ID changes continuously on all cars. See more »
We got five billion in various denominations! It's a shower of bills, look out!
[a pile falls on Lupin]
There's a lot of them, isn't there? More! Bury me with them!
[Jigen buries Lupin with the bills as ordered, but sees Lupin look downcast]
What's wrong, Lupin?
These are fakes. Good ones, but fakes.
These? It can't be! We stole these from the vault of the national casino!
[...] See more »
The opening credits are a montage of Lupin and Jigen on their way to Cagliostro. See more »
The second big screen outing of Lupin III is already one of the best Anime movies ever made, while rivalling anything Disney or Pixar has to offer. Green ogres, fat superheroes or a zillion gigabytes of computer animation still cannot compare to 12 frames of hand drawn charm.
For the uninitiated, Lupin III is the grandson of Arsene Lupin, the gentleman thief, created by Maurice Leblanc in the Twenties. He's always breaking into some impenetrable vault, or has a zillion gadgets up his sleeve to help with escaping if things go awry. He's also rather wacky and buffoonish, which makes his antics a joy to watch.
Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle), in his movie debut, tones down the out of control wackiness of the Lupin III TV show and gives Lupin a rather decent plot to dig his teeth into. This is not an excuse to string together a bunch of insane set pieces.
Seconds after robbing a Monte Carlo casino, Lupin and Jigen discover that every dollar note they have swiped is a fake. Only one place in the world is known to make these counterfeits and Lupin's underworld knowledge leads them to the tiny European country of Cagliostro (think Luxemburg, only much, much smaller).
Half a moment after crossing the border, Lupin and Jigen are involved in a car chase and rescue the Lady Clarisse from a bunch of goons. But she's promptly kidnapped again, though manages to leave Lupin a clue in the form of a strange wedding ring.
Their suspicions over the kidnapping lead them to the titular castle where they discover that an evil Count has seized control of the country, using - guess what? - funny money. And the ring is the key to a great treasure that can only be uncovered when the Lady Clarisse is married to the Count.
Lupin deliberately blows his cover to Inspector Zenigata (the perpetually stressed Interpol officer who is always chasing him) as a diversion, while he breaks into the castle to rescue Clarisse. What follows is scene after scene of hairs breadth escapes and impossible scenarios.
Miyazaki's attention to detail is what truly elevates this beyond typical animation quality. There are enough moments of quietness and atmosphere to balance out the loud scenes. A strong sense of setting also comes from the imaginative "photography". Too many animated movies disorientate the audience with frenetic direction and over-indulgence, but Castle Of Cagliostro works so much better by taking its time and choosing the best angles to cover the action. His trademark flying machines and overeating scenes make their first big screen appearance here.
Far from his typical sub-genre of eco-friendly animation, Miyazaki is obviously a big fan of Lupin and has made a movie that refuses to be missed. Even Spielberg called CoC "one of the best adventure movies ever." Any fan of Miyazaki should check out this film immediately.
One should be aware that the Maurice Leblanc estate doesn't entirely approve of the Lupin III franchise. As a result he is mostly known in the new Optimum Region 2 DVD version as "Wolf" (get it?). The Manga release of this film was entirely re-dubbed in English with Lupin restored but the new Optimum DVD uses the original English voice actors.
31 of 37 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?