New Cagliostro DVD to Arrive in August

Well, speak of the devil! I made a passing remark a couple posts ago that we should write to Manga Entertainment and ask them to reissue a new DVD for Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro. It turns out, they're doing just that.

The old Cagliostro DVD is six years old, and it shows. The subtitles are excellent, but the picture quality is old, and the disc includes no real extras. Pretty much standard fare for a DVD from 2000. But, at the time, this was the only Miyazaki film to appear Stateside, and you were very likely the only kid on your block who knew about it.

This new DVD is going to be terrific. The packaging is obviously copied from Disney's packaging of the Studio Ghibli DVD's, which is fine as long as it sells. I'd prefer the original movie poster, which is a really cool poster, by the way; but, still, this looks great.

Extras on the disc include storyboards and an interview with Yasuo Otsuka, who served as the Animation Director. Are the trailers included? That's standard fare these days, but I can't say for sure. I guess we'll all find out the hard way.

Cagliostro is one of those excellent caper movies that you can never get out of your head. There are the usual litany of thrilling car chases and cliffhanger escapes, a little touch of intrigue, and a lot of humor. This is a very funny movie. I'm immediately reminded of all those Pink Panther movies.

And then there's that Steven Spielberg quote, which keeps popping back up. In truth, it's more urban legend than truth, but it's an urban legend that no one has successfully proven or disproven. According to the story, George Lucas invited Spielberg over to the Skywalker Ranch, where he showed him Castle of Cagliostro for the first time. This was when they were working on one of the Indiana Jones movies, either Raiders of the Lost Ark or Temple of Doom. Spielberg's praise of the car chase (and it really is a spectacular car chase) was overheard by an employee from Lucasfilm Games (later Lucasarts), and so the infamous quote was born.

In any case, expect to see Cagliostro on store shelves sometime next month. Thanks to, um, "Anonymous," for tipping me off in the comments section two posts down.


Jacob said...

Not too impressed with the cover. The art they chose is way too bland and unexciting, and gives no clue about the feel of the movie for those unfamilliar with Lupin III. "Who is that fellow? Are they going to have tea and chat for a while?" (But it's no worse than what Disney chose for Porco Rosso.)

A horrible mixing of fonts for the logo, too.

A minor nitpick: "Lupin the III" is gramatically incorrect. It should either be "Lupin III" or "Lupin the Third".

I might buy it, if it's the right price and enough of an improvement over the one I have.

Daniel Thomas MacInnes said...

Yeah, I noticed the problem with the fonts. That seemed a little odd. I suppose it's supposed to read, "Lupin the the Third." Wasn't that an episode of MST3K - "Attack of the the Eye Creatures?"

The DVD cover is pre piggybacking, but at least it's an improvement over the old one, and if that gets more people to pick it up, then it's a good thing. The important thing is that the picutre quality will be a genuine improvement over the old release. It should retail for around $25, which means places like Borders will have it on sale for $20.

And, yes, Disney's cover for Porco Rosso is just odd, especially when you look at the Japanese DVD. Why couldn't they just use the pre-existing design from Japan? At least Disney made a genuine improvement from those first DVD releases, Kiki's, Castle, and Spirited Away.

Jacob said...

Just googling about for DVD covers. Looks like the French got it right for Porco Rosso:
(2 editions)

The English got the logo somewhat right for Cagliostro:

As for Disney's Kiki box... the art is way to "glossy". The French got that right too:

The French scored another win for Castle in the Sky:

I think the case for a lot of the changes is either some clueless but spunky staff graphic designer who thinks "I can do this better!", or a dumb suit who thinks of himself an artist and asks for dumb changes. It sucks that they put people with such bad taste in charge of things like this...

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