Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro Returns to US Theaters

Lupin the 3rd: The Castle of Cagliostro

Lupin the 3rd, The Castle of Cagliostro, the 1979 comedy caper classic directed by Hayao Miyazaki, will be playing in select US theaters this September, courtesy of Fathom Events. Two dates have been announced: September 14 for the English-language "dubbed" soundtrack, and September 19 for the Japanese-language "subtitled" soundtrack.

The dubbed soundtrack will be the classic Streamline dub that was created many years ago, and not the more recent dub recorded by Manga Entertainment. If memory serves (feel free to correct me on this, I don't have a disc handy), that dub added a number of swear words in an effort to sound more "adult." This was a common practice for anime dubs in the 1980s and 1990s, and should be thought of as a relic of that era. Families who are Miyazaki fans should be mindful, but I don't think you'll hear anything above a "PG" level.

Castle of Cagliostro is Miyazaki's first directorial feature film, after spending the 1970s as a director on television, including the original 1971-72 Lupin the 3rd series. Yasuo Otsuka, the founding father of that series (and lovingly remembered as the "father of Lupin anime"), serves as the animation director for this film. Animation studio Telecom, part of the TMS empire, was used for the production, and the staff includes many of the same people who worked on episodes of the "Red Jacket" Lupin TV series, as well as Sherlock Hound in 1981.

This is a really great movie, but it remains slightly ignored by most Miyazaki fans, who love Totoro and Catbus, but know little of Lupin, Heidi, Conan or Sherlock. As a result, they may feel a bit left out, puzzled at the large cast of characters they barely know, and puzzled at the sight of slapstick action comedy that became a rarity in the Studio Ghibli era.

Even if you would rather watch Spirited Away, Ponyo or Totoro, you should give Cagliostro a chance. It's a terrific action-adventure with one foot in classic caper movies, the other in James Bond parodies. There are exciting action sequences, wonderful locations, compelling characters and slapstick bits right out of the Road Runner cartoons.

Afterwords, I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of Lupin the 3rd: The Complete First TV Series and get caught up the original series. You'll love it.

Tickets are available now on the Fathom Events website. Use the search bar to see if the movie is playing in your local area. Thankfully for the Ghibli Blog, there will be a screening here at the AMC Theater in downtown Chicago.

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