"One of my all-time favorites. I personally prefer it with the original Japanese dialogue, but the english dub included on this DVD isn't bad. Though I must say the English dub directed by Carl Maceck was better, if less literal. (Quickly dodges all the Robotech-haters out there...) (Carl Maceck's translation is NOT included on this DVD)Lupin III is a master thief. With his cohorts Jigen and Goemon and the unwitting help from his ex-girlfriend Fujiko as well as Lupin's self-proclaimed nemesis, Inspector Zenigata, they free a beutiful Princess from her evil captor who is intent on marrying the young princess to steal the family fortune.Like all of Miyazaki's other works, this film has gorgeous animation that compliments a very intricate and heartful story.
Fans of the original Lupin III comic by Monkey Punch may not appreciate it as much since the characters act a little 'nicer' than the fans may prefer, but Miyazaki's talent lies in weaving a good story together with beautiful animation, and it is clearly evidenced here.This film stands not just as a good example of whats good about Japanese animation, but as a good movie in general... Interesting characters, clever plot twists, amazing action, and a good dose of heart. I still stand surprised that some hollywood shmuck hasn't bought the rights to it and mangled it into the lame "blockbuster" live-action formula that America is currently plagued with. But I digress...I can think of no better introduction to anime than Hayao Miyazaki. Castle of Cagliostro is definitely one of his better works, and you will find yourself amazed at how 'real' this hand-drawn animation feels compared to the generic pocket-monster-giant-robot-half-naked-girls-with-guns-otaku-fanboy-teenager-boobshow stuff... in fact I'd say that's the only thing this film is missing. :) ... again, I digress...This work is a cut above and deserves a higher respect, as it's done by a man who clearly has more respect for the art."
Bond.... James Bond (Japanese style)
Sardan | Round Rock | 08/15/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Grown-ups and non-anime fans should not be put off by the cover art for this DVD. This is a great action movie that reminds me of a Bond movie. It has exciting car chases, a clever hero that gets himself out of precarious situations, and an evil super-villain.
But Bond with a big difference: ironically, this movie is LESS cartooonish than the real Bond movies! Bond has lots of gadgets that are incredibly specialized yet just happen to come in handy EVERY TIME, villains who are usually just too loony to be believed, and he has babes who want to jump in the sack with him after eyeballing him for 30 seconds. As a teenage boy fantasy movie, Bond rules; but if you want to see a fun, rollicking adventure/spy movie, then Castle of Cagliostro is actually a better bet.
As other reviewers have mentioned, this is one of the earliest movies by a Japanese director named Miyazaki. Most Americans have never heard of him, but in Japan he's looked upon like Spielburg and Lucas rolled into one person. Many people have compared him to Disney, but I think that's not a good comparison. While Disney worked in the same medium, his films were much more child-oriented, and for better or worse, he established many of the animation formulas and cliches that have become the norm for American animation (with notable exceptions like the superb Iron Giant). Disney has become synonymous with dumbed-down and formulaic. No one would EVER use those terms to describe Miyazaki.
While it is really Miyazaki's later work, such as the incomparable Spirited Away, that earned him his reputation as a genius, this film is still very much worth seeing. In fact, what I generally tell anyone who will listen is that you can't go wrong treating Miyazaki's name as a sort of brand name: just rent or buy anything made by him and you're guaranteed to see a movie that is well made, thoughtfully written, a visual feast, and most of all, wonderfully original. How many directors can you think of that fit that description?
The main character of this movie, Lupin, is from a long-running series. But I haven't seen any of the other episodes, and I assure you that you don't have to see any of the series beforehand to be able to enjoy this movie: it stands on its own.
In closing, let me mention that there is a persistent myth perpetuated on various Internet sites that Steven Spielburg called this one of the greatest adventure movies ever made. As far as I can tell, he never said that. Still, this wonderful movie doesn't need any made-up endorsements. See it, and you'll see why."
Christopher E. Meadows | Springfield, MO United States | 08/20/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Be warned: while the anamorphic video quality of this release is top-notch, and it has some great extras, Manga Video replaced the gorgeous, dream-like opening titles animated sequence with a series of still frames with English credits superimposed over them. This is a dreadful liberty taken with one of the greatest animated movies of all time."
More Lupin, Please!
John Kim | Orange County, CA | 05/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard from a friend of mine who spent a lot of time in Japan that Lupin III is their answer to James Bond and Batman. Seeing the movies and videos, I say that Lupin can easily whip either of them. His humor, cleverness, abilities, and wise choice of loyal friends (Jigen, the sharpshooter; Goemon, the swordsman; Fujiko, the femme fatale; and Zenigata, the inspector), make him overcome enemies and obstacles that would make Bond and Batman pause. It's too bad that, while popular in Japan, Lupin never had much of an exposure stateside, like Pokemon and Sailor Moon. Hopefully, the re-release of "Castle of Cagliostro" would change all that. For some time, I owned the Japanese version of the film, and with a downloaded English translation, I still enjoyed the film despite my limited (more like nascent) knowledge of Japanese. The well-crafted plot and story, with Lupin and the gang at their best, makes this my favorite animated feature. I also own copies of the other Lupin TV movies (the latest being "Fujiko's Unlucky Days"), but while all are rather good, "Castle of Cagliostro" is still the top of the form. Watching it finally on DVD further re-affirmed that belief. I wonder of Spielberg still considers this one of the best action/adventure films even, but I wouldn't be surprised if he did. My advice, get the DVD or subtitled versions. Like Pokemon and Sailor Moon, Lupin is best in the original Japanese, and the subtitles are more accurate than the English voice-acting."
A True Classic!!
Robb Boutros | Northford, CT United States | 11/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There is probably no anime character as revered or as celebrated as Lupin the 3rd (well maybe Captain Herlock). Lupin's adventures are truely some of the most entertaining in the entire medium. And The Castle of Cagliostro continues that tradition in spectacular fashion.
Directed by the legendary Hiyato Miyazaki who directed Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, The Castle of Cagliostro follows Lupin, Jigen, Fujiko, and Goemon to the European country side. There they find that the Duke of Cagliostro is about to wed a young lady, who has ties to Lupin's past.
This is, without a doubt, an absolute joy to watch. At a time when so many anime series are overly tedious, brooding and melodratic, it's refreshing to see a film that has a grand sense of adventure and being humours at the same time. Lupin the 3rd may be the world's greatest thief, but in this film he gets to play the hero. Which is a great change of pace for Lupin. One of the great things is that even if you're unfamiliar with Lupin the 3rd, you'll have no problem following this film. This is almost a "stand alone" movie.
The transfer is excellent. The color is very clean even for an older film. The original audio track is presented in 2 Channel Dolby stereo as is the English track. One of the things I couldn't get used to was that the English voice actors are different than that of the current voice talent on the Lupin the 3rd series currently airing on Adult Swim and released by Pioneer. But if you listen to the original Japanse dialog that's not a problem.
The DVD has a very good menu layout. There are animated scene selection menus, which I found very nice considering that most older DVD's don't feature them. One of the things is that the "Extras" are a little sparse. There's some background on Miyazaki, trailers and really that's about it.
This movie is wall to wall fun. With so much anime being so deadly serious, it's great to sit back and have a good laugh. If you like anime, or even just good films in general, then this is a can't miss for your library that director Steven Spielberg once called one of the greatest adventure movies of all time."