The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

A pre-Ghibli film from Hayao Miyazaki.

It was produced in only a short manner of months and feels like it, its speedy pace at odds with the little humanistic moments and flourishes of nature that Miyazaki seemed more interested in. It’s an action-packed caper and sometimes gets bogged down in its plotting, but the general sense of fun and playful human spirit keeps things interesting enough. It lags and feels episodic, especially in how centred it is around the one (titular) location, but the characters are consistently pleasant.

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The visuals are consistently splendid, but the film itself doesn’t really feel in service to the same beauty the art is going for; this isn’t a thoughtful or reflective movie, it’s a caper, almost Bond-esque at times. It’s a fun time, but feels inessential in light of what Miyazaki would later produce through Studio Ghibli. Three rings and a plate.

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