The First CG ‘Lupin III’ Sequel Channels Hayao Miyazaki’s ‘The Castle of Cagliostro’

When Japanese VFX-wizard-turned-director Takashi Yamazaki (“Dragon Quest: Your Story”) tackled “Lupin III: The First” (GKids), the first CG movie in the Monkey Punch Anime franchise, he turned for inspiration to the great Hayao Miyazaki.

After all, Miyazaki cut his feature teeth on the franchise’s “The Castle of Cagliostro” (1979), which was Yamazaki’s ’80s introduction to Miyazaki.

And, for good measure, Miyazaki continued to make his mark on master thief Lupin by directing two influential TV episodes the following year: “Wings of Death: Albatross” and “Farewell My Beloved Lupin.”The Oscar-winning Miyazaki (“Spirited Away”) humanized the stylish Lupin in “Cagliostro” by making him a gallant hero as well, rescuing a princess in distress on the way to seizing his treasure.

Fittingly, Yamazaki borrowed the theme for “Lupin III: The First” by having Lupin rescue a brilliant archaeologist, Laetitia, in search of a mysterious supernatural artifact that connects both of their ancestries.

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