Fans of Hayao Miyazaki better clear September 14 and September 19. Fathom Events is bringing the anime director’s landmark 1979 debut feature “The Castle of Cagliostro” to U.S. theaters nationwide for the first time ever. The animated adventure is coming to the big screen to mark the 50th anniversary of Monkey Punch’s manga series “Lupin the Third,” which is the source material on which it’s based.
“The Castle of Cagliostro” was released six years before Miyazaki would go on to co-create Studio Ghibli. It found the director making the transition to features after working as an animator for Toei Animation and TMS Entertainment. Prior to “Cagliostro,” Miyazaki had directed anime television series like “Lupin III” and two episodes of “Lupin III Part II.” The story follows the thief Arsène Lupin III after he robs a casino and discovers the stolen money is counterfeit. He travels to the country of Cagliostro to find the real money but get’s caught up in a mission to save the runaway Clarisse from the Count.
The film was released theatrically in Japan in December 1979, but it only played at festivals in the U.S. starting a year later. Interest in Japanese animation wasn’t entirely high, so the lack of interest in festival screenings prevented the film from opening theatrically in the U.S. until 1991. “Cagliostro” received only a limited platform release in April 1991, so the upcoming two-night only event will be its first nationwide rollout in nearly four decades.
“Cagliostro” is the latest Miyazaki movie to return to the big screen via Fathom Events. They’ve had special screenings of “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away” in the past year, and “Kiki’s Delivery Service” is returning to the big screen this month. Miyazaki is currently in production on his first movie since 2013.
Tickets for “The Castle of Cagliostro” re-release go on sale Friday, August 18 on the Fathom Events website.