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The Castle of Cagliostro [UK] Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Japanese & English LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: B (Region-Locked)
  • Certification: PG
  • Run Time: 100 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Studio: StudioCanal
  • Blu-ray Release Date: November 12, 2012
  • RRP: £24.99

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

The Castle of Cagliostro was Hayao Miyazaki’s first feature film and it is very different from the wonder-filled fantasies he would go on to create such as Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away. A continuation of the Lupin III animated TV series of which Miyazaki had written and directed a number of episodes, the film finds the super-thief Lupin investigating the counterfeit bills he just heisted from a Monte Carlo casino. It leads him to Cagliostro where the malevolent Count there is pushing out counterfeit bills to throw the world’s economy into turmoil. He is also holding captive the beautiful Princess Clarice he intends on forcing to marry him. With his partners in tow, including a gangster, a samurai, and a beautiful thief, Lupin plots his ultimate heist of the Count’s castle. A promise of hidden treasure and a damsel in distress is just too much to resist. The film may not have all the fantastical elements Miyazaki would come to be known for, but it is imbued with a sense of humor, nonstop action, and heroism that is infectious. As per usual with Miyazaki’s work, there is a meticulous attention to detail as well, so the artwork evokes a wonderful sense of European atmosphere from he sparkling lights of Monte Carlo to the towering halls of Castle Cagliostro.

Video Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Of all the Studio Ghibli releases on Blu-ray that I have seen from StudioCanal, this one by far looks the worst. First, lets start with the fact that it is transferred at a 1080i/60 frame rate rather than 1080p, which results in some motion artifacts such as combing. There are also issues with posterization that appear here and there and the colors look somewhat over-saturated. Getting back to the source itself, it doesn’t seem to be cleaned up very well, although it is heavily DNR’d, which just softens the details. I’m very disappointed in this release to say the least.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3.5/5]

The audio is a little step up from the video. A lossless 5.1 mix of the original Japanese track is provided in DTS-HD Master Audio (48kHz/24-bit). There are also Japanese and English LPCM 2.0 Mono (48kHz/24-bit) tracks. The 5.1 mix is nothing special at all, mostly filled with ambience in the surrounds and sounding rather reprocessed more than discrete, and a bit on the boomy side. There is some good stereo panning and clear dialogue, but that’s about it. The mono tracks are actually superior, with more balanced and cleaner sound and better lows.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:1.5/5]

There’s not a lot here at all. Only the storyboards and a trailer:

  • Storyboards – Picture-in-Picture storyboards of the entire film.
  • Trailer (1.33:1; 1080i/50)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

For a good time, pull out The Castle of Cagliostro, it is a rollicking fast-paced romp that is fun and thoroughly enjoyable. Although it isn’t exactly the perfect introduction to the works of Miyazaki, it’s still good stuff that will keep you well entertained, so get out the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B008V7NY8Y[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

[amazon-product region=”uk” tracking_id=”bluraydefinit-21″]B008V7NY8Y[/amazon-product]

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.co.uk

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:1.5/5]


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