Director & Writer : Hayao Miyazaki
- THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO: Yasuo Yamada, Eiko Masuyama, Kiyoshi Kobayashi, Taro Ishida
- MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO: Noriko Hidaka, Chika Sakamoto, Hitoshi Takagi
Reviewed by Guy Adams
In 2009, the BFS and FantasyCon committees decided that the Karl Edward Wagner award (their â€œspecialâ€ award recognizing exemplary contributions to the field) should go to director Hayao Miyazaki in recognition of a thirty-year career bringing a host of beautiful, animated fantasy to the screen. StudioCanal are currently proving exactly why that award was much-deserved with their Studio Ghibli Collection re-releasing many of the directorâ€™s films in lavish Blu-ray and DVD releases.
Last month saw the turn of The Castle of Cagliostro, Miyazakiâ€™s first feature and My Neighbour Totoro, his fourth.
Seperated by nearly ten years, there is an understandable leap of style between the two films. The Castle of CagliostroÂ is a fun, action-packed romp featuring ArsÃ¨ne Lupin III (grandson of Maurice LeBlancâ€™s fictional master thief). My Neighbour TotoroÂ is a gentle, elegaic, portrait of two young girls who find support and escape from worries over their hospitalized mother in the company of a powerful wood spirit who only they can see.
It would be somewhat churlish to compare the two given how vastly different their plot and aims are, though itâ€™s hard not to note that the storytelling promise shown in the first is shown to bear astonishing fruit in the second. My Neighbour TotoroÂ is a movie of undeniable beauty and a perfect example of why Miyazaki has earned the reputation he has.
Both Blu-rays offer flawless sound and picture quality, enabling viewers both new and old to immerse themselves in the worldâ€™s Miyazaki creates. StudioCanal have done both us and Miyazaki proud with editions that can be considered definitive. If you have yet to experience Miyazakiâ€™s work you no longer have any excuse.