Author Topic: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?  (Read 13007 times)

GATSU

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The reason I'm asking is that, after the movie came out, you see almost nothing new from him until Sherlock Hound. [Future Boy Conan compilation movie and some assistant work on the Cobra movie do not count. Nor does his gig at Topcraft for The Last Unicorn.] And that's like, what, five years later? Yeah, he was drawing the Nausicaa manga and trying to get the anime movie off the ground, but a lot of it seems to be through his own money, as well as the money of his proto-Ghibli and Tokuma buddies. And it seems that Cagliostro was initially-and in some cases, still is-reviled by hardcore Lupin fans when it first came out in Japan. So does this mean Miyazaki was blacklisted from the Japanese anime industry after the negative reception? The reason I ask is because I find it hard to believe that he couldn't find a job during the most fruitful decade for anime when he'd be most in demand. So did he burn too many bridges, because of Cagliostro, and was just no longer invited to the party? Also, does that biography printed by Viz go into that era?

GodKill123

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 02:19:54 pm »
I doubt it. Lupin was his first movie he did. Maybe there was a time when he was fishing around the ideas of Sherlock to different companies, but I don't think his career was ruin by Cagliostro.

Gozar

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 03:20:47 pm »
I have nothing of value to add here other than wondering why FilmMakerJ hasn't responded here. I'm interested to here what he has to say.

aalong64

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 11:45:42 pm »
I don't think it did any real damage to his career. It just wasn't a huge success that immediately led to other work. I can't imagine that anybody genuinely thought it was a terrible film when it came out. I mean, that's just absurd. It's clearly very well-directed and written. The issue people seemed to have was just that it was nothing like the Lupin they knew and loved, which is perfectly valid way to feel about it.

I think the general consensus among the fanbase today is that we tolerate Lupin being out of character in this film because just about everything else about it is so amazing. At least, that's how I see it.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 10:51:38 am by aalong64 »

trolltyg

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 06:08:17 am »
It just went under the radar when it released, wasnt a big flop but not a big hit either.
Miyazaki wasnt a big name then that draws the crouds like it does today.

I would love to see him do a new take on the Lupin series.

fantasticmrfox

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2012, 07:00:48 am »
To be fair, Miyazaki was trying to launch an entire studio, and after Cagliostro he was working on Anne of Green Gables, 2 notable episodes of Lupin the 3rd part 2, developing all of sherlock hound, and nausicaa all at the same time while making the aforementioned studio.

to a degree, i'm sure there were contracts he had to deal with as well when he went out and recruited isao takahata to make ghibli

GATSU

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2012, 09:16:01 am »
aalong:
Quote
I can't imagine that anybody genuinely thought it was a terrible film when it came out. I mean, that's just absurd.

Well, like I said, if you were a die-hard Japanese Lupin fan at the time, you probably did think that way. I dunno why, but that's just how it was. (Almost) No one's questioning the quality of Cagliostro now, but it was the red-headed step-child of the franchise in Japan for the longest time.

troll: So would I, but unfortunately, Miya-san said he's passing on more Lupin. I wonder why.  ::)

fantastic: You sure Sherlock Hound and the Nausicaa movie were four years in the making? Well, maybe the Nausicaa movie. Sherlock Hound was a TMS production, so I'm not sure how much say he had in it.

aalong64

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2012, 10:56:22 am »
I probably didn't explain what I meant properly.

I know it was unsuccessful at the time, and the Lupin fanbase may have hated it, but that's only because Lupin acted so different from normal. In terms of being true to the character, it wasn't a very good Lupin movie.

But from a non-fan perspective-- say, other anime professionals who would've seen it-- it was obviously a very well-crafted and well-told story. I don't think any producers at the time would've looked at the movie and thought "this guy just can't direct, we'd better not give him another job." Which is why I don't think it had a negative impact on his career.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 10:58:37 am by aalong64 »

FilmmakerJ

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2012, 03:21:58 pm »
I have nothing of value to add here other than wondering why FilmMakerJ hasn't responded here. I'm interested to here what he has to say.

Well thank you Gozar.

The only reason I didn't say anything in here yet was because after all the research I have done thus far, I have heard nothing to the effect that the movie blacklisted Miyazaki in anyway. One usually doesn't get blacklisted after a film simply annoys a fanbase. Take a look at J.J. Abrams for instance. A lot of the die-hard Star Trek fans were pissed at that, but he's right on making a sequel because it was a good movie, and a lot of us out there still liked it. (Me: I loved it.)

Cagliostro, as we know it today, is a beautiful piece of work, worthy of being placed next to other great films as "The Pink Panther," "Sound of Music," "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," any of the Sean Connery "James Bond" pictures, and comedies like "the Court Jester." It in no way should have ruined anyone's prospective career even if some long time fans of Lupin were disgruntled. Disney picked himself right back up after Fantasia flopped because he had other avenues to look into that helped him push through the hard times, and he eventually made "Cinderella." It was a close call sure, but he wasn't out of work or blacklisted (Disney tends to do the blacklisting anyway.  :o)

And I agree with 'fantasticmrfox' that Miyazaki had some hard working days ahead of him, and some uncertainties. Most directors take a while to get to their first feature film, and that same amount likely take a little time again to get the second picture going. If you watch the short documentary on the Nausicaa DVD and/or Blu-ray, it states that Miyazaki had a hard time pitching the Nausicaa story to studios because he didn't have a tie-in Manga; which most producers and backers in Japan like to have. So Miyazaki started to write the lengthy manga, beginning with the main chunk that would be turned into the feature. And if he had to help design and direct characters and episodes of Sherlock Hound and Anne of Green Gables at the time, along with those 2 Red Jacket Lupin episodes, of which he had to do all his own storyboards on top of the manga artwork: then yes, that absolutely could take a few years to do. And...of course every guy needs a little down time, don't you think? He's constantly going into retirement to take a break, only to come back and make another movie.

So no, I don't think he got blacklisted, I don't think Cagliostro ruined his career for a time. If he had not made a film in 7-10 years I might have theorized something to that effect. But he was still hard at work. And he needed to also build a team of animators and bring in other people to help make Nausicaa, including bringing on Toshio Suzuki as a Producer after they had had earlier encounters over less than steller interviews.

I know it's not at all a fair comparison, but I myself haven't made a new film until just two months ago for my "Intro to Film" class here at SCAD. The last time I made a movie before that was all the way back in 2007 when I tried to make something called "Olympucaper." I won't explain what that is, it's a piece of crap anyway. But that was 5 years ago. And I wasn't "out of work," heavens no. I was too busy making Voice Impression videos between 2009 and 2010, making artwork for people, doing homework, remodeling my family's house all summer long in 2008, going to Disney World multiple times in 2009 (which is where I picked up the "Cagliostro" storyboards), etc. I also wasn't very good at writing scripts or dialogue, I've only recently started to get better at that because I have a stronger and more mature understanding of the craft.

So I wasn't out of things to do, and neither was Miyazaki. I love the Castle of Cagliostro, and with all the dozens of ways that Lupin has been portrayed over the years, I wish anyone who still doesn't like Lupin's portrayal could just imagine it's Lupin's less horny brother. Enjoy it for what it is, not for what it isn't. I think we've exhausted all our possible arguments by now anyway.

Enjoying every facet of this franchise is why I love it so much, and that's why I joined this forum.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 03:26:26 pm by FilmmakerJ »

Reed

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2012, 05:29:15 pm »
Something everyone's forgetting is that Miyazaki worked on some projects that didn't get off the ground during this time (Pippi Longstocking and the original vision of Little Nemo), so it's easy to make the mistake of looking only at what works were completed.
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GATSU

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2012, 06:20:44 pm »
FilmmakerJ:
Quote
Take a look at J.J. Abrams for instance. A lot of the die-hard Star Trek fans were pissed at that, but he's right on making a sequel because it was a good movie, and a lot of us out there still liked it. (Me: I loved it.)

Yeah, but Star Trek actually made money. OTOH, do you see the guy who directed the last Catwoman getting any work? I know it's not fair to compare Cagliostro to Catwoman, but the same idea is there. They hired an artsy guy who went in a drastically different direction from what people expected, and it bombed miserably.

Quote
Disney picked himself right back up after Fantasia flopped because he had other avenues to look into that helped him push through the hard times, and he eventually made "Cinderella."

Disney already had good will and a legacy by then. Miyazaki was still a nobody in Japan. And that was after Heidi and Conan. Hell, I remember when Macek was saying that the reason he only picked up the Miyazaki Lupin eps from the red jacket series was they had the cheapest asking price. And that was in the 90s. So when you think about it, Miyazaki wasn't really "established" until Princess Mononoke. He finally made money by then, but he was still considered niche in the industry before that movie. I know a lot of Western fans like to think he's always been "big" in Japan like Gundam, but from what Helen McCarthy claims, he didn't even see profit on Totoro and Kiki, until he got into merchandising. [At least that's what I recall her saying in that book.]

Quote
it states that Miyazaki had a hard time pitching the Nausicaa story to studios because he didn't have a tie-in Manga;

You're kind of supporting my point, because this was during the 80s anime bubble in Japan when almost anything got funded. Even a rapey borefest like Wings of Honneamise. So you've really got to wonder if the producers were still concerned about him coming up with another Cagliostro-type "bomb" back then.

Reed: And also the predecessor of what became Nadia, right?


« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 06:31:26 pm by GATSU »

FilmmakerJ

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 01:35:29 am »
(This isn't directed to what anyone said. This is just in general.)

What I find so stupid right now is that we actually have to come up with theories about this. We know nearly every reason for Disney's movie making and business making decisions. We know why "Gone with the Wind" went through 4 directors to get it completed. We know why Julie Andrews was passed over on "My Fair Lady" for Audrey Hepburn.

But why is it that we just can't get any documentation from any source as to why Miyazaki might not have had a good career after Cagliostro until Nausicaa and Laputa? Doesn't anybody on here, or in the Lupin community know enough Japanese to read up on the subject? I know there are some Studio Ghbili books and some extra resources that we can purchase while in the US. Maybe even the "Cagliostro" movie book (MOOK) has some information. If only I could read it. I'm sure fans and experts in Japan have extensive research and records stating what actually happened.

And I'd rather not discuss it without having that research taken into account. We really don't know enough to do this on our own. I've said about all I can for now.

Reed

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 02:57:42 am »
Ask and ye shall receive, FilmmakerJ.

From a March 1984 article on/interview with Miyazaki:

Quote
At Toei Animation, from 1963 when he started drawing Wanwan Chuushingura to the end of 1979 when he directed Castle of Cagliostro, Mr. Miyazaki steadily worked on animation projects. After 1980, he was involved with very few works. The list is as follows:

-1980: Lupin the Third (Part II): episodes 145, 155
-late 1981—summer 1982: Sherlock Hound the Detective
-late 1981—May 1983: serialized manga Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
-May 1983—present: production of theatrical film Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

It seems that he was involved in only a few projects. During this time, Mr. Miyazaki was at Telecom Animation Film and worked on preproduction for feature-length projects like Little Nemo.

This interview took place in June 1981, just as his career was moving in a new direction. Speaking to him during his "time of negation" was a good opportunity to have him reflect on his seventeen-year animation career.

Translation from Starting Point: 1979-1996 by Hayao Miyazaki, Viz Media, p. 312.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 02:58:32 am by Reed »
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GATSU

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2012, 03:52:27 am »
Reed: Doesn't really say much, does it? I have a feeling Miyazaki really doesn't like to comment on Cagliostro, and that Manga wanted him to do an interview with him, but they were forced to settled with Otsuka. 'Cus Nemo had its own complicated history.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 03:56:30 am by GATSU »

FilmmakerJ

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Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2012, 03:59:36 am »
Reed: Doesn't really say much, does it? I have a feeling Miyazaki really doesn't like to comment on Cagliostro, and that Manga wanted him to do an interview with him, but they were forced to settled with Otsuka.

I honestly wish I could understand why Miyazaki has such a negative attitude towards it. Even if it did hinder his career for a time, it was his first theatrical film. And even if the film flops there's gotta be a little appreciation for it somewhere in his heart. And Cagliostro on it's own merits is a damn good film. Unless my first theatrical film is a piece of crap, (which you can be damn sure I won't let it) I'm not going to hate it based on it flopping or causing my career to go south for a time.

It's such a shame. I haven't gotten to any sections of "Starting Point" where he talks about it, but I bet you it doesn't say as much as we wish it did. But then again, we've seen him in interviews before on his other films; and at this point in his life, in my opinion, he doesn't really say much of value that we couldn't already see for ourselves.