The Lupin the Third Forums

Lupin the Third => Film and Animation => Topic started by: GATSU on April 04, 2012, 03:37:32 am

Title: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 04, 2012, 03:37:32 am
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?
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GodKill123 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Gozar 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: aalong64 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: trolltyg 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: fantasticmrfox 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
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: aalong64 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU 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?


Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ 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.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed on April 22, 2012, 10:11:56 am
Miyazaki almost never does interviews, period. Any Ghibli fan who follows the guy can confirm this easily. It has nothing to do with his feelings toward Cagliostro in particular.

J: He talks about the movie several times in the book. There's also a huge 11-page interview with him and Ohtsuka about the film in the Cagliostro Mook, as you should well know. He had no significant hesitation talking about the film, and if he does now, it's probably because it's not his featuring his own invented intellectual property, which is not the case for the majority of his films. Although he has licensed a couple IPs, like Kiki and Howl, but those were late enough in his career that he probably had much more creative freedom with them (he couldn't just delete Goemon from a Lupin movie, after all).

Second, who's asking about "Cagliostro" in interviews and getting apathetic responses from Miyazaki about it? "Cagliostro" was ultimately huge for Miyazaki--through it he met John Lasseter and Toshio Suzuki, who encouraged Miyazaki to develop Nausicaa. I think people aren't asking about "Cagliostro" because he's come a long way since then and no interviewers lucky enough to score an interview with him care about "Lupin" anymore.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 22, 2012, 02:18:57 pm
Why didn't you come onto this earlier Reed, we could have spared so many unnecessary speculation. This is exactly what I was thinking.

Has anyone seen this by the way:
(click to show/hide)
It's my consensus of all the information I have learned thus far about Miyazaki, Pixar, Disney, and Lupin the 3rd.

I have not yet made one for my recent discoveries, but what I have learned most recently is that it is possible Steven Speilberg did see the car chase scene of Cagliostro while attending popping by the Los Angeles International Film Exposition, which was put on by some people who were friends of John Lasseter. Lasseter was responcible for getting Cagliostro shown there at Filmex. This then led to why some of the images in the later Indiana Jones movies resemble Cagliostro, and why some of the Disney animators and storymen may have made the Clock Tower scene in "The Great Mouse Detective" look the way it did. Sure there is nothing obviously imitated, but this isn't much of a stretch.

Now I didn't know that Lasseter went to meet Miyazaki that early and actually convinced him to continue the Nausicaa project. But if that's the case then Miyazaki was going through a bit of a hard time.

I suppose if we've been trying to decide whether Cagliostro ruined Miyazaki's career, then No, it clearly seems that it didn't. Rather it might have hindered his career, or more likely caused some slight speculation as to whether or not he could deliver what people wanted if they were to ask him to direct another adaptation film. But that only happened till after he created his own stories with Nausicaa and Laputa. Which were all his own projects on much of his own terms. So with all of his planning and constant work on other televised projects, how can we think his career was ruined. A career isn't ruined if progress is still going on. Just because he didn't direct another movie in 3 years doesn't mean he wasn't getting hired for more projects.

Bottom line, no, I don't think it ruined anything.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed on April 22, 2012, 06:05:17 pm
I have not yet made one for my recent discoveries, but what I have learned most recently is that it is possible Steven Speilberg did see the car chase scene of Cagliostro while attending popping by the Los Angeles International Film Exposition, which was put on by some people who were friends of John Lasseter. Lasseter was responcible for getting Cagliostro shown there at Filmex. This then led to why some of the images in the later Indiana Jones movies resemble Cagliostro, and why some of the Disney animators and storymen may have made the Clock Tower scene in "The Great Mouse Detective" look the way it did. Sure there is nothing obviously imitated, but this isn't much of a stretch.

Now I didn't know that Lasseter went to meet Miyazaki that early and actually convinced him to continue the Nausicaa project. But if that's the case then Miyazaki was going through a bit of a hard time.


I would like more information on your source for the LA Int. Film Expo. That's something I hadn't heard before.

Lasseter had nothing to do with the Nausicaa thing, only Suzuki did. Suzuki, one of the heads of Studio Ghibli, was the one who convinced Miyazaki to start Nausicaa so that he could make it into a film later on. I mentioned Lasseter because his relationship with Miyazaki was a big deal in the long run, and the poorly worded sentence was admittedly confusing.

I'd be careful about concluding that because Spielberg may have seen the film (not that anyone who was there or even Spielberg himself have ever confirmed this), that he must have been influenced by it to the point that it shows in his own work. You can say he might have been influenced, but I would be hesitant to say it was more than a possibility or even just a coincidence. There was hearsay that US animators feared for their jobs upon seeing "Cagliostro," but I have not yet heard where that was started. As such, I treat it as just that: hearsay.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 22, 2012, 10:19:37 pm
I would like more information on your source for the LA Int. Film Expo. That's something I hadn't heard before.

Lasseter had nothing to do with the Nausicaa thing, only Suzuki did. Suzuki, one of the heads of Studio Ghibli, was the one who convinced Miyazaki to start Nausicaa so that he could make it into a film later on. I mentioned Lasseter because his relationship with Miyazaki was a big deal in the long run, and the poorly worded sentence was admittedly confusing.

I'd be careful about concluding that because Spielberg may have seen the film (not that anyone who was there or even Spielberg himself have ever confirmed this), that he must have been influenced by it to the point that it shows in his own work. You can say he might have been influenced, but I would be hesitant to say it was more than a possibility or even just a coincidence. There was hearsay that US animators feared for their jobs upon seeing "Cagliostro," but I have not yet heard where that was started. As such, I treat it as just that: hearsay.

Well the whole thing really is just speculation, but I'm trying to tie these things together because they make sense chronologically based upon what I know thus far.

And the source for the LA International Film Expo comes from Lasseter himself, from the very first page of the Foreward in "Starting Point."
Here is the transcription:
Quote from: John Lasseter
I first met Hayao Miyazaki-san about twenty years ago in Los Angeles. He had just completed Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. I didn't have the opportunity to see the whole movie; I just saw a small reel of clips. But from the little I did see, I was taken with the characters. I was also impressed with the energy and cleverness of the animation. I still think it contains one of the best car chases ever seen on film. (maybe John actually said that, and not Spielberg. Still might be good for advertisement though) ... The Castle of Cagliostro is so much more than taking a live-action film and making it animation. It took the medium and really used it to its fullest potential. That's what always inspired me about every Miyazaki-san film I've seen. ... I remember taking the clips to Walt Disney Studios and showing them to various people. This was probably back in the early 1980s. I had some friends on the organizing committee of the Los Angeles International Film Exposition and we worked together to get Castle of Cagliostro shown at Filmex. ... I was thrilled to finally see it on the big screen, with a live audience. People just loved it.

After that he says he next met Miyazaki in 1987, in Japan when he was going to a Japanese Computer Graphics expo. And he got invited to the Ghibli studios to see the work being done on Totoro. So it seems he did not have any influence on Miyazaki working on Nausicaa.

But as you can see, he got Cagliostro to be shown in front of a real audience of 1980s film goers and movie enthusiasts at a real Festival. Which I thought Spielberg might have went to see because of curiosity or something. But if he didn't, then maybe Lasseter is the one who really said that quote, and not Spielberg. It sure was written about the same in this book here. Although this interview was taken in 2005, far after the Streamline trailer where the narrator says that Spielberg though it was the greatest car chase. Back then Lasseter might have only made "Toy Story." Not yet a well established name in the industry.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 22, 2012, 11:57:39 pm
Reed: Yeah, but he's done interviews recently. Although if you really wanna go there, you could also include his rants.  ;)

Quote
Second, who's asking about "Cagliostro" in interviews and getting apathetic responses from Miyazaki about it?

Well, the last official comment he made on Cagliostro was how long it took to finish it, and that was it. I was there at that Q+A, btw. No sense of nostalgia or anything. And he comes off very talkative. But that statement was brief. Although I will say he seemed like he was in a cheerful mood. But he didn't seem to want to say more.

Quote
I'd be careful about concluding that because Spielberg may have seen the film (not that anyone who was there or even Spielberg himself have ever confirmed this), that he must have been influenced by it to the point that it shows in his own work.

OT, but I do believe that, if Spielberg did see Cagliostro, that was the movie which got him motivated to work on Indiana Jones. 'Cus you notice it finally got off the ground a year later. Yes, Raiders had been in development for a while, but it's pretty damned obvious that it carries a lot of Lupin-esque elements to it. As for whether or not it can be confirmed he saw it, people have quoted him without being sued, so he either doesn't notice, or doesn't care. And if it's the latter, that means he's at least familiar with it.

Filmmaker: I didn't say 'Castle ruined Miyazakis' career, but that it almost did. I mean, Babylon aside, you look at how many gigs even Oshii got in the 80s, and you've got to wonder if Miyazaki wasn't blacklisted. In fact, at this point, I wonder if Lasseter was the one who saved his career. The reason is that Topcraft merged into what later became Ghibli, and there's a good chance Miyazaki worked for them on The Last Unicorn-albeit without any official credits-since he knew the people there. And that's really what got him funding for Nausicaa. 
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 23, 2012, 01:15:43 am
Reed: Yeah, but he's done interviews recently. Although if you really wanna go there, you could also include his rants.  ;)

Quote
Second, who's asking about "Cagliostro" in interviews and getting apathetic responses from Miyazaki about it?

Well, the last official comment he made on Cagliostro was how long it took to finish it, and that was it. I was there at that Q+A, btw. No sense of nostalgia or anything. And he comes off very talkative. But that statement was brief. Although I will say he seemed like he was in a cheerful mood. But he didn't seem to want to say more.

Quote
I'd be careful about concluding that because Spielberg may have seen the film (not that anyone who was there or even Spielberg himself have ever confirmed this), that he must have been influenced by it to the point that it shows in his own work.

OT, but I do believe that, if Spielberg did see Cagliostro, that was the movie which got him motivated to work on Indiana Jones. 'Cus you notice it finally got off the ground a year later. Yes, Raiders had been in development for a while, but it's pretty damned obvious that it carries a lot of Lupin-esque elements to it. As for whether or not it can be confirmed he saw it, people have quoted him without being sued, so he either doesn't notice, or doesn't care. And if it's the latter, that means he's at least familiar with it.

Filmmaker: I didn't say 'Castle ruined Miyazakis' career, but that it almost did. I mean, Babylon aside, you look at how many gigs even Oshii got in the 80s, and you've got to wonder if Miyazaki wasn't blacklisted. In fact, at this point, I wonder if Lasseter was the one who saved his career. The reason is that Topcraft merged into what later became Ghibli, and there's a good chance Miyazaki worked for them on The Last Unicorn-albeit without any official credits-since he knew the people there. And that's really what got him funding for Nausicaa. 

Well if we could ever get confirmation on any of this information, that would be spectacular. Because honestly I could care less if it ruined his career or not; whatever the case, it clearly only hindered it rather than ruined it. And if we could ever find out what got him back on track, I just wanna know who to thank. 'Cause the old boy is still here. He had a wonderful stream of films. And Cagliostro is still a "Damn Good" movie.

We can't really ask the question, "Did Cagliostro ruin Miyazaki's career?" because "Ruin" infers that it was over and done with right there, no rising from the grave afterwards. "Put his career on hold" is more like it.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed on April 23, 2012, 01:18:14 am
Well the whole thing really is just speculation, but I'm trying to tie these things together because they make sense chronologically based upon what I know thus far.

And the source for the LA International Film Expo comes from Lasseter himself, from the very first page of the Foreward in "Starting Point."
Here is the transcription:
Quote from: John Lasseter
I first met Hayao Miyazaki-san about twenty years ago in Los Angeles. He had just completed Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro. I didn't have the opportunity to see the whole movie; I just saw a small reel of clips. But from the little I did see, I was taken with the characters. I was also impressed with the energy and cleverness of the animation. I still think it contains one of the best car chases ever seen on film. (maybe John actually said that, and not Spielberg. Still might be good for advertisement though) ... The Castle of Cagliostro is so much more than taking a live-action film and making it animation. It took the medium and really used it to its fullest potential. That's what always inspired me about every Miyazaki-san film I've seen. ... I remember taking the clips to Walt Disney Studios and showing them to various people. This was probably back in the early 1980s. I had some friends on the organizing committee of the Los Angeles International Film Exposition and we worked together to get Castle of Cagliostro shown at Filmex. ... I was thrilled to finally see it on the big screen, with a live audience. People just loved it.

After that he says he next met Miyazaki in 1987, in Japan when he was going to a Japanese Computer Graphics expo. And he got invited to the Ghibli studios to see the work being done on Totoro. So it seems he did not have any influence on Miyazaki working on Nausicaa.

But as you can see, he got Cagliostro to be shown in front of a real audience of 1980s film goers and movie enthusiasts at a real Festival. Which I thought Spielberg might have went to see because of curiosity or something. But if he didn't, then maybe Lasseter is the one who really said that quote, and not Spielberg. It sure was written about the same in this book here. Although this interview was taken in 2005, far after the Streamline trailer where the narrator says that Spielberg though it was the greatest car chase. Back then Lasseter might have only made "Toy Story." Not yet a well established name in the industry.

Ha! I totally read that foreword too. I guess the relevance of that statement didn't sink in until you quoted it.

I've never seen Streamline Pictures' trailer for "Cagliostro." Is it on YouTube somewhere? Your theory has some weight about Lasseter being the one to offer the quote. He's probably the most likely in the business to be so vocal about his love for the film. But back in the 80s, he wasn't that big of a deal yet, so I could see someone quickly twisting the quote through a Telephone game. Or perhaps Lasseter himself talked to Spielberg and started the rumor himself. Nearly endless possibilities exist. Maybe Lasseter would have greater insight into the starting of this rumor. Hmmm.

Like I said, yeah, Lasseter had nothing whatsoever to do with Nausicaa. I phrased the sentence poorly is all. But he did meet Miyazaki around late 1979/1980, so it isn't impossible that he encouraged him to work on a comic project, but I doubt that's how that meeting would've gone down and it's certainly not something I would seriously claim.

Gatsu: You're making a mountain out of a molehill. Just because the guy didn't have any published animated works to show for it for, what, two years doesn't mean he didn't keep busy or have work. He had Lupin to polish off in 1980 while he was at Telecom. Nausicaa went into production in 1983 and he was gainfully employed at least part of the time in between at Telecom trying to help them get their crap together. I will grant you that in an Empire Online interview he talks a bit about Nausicaa: "The original manga was written when I had no job in animation — I had a lot of time to myself, so I tried to make a comic that couldn’t be made into animation. And then later I had to make it into a film, so I was in deep trouble! " However, his statement isn't entirely true either—he didn't even finish the manga until 1994, ten years after the film was done.

Miyazaki also isn't super-proud of the final product, apparently, either. Not because he felt it got him "blacklisted," I don't think, but because he didn't think the quality was up to his usual anal standards (see the interview quote in the paragraph below for that). Here's what he said about Cagliostro in an interview for Ponyo.
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Actually, I didn’t know European landscapes and architecture very well back then.... I created the setting: ‘Here’s two lakes, a castle, there’s a Roman aqueduct...’ And then I thought, ‘Yes, now I can make a film on this!’ I just wish that I could have done it much, much better!
He made a similar observation about the film in "Starting Point": "You can't use a sullied middle-aged guy to create fresh work that will wow viewers. I realized I should never do this again. Neither did I want to. Even so, I did two more [Part II Episodes 145,155] and it was hell. With every piece I made it was obvious that I was just trotting out everything I had done before. [laughs]  1980 was my year of being mired in gloom" (p. 351). Not exactly a happy time for the filmmaker, but it sounds more like he was in a rut than out of opportunities.

Miyazaki always does a round of interviews after he releases a new film because he is encouraged to by Toshio Suzuki, I'm sure. Here's a snippet from a 2009 interview from UK publication The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/hayao-miyazaki-modern-movies-are-too-weird-for-me-1678129.html):
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Genius recluse, über-perfectionist, lapsed Marxist, Luddite; like the legendary directors of Hollywood's Golden Age, Hayao Miyazaki's intimidating reputation is almost as famous as his movies. Mostly, though, Japan's undisputed animation king is known for shunning interviews. So it is remarkable to find him sitting opposite us in Studio Ghibli, the Tokyo animation house he co-founded in 1985, reluctantly bracing himself for the media onslaught that now accompanies each of his new projects.

Gatsu, I'll grant you that it's a nice theory, but I still think you're reading too much into it. The burden of proof is on you at this point. Most of your proof has been conjecture and your own theory masquerading as proof. Let's see something of substance and let's see you clarify exactly what you mean by "almost killing his career." Do you believe he could not find employment for X period of time? How long was that time span? Was he actively looking for employment?

The real problem with your proposal (or was it a claim?), Gatsu, is that you want to inject causality into the equation: "if Miyazaki couldn't find work during the early 80s, it was because of 'Cagliostro.'" I do not believe that is the case, and you'd have one heck of a time proving that.

Here's my opinion: I'm satisfied that if he just wanted work, he could find it. He had been a film director, though, and he wasn't going to settle for less unless he had to. He did Lupin probably for the income: he didn't even attach his name to the episodes (he was credited as a series of kanji that can be pronounced "Terekomu"). The Nausicaa manga was done to keep his name on the radar. Little Nemo might've become a directorial role for him if there wasn't so much conflict over the project's direction. I think he wanted to know what he wanted to do before he just jumped out there and did it. It would do you both really well, Daniel and J, to watch the documentary that was included on the Nausicaa DVD or Blu-ray/DVD combo. It's very informative about this period in Miyazaki's life. And the film makes it clear: "Cagliostro" is the film that got Toshio Suzuki to give Miyazaki direction. Without Suzuki, there'd be no Ghibli, no Nausicaa. And with that info, I'd say your suggestion is null and void right there.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 23, 2012, 03:24:50 am
[quote =Reed]I've never seen Streamline Pictures' trailer for "Cagliostro." Is it on YouTube somewhere?[/quote]

Surprisingly yes, and it apparently can also be found on RetroJunk.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpFL1Yb0JdE

You have made some sound points here, Reed. I congratulate you.  8) I take it you've also listened to the fan-commentary for "Cagliostro?" I don't remember the name of the man who did it, but I still have it stored away on my home computer somewhere.

BTW, can anyone confirm whether or not a "Cliffhanger" Laserdisk arcade can be seen in the pizza joint scene in "The Goonies?" I once watched a guy mention this factoid on his review of "Cliffhanger." I just wanted to know whether it was wikipedia gossip or not.  ???

I really do wish I could learn everything about this film. I'm hoping to become the world's foremost expert on "Cagliostro," along with having the world's largest memorabilia collection  ;D. But it's annoying to think that I will never know a lot of things about the movie because I'll never be able to read that stinking movie book until I can either get a Japanese character recognizing program and a text translator, or learn the cumbersome task of reading Japanese  :'(. But I feel I've done good so far. Finally figured out there isn't a 3rd English dub and it was just Streamline and 2 Manga releases.  ;)

I'm still working on my Cagliostro influence chart. If anyone has any other reasonable theories or confirmed info to include in it, I'd be most pleased  :D:
(http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2011/157/a/9/cagliostro_influence_map_by_filmmakerj-d3i7sth.png)
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 23, 2012, 06:46:08 am
Reed:
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Let's see something of substance and let's see you clarify exactly what you mean by "almost killing his career." Do you believe he could not find employment for X period of time? How long was that time span? Was he actively looking for employment?

I would say the period is 1980-1984, outside of the Nausicaa manga. And not necessarily employment, but gainful employment.  As for the last question, of course he was looking for employment. Who was Hayao Miyazaki in the late 70s to anyone in Japan? And I define "almost killing his career" as being denied higher-level animation work, such as directing, producing, and/or supervising.

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I do not believe that is the case, and you'd have one heck of a time proving that.

So can you explain how an animator who was living in the most prosperous decade for animation in Japan did not get more gigs? I mean, Oshii even got money for live-action films back then.

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He had been a film director, though, and he wasn't going to settle for less unless he had to.

So what about Sherlock Hound?

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It would do you both really well, Daniel and J, to watch the documentary that was included on the Nausicaa DVD or Blu-ray/DVD combo. It's very informative about this period in Miyazaki's life.

Whenever Amazon stops sitting on my copy, I will.

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And the film makes it clear: "Cagliostro" is the film that got Toshio Suzuki to give Miyazaki direction.

But Suzuki doesn't really factor into the equation until Kiki. Before then, he was just part of Topcraft.

Edit: BTW, this thread isn't meant in any way to bash Miyazaki. Having finished Ocean Waves a few months ago, I have to say nothing resonates more with my youth and adolescence of the late 80s and early 90s than Ghibli's output. I'm just curious
about the circumstances of the period between Cagliostro and Sherlock Hound, because it's such an unusual time. I mean, even Tomino got gigs after Gundam originally flopped. So I can't help but wonder if Miyazaki stepped on one too many toes. He's obviously the type who likes to intentionally rub people the wrong way with his acerbic comments, even though I think that's part of his charm. But maybe, like the young Lupin in that movie, he was also a bit cocky because that was his directorial debut?
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 23, 2012, 08:15:51 am
Quote from: Reed
It would do you both really well, Daniel and J, to watch the documentary that was included on the Nausicaa DVD or Blu-ray/DVD combo. It's very informative about this period in Miyazaki's life.

Whenever Amazon stops sitting on my copy, I will.


Why wait any longer when you can watch it right now  ;D, YOUTUBE to the Rescue!

This is all three parts of the very same documentary that you will find on either the DVD or the Blu-ray version of the Disney release of Nausicaa. The 1st and 3rd part you can see on youtube, but the 2nd part redirects you to a dailymotion page due to copyright issues on the audio track, so I just gave you the dailymotion page there. But go watch those when you have the time today or tomorrow and factor it into your conjecture. It's not a bad little documentary either.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZtnNdJP83I
Part 2: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xokml2_tbosg-part-2-of-3_shortfilms
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3uMpJ2UW-I&feature=relmfu
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 23, 2012, 09:04:57 am
I'm also a bit backlogged.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed on April 23, 2012, 10:55:08 am
Gatsu: Even if it's true that Miyazaki was barely employed (or wholly unemployed, which is patently false) from 1980-1984, you have yet to even provide plausible conjecture that it was "Cagliostro" that kept him from getting work. i.e., he would have to have been blacklisted or there have to have been people on record who have done research into the matter or been there at the time (like Miyazaki himself) that can actually say "No one would hire Miyazaki because of 'Castle of Cagliostro.'" This thread proves nothing until then.

Also, he was series director on Sherlock Hound before it was put on hiatus. It's not a film director position but it certainly has more prestige than covering random "Lupin" TV episodes. EDIT: Indeed, he even put the Nausicaa movie project on hold in order to work on it.

Some additional insight as to the order of events follows:
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Meantime, inside one of many Tokyo's offices, Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata ran against TMS president Yutaka Fujioka, who wanted to involved them in the planning of LITTLE NEMO (a feature film co-produced with foreign financial benefits). But Miyazaki had never accepted any order from the commercial managements. After the CAGLIOSTRO's commercial failure he was employed as teacher at Telecom Animation Film (TAF): it was and still is the most important TMS subsidiary. Soon afterward, he was called by Tokuma Shoten to realize an animated version of its manga NAUSICAÄ. With much of disappoint of the Animage readers, it was interrupted to develop MEITANTEI HOLMES, a very expensive TV series co-produced between TMS and Italian Rever. Howhere, HOLMES was frozen after just four episodes completed, because of some economical problems. So, Isao Takahata, in its new role of executive producer, was in charged to find a production facility able to make NAUSICAÄ, since Tokuma was a publishing house with no experience in animated films.
(from "Topcraft/Studio Ghibli Complete History" http://xoomer.virgilio.it/fedgrame/part3a.htm )
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: SSJ3_Goku345 on April 23, 2012, 11:32:27 am

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We can't really ask the question, "Did Cagliostro ruin Miyazaki's career?" because "Ruin" infers that it was over and done with right there, no rising from the grave afterwards. "Put his career on hold" is more like it.
The name of the thread is "Did Cagliostro Almost Ruin Miyazaki's career?" :)
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 23, 2012, 01:55:35 pm

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We can't really ask the question, "Did Cagliostro ruin Miyazaki's career?" because "Ruin" infers that it was over and done with right there, no rising from the grave afterwards. "Put his career on hold" is more like it.
The name of the thread is "Did Cagliostro Almost Ruin Miyazaki's career?" :)


Oh, I'm sorry.  :-[

I guess we just haven't been using enough synonyms of "almost" that I forgot that it wasn't a definite "Did it ruin his career" question.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 23, 2012, 06:27:19 pm
Reed:
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you have yet to even provide plausible conjecture that it was "Cagliostro" that kept him from getting work. i.e.,

Well, let's see. He was getting a whole bunch of gigs in the 70s, and then Cagliostro came along, and then almost nothing until Nausicaa.

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Also, he was series director on Sherlock Hound before it was put on hiatus. It's not a film director position but it certainly has more prestige than covering random "Lupin" TV episodes.

Perhaps, but you're arguing that he was independent by then, but the fact that he had to go back to tv suggests otherwise.

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But Miyazaki had never accepted any order from the commercial managements.

That sort of supports my argument that he burned some bridges during that period. Nemo, though, isn't really a good example in general, because if Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nemo:_Adventures_in_Slumberland#Production) is any indication, it was always going to be a trainwreck. The fact that anything watchable was produced from that many "cooks" is the real miracle. 

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Howhere, HOLMES was frozen after just four episodes completed, because of some economical problems

Again, economical problems during a decade which funded almost any anime?

Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: Reed on April 23, 2012, 07:15:33 pm
Reed:
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you have yet to even provide plausible conjecture that it was "Cagliostro" that kept him from getting work. i.e.,

Well, let's see. He was getting a whole bunch of gigs in the 70s, and then Cagliostro came along, and then almost nothing until Nausicaa.

Keyword: almost.
Also: pure speculation. Circumstantial evidence.
He was not gainfully employed 100% of the time for a period of maybe 2 years, but he was working in 1980, and working for at least part of Nemo's early development, and was working on Nausicaa the Movie for nearly all of 1983. So that leaves roughly 1981 and 1982. And wasn't Sherlock Hound somewhere in there, too? That's right, he was working on that until Summer 1982. And he started work on the Nausicaa film in May 1983. So, he was not busy in animation for... one whopping year. Surely he was blacklisted because of the horrible film that was "Castle of Cagliostro."

Like I said, even if he wasn't able to find work, saying "well DUH it HAD to be 'Cagliostro'--look at the dates!" is no more proof than you started with. IF Miyazaki couldn't find work, isn't it possible that his reputation as a perfectionist and as someone notoriously hard to work with preceded him? How is "Cagliostro" the cause, then, and not Miyazaki, the person? It wouldn't be. Show me proof, not just "well duh!"

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Also, he was series director on Sherlock Hound before it was put on hiatus. It's not a film director position but it certainly has more prestige than covering random "Lupin" TV episodes.

Perhaps, but you're arguing that he was independent by then, but the fact that he had to go back to tv suggests otherwise.

I never claimed he was independent. I said if he wanted work, he could probably find it. He was working at TMS' Telecom studio for both the Nemo project and for Sherlock Hound. When the Nausicaa film project began in May 1983, he moved on to Topcraft. It's my understanding he left TMS sometime in between, and probably either after Hound got canceled or when Nemo tanked. I'd lean toward the prior.

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But Miyazaki had never accepted any order from the commercial managements.

That sort of supports my argument that he burned some bridges during that period. Nemo, though, isn't really a good example in general, because if Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Nemo:_Adventures_in_Slumberland#Production) is any indication, it was always going to be a trainwreck. The fact that anything watchable was produced from that many "cooks" is the real miracle. 

I assume that saying Miyazaki wasn't hard to work with would be a lie. But saying he didn't accept orders from his superiors on the Nemo project doesn't mean he was like that for every project. It was even his project to drop--all reports I've ever read said Miyazaki was the one to leave the Nemo project, not the other way around.

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Howhere, HOLMES was frozen after just four episodes completed, because of some economical problems

Again, economical problems during a decade which funded almost any anime?

Yeah, the article's probably lying just to cover up for Miyazaki.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 23, 2012, 10:51:55 pm
Reed:
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So that leaves roughly 1981 and 1982. And wasn't Sherlock Hound somewhere in there, too? That's right, he was working on that until Summer 1982.

That's an awfully slow turnaround for the show, given the era.

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And he started work on the Nausicaa film in May 1983.

But when did he actually start animating it, and not just planning it?

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IF Miyazaki couldn't find work, isn't it possible that his reputation as a perfectionist and as someone notoriously hard to work with preceded him? How is "Cagliostro" the cause, then, and not Miyazaki, the person?

He could get away with it before, because he had hit shows on NHK. But when that initially didn't translate into success in film, then he became a liability. See, no one really expected Oshii to necessarily have a crowd-pleasing product after Beautiful Dreamer and Angel's Egg. But they obviously were hoping for the opposite from Miyazaki.

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I never claimed he was independent. I said if he wanted work, he could probably find it.

Isn't that the definition of independent? He can pick and choose whatever projects he wants, rather than work for a living.

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It's my understanding he left TMS sometime in between, and probably either after Hound got canceled or when Nemo tanked. I'd lean toward the prior.

Yeah, he was long etablished at Ghibli by the time of the latter event.

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But saying he didn't accept orders from his superiors on the Nemo project doesn't mean he was like that for every project.

I didn't say every project. But the attitude probably cost him a number of projects during that era.

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Yeah, the article's probably lying just to cover up for Miyazaki.

I'm not saying it's lying. I'm saying it's not telling the whole story, because obviously, no one at TMS/Telecom wants to talk about it.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: FilmmakerJ on April 24, 2012, 12:39:58 am
To GATSU:

DUDE! :o Seriously, what is you're deal. Are you out for vengeance on "Cagliostro?" Did "The Castle of Cagliostro" kill your dog or something? Why is it now your ultimate quest to prove once and for all that "Cagliostro" almost ruined Miyazaki's career?

I wasn't taking offense at this before because I thought it was harmless theories and conjecture, but I'm starting to take offense because of how zealous you are towards this end. I know it's just a movie and all, but it's my Favorite movie. I don't know anyone else who can definitively say that this movie, out of all the millions of possible choices, is their Number One favorite movie. So if anyone should take offense, it's gonna be me.

And I am getting tired of seeing you refer to the 1980s as this all-mighty era of an anime boom where everything should have been going right and everything was up for syndication and production; except for Miyazaki, post Cagliostro.

Do you even like the film, GATSU? Cause I can't believe anyone who likes it to any extent would try so hard to prove that it was the rotten potato that clogged Miyazaki's tail pipe.

Now with my little rant over, let me add something else.

Quote from: GATSU
But when did he actually start animating it (Nausicaa), and not just planning it?

You do know how long it takes to plan a movie, don't you? Now Miyazaki did go through some tough times trying to get it off the ground, as I hope you saw if you did watch that documentary. But non-the-less, even if he didn't have to do all he did, it still took time to do.

Besides, the only reason that Cagliostro might have ever hurt his career was because he messed with the established canon, and the fans were disgruntled and didn't attend enough showings to make it profitable. Everyone else in Japan likely didn't attend because it helps if you are a fan to know who these characters are since they have pre-established relationships. And since Goemon and Jigen barely show up during the second half, it does kind of help to know who they are so you know what they are doing there.

But even taking all that into account, the only fault Miyazaki made was in his personal changes to an established character and franchise. Meaning his abilities to adapt pre-established material into films was into question, not his directing skills. Now granted a large chunk of the anime market is on adaptations as well all know. But nearly everything Miyazaki has done was neither a manga nor an anime adaptation. He only did 2 adaptations of novels, and the rest was either completely original, or it was inspired by folk stories. Cagliostro, on all it's own merits, as a self-contained film, (I'm sure most of us on this forum can agree, as it was our first Lupin film for many of us) is a fine piece of work. If I were a producer in Japan at the time I don't see why Miyazaki shouldn't be given an opportunity to direct something original, because he hadn't quite done that yet. Directing an adaptation for your first feature film is a large undertaking, and sure it didn't do well due to the reaction of the Lupin fan-base. But on it's own it shows he can be a fine director. I don't believe it ruined his career because he didn't fail as a director, he failed only as an interpreter of material because he let his own personal morals and beliefs get in the way of making a loyal adaptation. And honestly, I like PG Lupin as much as I do PG-13 and rated R Lupin. However, I don't think anyone should be judged solely on this lack of adaptation abilities. If he was judged on his over-all abilities simply because he failed to properly adapt a franchise, then that's complete bull, unfair, and it's an illogical conclusion.
Title: Re: Did Castle of Cagliostro almost ruin Miyazaki's career in anime?
Post by: GATSU on April 24, 2012, 03:37:18 am
It's not about Cagliostro. I like the film. I'm just trying to look for a causality. And I'm just thinking Miyazaki should've risen through the ranks sooner, because of that movie. But Lupin fans of that era hated it in much the same way Macross fans did with Macross II. So they punished him by making it bomb, setting him back in the process.

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Cagliostro, on all it's own merits, as a self-contained film,

Yes and no. It's inspired by various Arsene Lupin novels, albeit loosely.

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I don't believe it ruined his career because he didn't fail as a director, he failed only as an interpreter of material because he let his own personal morals and beliefs get in the way of making a loyal adaptation.

Point taken. So he's better, or at least more interesting, with original material. I can agree there. I like Laputa way more than Future Boy Conan. And yes, I'm aware they're both based on novels, but the former uses his own ideas. So I guess we could both argue that it nearly stopped him from working on future anime adaptations, but that he was able to persevere through his own ideas.