On DVD Price Search today (June 22, 2006), they listed this title as being added to their database. (In about a week, the link won't be there on the home page so just type "Castle of Cagliostro" in the Search box.)
It is going to be rereleased on August 29, 2006 from Manga supposedly with an anamorphic widescreen transfer! The audio is still the same and there are slightly more extras: Animatic storyboards, interview with animation director, a photo gallery, and more trailers.
I loved Cliff Hanger. I spent a lot of money memorizing the patterns. I've seen Castle in stores for years, but I guess it's good I didn't ever get the old disc. I wish they'd include playable Cliff Hanger as a bonus.
It's not the same audio. Manga bumped it up to 5.1
Thats not actually true. BVHE Japan later signed a sepparate deal for the dvd rights to the two films Hayao Miyazaki did at Tokyo Movie Shinsha after the high sales of the initial Ghibli Ga Ippai dvds.
A playable Cliffhanger would be cool! I remembered playing that game (especially the part where Lupin's running on the rooftops) without knowing anything about the movie and it was many, many years later when I saw CoC for the first time on DVD (last year, actually), after watching much of Studio Ghibli's work.
So I'm watching the movie and thinking, "Why does this look so familiar?" Then I see the rooftop scene and I put it together. Then it was off to the internet!
I would agree that this isn't a match for anything he's done since. However, in spite of the fact that it's part of a pre-existing series, this still has Miyazaki trademarks all over it. Indeed, the female lead here is practically a prototype Nausicaa design.
Also interesting how subliminally influential it was on American animated films for years afterwards. Heck, I think even 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom' owes a little to this (Spielberg is supposedly on record as being a big fan). So while Miyazaki's prowess as an original storyteller starts with 'Nausicaa,' his directorial traits are evident right off the bat here.
Edit: Actually, closer inspection shows they dug up that Spielberg quote and stuck it on the cover!
I got my copy of it and with all the discussion about original language tracks and such, I was initially disappointed that the Japanese track was mono. But when I played the disc, the mono track actually sounds quite good! If your receiver can split it into 2-channel "stereo," it also sounds pretty good.
The anamorphic widescreen picture is a vast improvement over the non-anamorphic letterboxed disc.
The disc is a flipper. Movie on Side A and all extras on Side B. It does not say this on the menu or on the case. It only says it in small print on the ring of the disc. Be careful when handling your disc.
I've read on a couple of sites that the opening titles have been altered. Can anyone with more detailed knowledge of the film elaborate? Is it any different from the burned-in English titles on the prior disc?