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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Finding your true family will help you become who you are meant to be. Being there for one another, standing up to evil, and fighting those corrupted by dreams of power. The film privileges biological family, which could be challenging for adoptive families.
Positive Role Models
Yes, Lupin is a master thief, but he's more Robin Hood than Catwoman. Lupin is crafty, brave, confident, and daring as ever. While Laetitia is smart and erudite, she remains stereotypically drawn, as are the few other women characters who briefly appear.
Violence & Scariness
Significant amount of cartoonish violence, with guns and shooting, fighting, knockouts, and a handful of deaths. Nazis shoot an elderly man. But there's no gore or blood, except one brief gunshot wound to the chest. And the characters never seem to be in any real danger as they dance and dodge bullet-spray, chop planes in half with swords, and fall from great heights without being hurt. One grunt does crumple into himself in a brief horrific death. A short scene features characters threatening assault and torture. Lupin breaks into Laetitia’s apartment and scares her. One scene of nonconsensual drugging with a syringe.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Fujiko is voluptuous and always appears in tight clothing that shows her cleavage. She seduces a guard while tied up, laughs at Lupin's advances ("Perhaps I can pay you back with my body"), and generally takes a "sexy" attitude while working both sides of any conflict.
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Language includes one "hell" and one "ass."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A supporting character often has an unlit cigarette in his mouth. One scene of nonconsensual drugging via syringe.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Lupin III: The First is a CG anime adventure about iconic character/master thief Arsene Lupin III (voiced by Tony Oliver). Part historical fiction and part cartoon, the movie is light and playful in tone. While there are some sudden moments of brutality, all of the violence is cartoonish. Expect lots of fighting (hand-to-hand combat, knockouts), vehicle chases/crashes, characters getting tied up, threats of torture, and people getting thrown from a plane. Characters also readily pull out machine guns, pistols, and swords, and there are a handful of deaths, including Nazis shooting an elderly man in the first five minutes of the film. A depiction of an old and fake Hitler. One character occasionally has an unlit cigarette in his mouth. Language is infrequent -- there's exactly one "ass" and one "hell." A character makes an inappropriate sexual comment ("perhaps I can pay you back with my body"), and there's one instance of a tied-up woman seducing a guard in order to knock him out, as well as a moment of implied nudity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This modern take on Lupin the Third is shallow fun (think Indiana Jones + Sherlock Holmes) but features a stereotypical cast of misfits who reinforce gender norms. Of course, most of these characters were originally conceived decades ago -- but, still, updates to character designs might have elevated this pop quiz of an anime. The original Lupin III appeared in a 1967 Manga series by Monkey Punch (the pen name for Kazuhiko Katō). Over the decades since, many iterations of Lupin III have entertained fans in print, TV series, and animated movies. Lupin III: The First is the brand's first foray into CGI, delivering action and new character stylizations with visual panache. The move to computer generated animation does make Lupin, the cast, and Europe far more cartoony than realistic. While the plot is standard action-adventure fare, it's delivered gleefully and quickly. There are Nazis to fight, a plan of world domination to halt, and a powerful unknown technology to destroy, but the biggest drama involves Laetitia discovering who her "real" family is. The film privileges biological family, situating Laetitia's adoptive grandfather as evil and her biological grandfather as good. Thus, her "real" family is who she truly "is," which is a popular norm that many adoptive families encounter and must find ways to reconcile or explain.
This take also sees Lupin appear smoother, younger, and without his typical cigarette or alcoholic drink. Lupin's friends, however, take up their already well-established roles -- though they also feel somewhat flat. They don't get any proper introduction or explication, easily appear when Lupin is in a jam, and just as easily disappear when Lupin needs the narrative to move forward. They aren't fully worked into the plot. Some fans of the franchise might feel annoyed at this lack of exposition for these well-known friends. To newcomers, they may serve as evidence that Lupin isn't a selfish idiot (which is the first impression that he gives) and actually has friends who care for him. Lupin may also first come across as snarky and selfish, but midway through, his goodness and playfulness feel more comfortable and his bravery seems less brash. He's like a mix of Robin Hood and Spike from Cowboy Bebop (even though the latter was published after the original Lupin III Manga).
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.