American promotional poster
|Directed by||Akira Daikubara |
|Produced by||Hiroshi Ōkawa|
|Screenplay by||Michihei Muramatsu |
|Story by||Kazuo Dan|
|Music by||Satoshi Funemura |
|Distributed by||Toei Company (Japan)|
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (United States)
Magic Boy, known in Japan as Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (少年猿飛佐助, "The Boy Sarutobi Sasuke"), is a 1959 Japanese animated feature film released on December 25, 1959. Released as Toei Animation's second theatrical anime, the film was released in theaters in United States by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer on June 22, 1961, making it the first anime film to be released in the country, followed by The Tale of the White Serpent on July 8, 1961.
In medieval Japan, a boy named Sasuke and his sister live in a forest along with several young animals of different species. One day, one of the animals (a young deer) is grabbed by an eagle and thrown into a lake. Sasuke and another animal jump into the lake to save it, but a monstrous salamander arrives and devours one of the animals. Sasuke tries to fight the monster, but is defeated. The beast leaves the lake, revealing its true form: a female demon named Yakusha. Sasuke's sister tells him Yakusha was transformed into a salamander by a powerful wizard millennia ago, but now she can muster enough power to have her normal shape back and found a reign of terror in Japan. Sasuke then decides to seek a magician master to learn to fight against Yakusha to save Japan and avenge the death of his pet.
Cast and characters
|Sarutobi Sasuke||Teruo Miyazaki|
|Tozawa Hakuunsai||Kenji Susukida|
|Sanada Yukimura||Katsuo Nakamura|
|Miyoshi Seikai||Akira Kishii|
|Yasha-hime O-Mon||Harue Akagi|
|Yamaarashi no Gonkurō||Yoshio Yoshida|
|Okera no Kinta||Ryōei Itō|
|Batta no Sanji||Shunji Sakai|
The MGM version
In the English language version, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer left most of the original songs with Japanese language lyrics. Since the creators of the English version preferred to liken Sasuke to the public perception of samurai, who were viewed as heroic, as opposed to the ninja, who were viewed as "sinister spies and assassins," MGM's publicity incorrectly claimed that The Adventures of the Little Samurai was the Japanese title of the film. This despite the movie poster's accurate display of the actual title.
Much like another MGM film, Night of the Lepus, the film never had a VHS release from MGM. Eventually in 2014, Warner Home Video released the MGM dub of the film on DVD for the first time as a Warner Archive title.