Kimba the White Lion

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Kimba the White Lion
Kimba.JPG
Artwork created for the recent Kimba Ultra Edition DVD set.
ジャングル大帝
(Janguru Taitei)
Genre Coming of age, Adventure, Drama
Manga
Written by Osamu Tezuka
Published by Gakudosha
Kobunsha
Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Manga Shōnen
Original run November 1950April 1954
Volumes 3
Anime television series
Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto
Music by Isao Tomita
Toriro Miki (Theme Song Composition)
Studio Mushi Production
Network Fuji TV (1965–1966)
Tokyo MX
Cartoon Network (2009)
Original run October 6, 1965September 28, 1966
Episodes 52
Anime film
Directed by Eiichi Yamamoto
Studio Mushi Production
Released July 31, 1966
Runtime 75 minutes
Anime television series
New Jungle Emperor: Go Ahead Leo!
Directed by Shingo Araki
Rintaro
Produced by Eiichi Yamamoto
Music by Isao Tomita
Studio Mushi Productions
Network Fuji TV
English network
Original run October 5, 1966March 29, 1967
Episodes 26
Anime television series
The New Adventures of Kimba The White Lion
Directed by Takashi Ui
Rintaro
Produced by Takashi Yui
Written by Takashi Yui
Music by Tomoyuki Asakawa
Studio Tezuka Productions
Licensed by
Network TV Tokyo (1989–1990)
Original run October 12, 1989October 11, 1990
Episodes 52
Original video animation
Released 1991
Anime film
Jungle Emperor Leo
Directed by Yoshio Takeuchi
Produced by Minoru Kubota
Sumio Udagawa
Chiharu Akiba
Written by Yoshio Takeuchi
Music by Isao Tomita
Studio Mushi Production
Shochiku
Licensed by
Released August 1, 1997
Runtime 100 minutes
Anime television film
Jungle Taitei – Yūki ga Mirai wo Kaeru
Directed by Gorō Taniguchi
Written by Osamu Suzuki
Studio Tezuka Productions
Network Fuji TV
Released September 5, 2009
Anime and Manga portal

Jungle Emperor (ジャングル大帝 Janguru Taitei?) is a Japanese shōnen manga series created by Osamu Tezuka which was serialized in the Manga Shōnen magazine from November 1950 to April 1954. An anime based on the manga was created by Mushi Production and was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1965 to 1966. It was the first color animated television series created in Japan.[1] The later series was produced by Tezuka Productions.[2][3][4] The anime series has enjoyed popularity worldwide.

A new TV special premiered September 5, 2009 on Fuji TV. Produced in commemoration of Fuji TV's 50th anniversary, it was directed by Gorō Taniguchi, written by noted novelist and drama writer Osamu Suzuki, and featuring character designs from noted illustrator Yoshitaka Amano.

Plot[edit]

In Africa during the mid-20th century, as mankind encroaches, the white lion Panja (Caesar in the English dub) gives the jungle's wild animals a safe haven. However, he angers nearby villagers by stealing their cattle and their food to feed the jungle carnivores. (In the English dub he merely frees the cattle.) A professional hunter, Ham Egg (Viper Snakely in the English dub), is called in to stop these raids. He avoids directly attacking Panja. Instead, he records the sounds of Panja and uses them to trap his mate, Eliza, who then becomes bait in a trap for Panja. Panja is killed for his hide, and the pregnant Eliza is put on a ship, destined for a zoo. Leo (Kimba in the English dub) is born on the boat. Eliza teaches him his father's ideals. As a huge tropical storm nears, she urges her cub out through the bars of her cage. The storm wrecks the boat, and he flounders in the ocean. The fish help him learn to swim. As he begins to despair, the stars in the sky form the face of his mother, who encourages him. Guided by butterflies, he makes it to land. Leo lands far from his ancestral home and is found and cared for by some people. He learns the advantages of human culture, and decides that when he returns to his wild home he will bring culture to the jungle and stand for peace like his father. The show follows Leo's life after he returns to the wild, still a young cub, and how he learns and grows in the next year. Leo soon learns that only communication and mutual understanding between animals and humans will bring true peace.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

In 1950 the original Jungle Emperor story started in Manga Shōnen (Comic Boy) magazine. Image from the Jungle Emperor manga appears on shirts made by Lacoste in cooperation with Tezuka Productions for their "Lacoste Live" capsule collection "Tezuka Collection", edition Fall/Winter 2013/2014[5]

Anime[edit]

1965 series[edit]

Image of Kimba (Leo) from the anime, Kimba the White Lion

The animated series was first broadcast in Japan on Fuji Television from October 6, 1965 to September 28, 1966.[6] It was the first color TV anime series.

Other than the original broadcast in Japan in 1965, the series has been broadcast in many countries around the world.

In Asia, it was broadcast in Indonesia on antv and SCTV (1995–96); in Iran on Channel 1; in the Philippines on ABC5; in Saudi Arabia on Saudi TV and in Sri Lanka on ART TV.

In Europe, in was broadcast in Bosnia and Herzegovina on RTVUSK; in Croatia on ATV Split/TV Jadran, Nezavisna televizija (NeT), TV Nova Pula and Gradska TV Zadar; in France on ORTF (1972) and on TF1; in Italy on Italia 1 (in 1999 and 2003 with the title Una giungla di avventure per Kimba [literally "a jungle of adventures for Kimba"]) and Boing (2010) and in Spain on TV3.

In North America, it was broadcast in Canada on Knowledge; in Mexico on Boomerang. It was broadcast, with English-dubbed voices, in the United States and other English-speaking markets, beginning in September 1966. It was first commissioned for U.S. development by NBC Enterprises (Now Universal Television) and adapted by Fred Ladd, for syndicated broadcast.[7] In 2005 the original 1966 dub of Kimba the White Lion was released as an 11-disc DVD set by Madman Anime of Australia and Right Stuf International of the U.S. It was a best seller. The series was re-dubbed into English in 1993, featuring the voice of Yvonne Murray as Kimba and having a new opening, with an all new soundtrack composed by Paul J. Zaza. In 2012 Bayview Entertainment/Widowmaker releases "Kimba the White Lion: The Complete Series" 10 DVD box set of the original 1966 series.[8] It was broadcast several times in the United States: on NBC (1966–67, re-runs until 1978; Billie Lou Watt dub), on syndication (1993; Yvonne Murray dub), on Vault Disney (1997–2000), on Kids & Teens TV (1993 re-runs; 2005–2009) and on Inspiration Life TV (1993 re-runs; 2005–2009).

In Oceania, it was broadcast in Australia on ABC, 31 Brisbane and Access 31.

Title in other languages[edit]
  • Arabicكيمبا الأسد الأبيض – lit. Kimba the White Lion
  • BulgarianКимба, бялото лъвче – lit. Kimba, the White Lion Cub
  • CatalanKimba, el Lleó Blanc – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • CroatianKimba bijeli lavić – lit. Kimba the White Lion Cub
  • Chinese – 森林大帝Sēnlín Dàdì – lit. Jungle Emperor
  • DutchKimba, De Witte Leeuw – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • PortugueseKimba, o Leão Branco – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • Finnish languageViidakon valtias – lit. The Ruler of the Jungle
  • French – Le Roi Léo – lit. The King Lion
  • German – Kimba der weiße Löwe – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • Hebrewקימבה האריה הלבן – lit. Kimba the White Lion
  • HungarianKimba, a fehér oroszlán – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • IndonesianKimba Singa Putih – lit. Kimba the White Lion
  • Italian – Kimba, il Leone Bianco – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • Korean밀림의 왕자 레오 – lit. Jungle Prince Leo
  • NorwegianKimba, den Hvite Løve – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • Persianکیمبا، شیر سفید – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • PolishKimba Biały Lew – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • RomanianKimba, leul alb – lit. Kimba, the White Lion
  • Russian – Император джунглейImperator Dzhunglyeĭ – lit. Emperor of the Jungle
  • SerbianЛео, бели лав/Leo, beli lav – lit. Leo, the White Lion
  • SloveneKimba beli levček – lit. Kimba the White Lion Cub
  • Spanish – El Emperador de la Selva – lit. The Emperor of the Jungle
  • Spanish – Kimba, el León Blanco – lit. Kimba, the White Lion

1966 film[edit]

The theatrical version of Jungle Emperor, directed by Eiichi Yamamoto, was released in Japan on July 31, 1966.[9]

1966 series[edit]

Main article: Leo the Lion (anime)

A sequel series, Jungle Taitei: Susume Leo! (Jungle Emperor: Onward, Leo!) first aired in Japan on Fuji Television from October 5, 1966 to March 29, 1967,[10] featuring Leo (Kimba) as an adult. It aired in the United States in 1984 as Leo the Lion on CBN Cable Network.

1989 series[edit]

In 1989 Dr. Osamu Tezuka died at age 60 on February 9. A remake of Jungle Emperor, The New Adventures of Kimba The White Lion was broadcast in Japan from October 12, 1989 to October 11, 1990.[11] This series bears little resemblance to the original manga or the first TV series, as the plot is extremely different and the characters have been completely reworked and changed. Several heavily edited episodes of the series were dubbed into English and released directly to video in 1998 under the name: The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion, by Pioneer Family Entertainment. It features the voice of Brad Swaile as Kimba.

1991 OVA film[edit]

In 1991 an original video animation film is created,[12] using the Symphonic Poem for its audio.

1997 film[edit]

Main article: Jungle Emperor Leo

A new Jungle Taitei theatrical film, Jungle Emperor Leo, was released in Japan on August 1, 1997.[13] Directed by Hiro Takeuchi, it is based on the second half of Dr. Tezuka's original manga story. It is not entirely faithful however. It was dubbed into English and released on DVD in 2003 under the name "Jungle Emperor Leo", by Anime Works.

2009 television film[edit]

A television film, Jungle Taitei – Yūki ga Mirai wo Kaeru (ジャングル大帝 勇気が未来をかえる?), aired in Japan on September 5, 2009[14] with a completely new story, different from both the previous TV shows and the original manga. The setting was an artificially created jungle in 20XX Earth. In this movie, Panja and his mate, Eliza, are still alive; Coco is an unspecified female bird; and Sylvester, the black panther, serves as a secondary antagonist until he changes his ways when a young boy mends his leg.[15]

Music video[edit]

The music video for the song "a boy" by Leo Ieiri, whose animated part was made by Tezuka Productions, features an anime version of Leo (based on Kimba and modeled after the singer) which meets other characters from the Kimba the White Lion series[16]

Other media[edit]

Jungle Emperor characters have cameos in the GBA game Astro Boy: Omega Factor, as well as a chapter from the Black Jack manga and Naoki Urasawa's Pluto.

In the Fox TV series Fringe, Kimba had a cameo in one of the episodes.

Home media[edit]

On July 9, 2013 Bayview Entertainment/Widowmaker released a complete collection of the 1965 – 1966 series containing all 52 episodes as a region 1 release.

Music[edit]

The series uses several themes. The 1966 Japanese version uses an opening theme and a closing theme. The opening is called "Jungle-Taitei" (ジャングル大帝 Janguru-Taitei?, "Jungle Emperor"). The end song is "Leo no Uta" (レオのうた Reo no Uta?, "Leo's Song"). For the Japanese remake, the opening song is "Savanna o Koete" (サバンナを越えて Sabanna wo Koete?, "Past the Savanna") sung by Ichiro Mizuki, and the ending is "Yūbae ni Nare" (夕映えになれ?) sung by Tomoko Tokugai. Its American theme was written and performed by Bernie Baum, Bill Giant and Florence Kaye. The opening song for the sequel series is "Go Ahead Onward Leo!" written by Isao Tomita and sung by Mieko Hirota. The US-American theme song known as "Leo the Lion" was written by Mark Boccaccio and Susan Brunet of Miami, Florida's SONIC-Sound International Corporation in 1984. Jungle Emperor Symphonic Poem (by Isao Tomita) was released on LP in 1966.

The Lion King controversy[edit]

Screenshot from an early presentation reel of The Lion King that shows a white lion cub and a butterfly.

As a number of media journalists and fans watched Disney's animated feature film The Lion King they noticed characters and events in the story resembled those of Kimba. Although The Lion King has a different screenplay, there are a number of strong artistic similarities, including scenes that appear to be copied from those in Kimba. One similarity is the protagonists' names: Kimba and Simba. Although the pronunciations of the two names are similar, the word simba means "lion" in Swahili.

With regard to the controversies, Disney stated that the similarities are all coincidental. Additionally the filmmakers have said the story of The Lion King was inspired by the Biblical stories of Moses and Joseph as well as William Shakespeare's Hamlet.[17][18]

Matthew Broderick has said that when he was hired as the voice of Simba in The Lion King, he presumed the project was related to Kimba the White Lion.[19][20][21][22] "I thought he meant Kimba, who was a white lion in a cartoon when I was a little kid," said Broderick. "So I kept telling everybody I was going to play Kimba. I didn't really know anything about it, but I didn't really care."[23]

Upon the release of The Lion King in Japan, multiple Japanese cartoonists signed a petition requesting that the Walt Disney Company acknowledge that The Lion King was based on characters and situations from Jungle Emperor Leo.[24]

The Tezuka-Disney connection extends back decades before the movie. Tezuka met Walt Disney at the 1964 New York World's Fair, and Disney said he hoped to "make something just like" Tezuka's Astro Boy.[25] Earlier, Tezuka had asked for and got the license to adapt Disney's Bambi into a manga for the Japanese audience which was published in 1951. More recently, Disney animators were hired to train Tezuka's crew in the use of color when production was started on the Jungle Emperor/Kimba the White Lion TV series.[citation needed] It was said that an animated film of Kimba the White Lion was planned but later scrapped.[citation needed]

The controversy has been referenced in a number of national newspapers in the United States, including a June 2007 Los Angeles Times article.[26] The controversy also surfaced in pop culture with the episode "'Round Springfield" of The Simpsons, doing a parody of Mufasa saying to Lisa Simpson, "You must avenge my death, Kimba...er, I mean Simba!". In the NBC TV series Life in the episode "Badge Bunny" there was a reference to Kimba and Simba: "You Must be Fluffy?" "Fluffy?" "What should I have named it Kimba?" "Kimba was a lion" "That was Simba!" "Kimba came first!" Honest Trailers, a web series on the YouTube channel Screen Junkies, features a parody preview of Disney's The Lion King in which a shot of Simba is designated with the caption: "And Kimba, The White Lion (Seriously, Look It Up)".[27]

Reception[edit]

In 1967 the Jungle Emperor theatrical feature was awarded the St. Mark's Silver Lion Award at the 19th Venice International Film Festival.

In 1978 the adult Leo character became the mascot for the Seibu Lions (current Saitama Seibu Lions) baseball team. They based their mascot on Kimba for many years, and for the game season 2014 Tezuka Productions designed the players' uniform which features Kimba on it.[28]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kimba Boxed Set : DVD Talk Review of the DVD Video". Dvdtalk.com. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  2. ^ "Kimba the White Lion Dub.DVD – Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2012-03-21. 
  3. ^ July 12, 1994 (1994-07-12). "Tezuka Lion King | 'Lion King' recalls beast of another reign - Baltimore Sun". San Francisco Chronicle. Articles.baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2015-02-21. 
  4. ^ "Was 'The Lion King' Copied From A Japanese Cartoon? Here's The Real Story". Huffingtonpost.com. 2015-01-27. Retrieved 2015-02-21. 
  5. ^ "Designer Hiroaki Ohya Speaks on LACOSTE L!VE x Osamu Tezuka Collaboration". lifeandtimes.com. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  6. ^ "ジャングル大帝(1965)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Kimba The White Lion: History of the original series". Kimbawlion.com. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  8. ^ "Kimba the White Lion: The Complete Series". 
  9. ^ "ジャングル大帝(1966)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ "ジャングル大帝 進めレオ(1966)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  11. ^ "ジャングル大帝(1989)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  12. ^ "アニメ交響詩ジャングル大帝(1991)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  13. ^ "ジャングル大帝 劇場版(1997)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  14. ^ "ジャングル大帝 勇気が未来をかえる(2009)". allcinema.net (in Japanese). Stingray. Retrieved December 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ "TAF 2009: Osamu Tezuka's "Kimba the White Lion" to be renewed in summer 2009 – GIGAZINE". En.gigazine.net. March 19, 2009. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  16. ^ "Crunchyroll – VIDEO: Leo Ieiri Collaborates with Osamu Tezuka's "Jungle Emperor" in the Latest PV". Crunchyroll. Retrieved 2014-03-13. 
  17. ^ Welkos, Robert W. (July 13, 1994). "A 'Kimba' Surprise for Disney : Movies: The Lion King is a hit, but reported similarities to the Japanese-created American cartoon of the '60s are raising some questions.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-01-12. 
  18. ^ Hong, Peter (May 19, 2002). "The Lion King/Kimba controversy". Los Angeles Times. pp. L4. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  19. ^ Peter Schweizer and Rochelle Schweizer, "Disney: The Mouse Betrayed", pp. 167–168.
  20. ^ Trish Ledoux and Doug Ranney, "The Complete Anime Guide: Japanese Animation Video Directory and Resource Guide", p. 16.
  21. ^ Buress, Charles. "Uproar Over 'The Lion King'", The San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 1994, pp. A1, A13.
  22. ^ "Did Japanese Animator Inspire 'Lion King'?", The Washington Times, July 15, 1994, p. C15.
  23. ^ Arar, Yardena (June 15, 1994). "Disney studios roar into action for 'Lion King'". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  24. ^ Mizoguchi, Kozo (August 10, 1994). "'Lion King' sparks debate in Japan". The Daily Gazette (Tokyo, Japan). Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  25. ^ Hornyak, Tim (August 19, 2007). "Osamu Tezuka: Fighting for peace with the Mighty Atom". The Japan Times. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 
  26. ^ Ybarra, Michael J. (June 6, 2007). "Osamu Tezuka has been called Japan's Walt Disney. But his drawings aren't happy fantasies.". Los Angeles Times. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  27. ^ Honest Trailers – The Lion King (feat. AVbyte). YouTube. Retrieved June 11, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Jungle Emperor appears on the uniform of Seibu Lions! : News : TezukaOsamu.net(EN):". TezukaOsamu.net. Retrieved 2014-03-14. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]