Magic Boy (film)

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Magic Boy
Magic boy.jpg
Magic Boy promotional poster
Directed by Akira Daikubara
Taiji Yabushita
Produced by Hiroshi Ōkawa
Screenplay by Michihei Muramatsu
Toppei Matsumura
Story by Kazuo Dan
Music by Satoshi Funemura
Toru Funamura
Distributed by Toei Company (Japan)
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (USA)
Release dates
  • December 25, 1959 (1959-12-25) (Japan)
  • June 22, 1961 (1961-06-22) (USA)
Running time
83 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Magic Boy, known in Japan as Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (少年猿飛佐助?, "The Boy Sarutobi Sasuke"), is a full length animated film released on December 25, 1959. Released as Toei Animation's second theatrical anime, the film was released in theaters in North America on June 22, 1961 making it the second anime film to be released there after The Tale of the White Serpent.


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 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. And 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 could muster enough power to have her normal shape back. And now she will found a reign of terror in Japan! Then, Sasuke 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[edit]

The MGM version[edit]

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.[1]

Video game[edit]

A video game titled Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (also known as Sasuke Ninja Boy) was released by Sunsoft for the Super Famicom in 1994.[2]


According to animation historian Jerry Beck, the film exhibited Toei Animation's effort to use the "Disney formula of presenting a traditional folktale with songs and plenty of cute animals."[1]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]