Jungle Emperor Leo

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Jungle Emperor Leo
The American DVD cover for Jungle Emperor Leo. One of the cubs is portrayed on the cover.
Directed byYoshio Takeuchi
Produced byMinoru Kubota
Sumio Udagawa
Chiharu Akiba
Written byYoshio Takeuchi
Based onJungle Taitei
by Osamu Tezuka
Music byIsao Tomita
Distributed byShochiku (Japan)
Anime Works (United States)(former)
Discotek Media (United States)(current)
Release date
August 1, 1997 (Japan) October 28, 2000 (United States)
Running time
100 min.
Box office¥430 million[1] ($5.39 million)

Jungle Emperor Leo, known in Japan as Jungle Emperor The Movie (Japanese: 劇場版 ジャングル大帝, Hepburn: Gekijōban Janguru Taitei) is a 1997 animated movie focusing on the last half of Osamu Tezuka's manga, Jungle Taitei (known in earlier US productions as Kimba the White Lion and Leo the Lion).[2]


At the beginning of the film, Leo is an adult and learns that his mate, Lyra, has just given birth to twin cubs: Lune (pronounced Lu-Ney) and Lukio. After a grand celebration, the scene changes drastically to a bustling city where a man named Ham Egg is traveling from jeweler to jeweler to try and sell a special stone he found in the Bajalu Jungle. After being turned down at every pawn shop and jeweler he goes to, the jewelers all inform someone of Ham Egg's whereabouts, and soon he is hauled away in a black car by intimidating men in black suits.

As it turns out, the stone that he's been trying to sell is really the "Moonlight Stone", a mineral that could be used as a power source and save the world from an impending energy crisis. A scientific organization led by Dr. Plus and Dr. Minus seek the help of Ham Egg to lead them to the source of the Moonlight Stone so it can be salvaged and used to help humanity. However, Ham Egg is only interested in money and is soon persuaded by Dr. Plus, who is well aware of Ham Egg's illegal poaching activities. Ham Egg agrees to work for them, but demands to be put in charge of the search. Accompanying Ham Egg is Mr. Lemonade of the organization and Dr. Moustache, who is already stationed in the jungle.

When they arrive in the jungle, Dr. Moustache and Mr. Lemonade are shocked by Ham Egg and his "friends", who want only to destroy jungle forest land and to shoot any animal they come across. Dr. Moustache constantly argues with them over being respectful to nature, as Mr. Lemonade records everything that happens in his journal.

As Leo's son, Lune, becomes more and more curious of the human world, Leo continues to protect the animals of the jungle from whatever may threaten them, including Ham Egg's sinister actions, dissent amongst the animals, and deadly disease that is affecting the animals.

With his domain violated by humans in a relentless search for the Moonlight Stone, their actions bring death to the jungle and break up Leo's family. Leaving Leo with the heavy responsibility of bringing peace to the jungle, his family, and even humans.

Lune leaves the jungle behind and travels by a log in the water to a nearby city. Lune is found by fishers and taken to a circus. A girl named Mary from the circus decides to take care of him, and he befriends a rat named Jack. Eventually, a bird from the jungle finds Lune, tells him of how the disease is killing off many animals, and she leaves with her flock. Lune is frightened by the idea that his family may be dead. Eventually, there is a fire in the circus, and Lune gets all the animals to help put it out. Lune, Jack, and Mary, who took care of Lune bid their goodbyes, and Lune sneaks onto a boat that will help him get back to Africa. In the jungle, Lyra is affected by the deadly disease and shortly dies. Although Lukio comes down with the same ailment, Dr. Moustache is able to cure her. We see near the end of the film that she gets better. However, we do not see her for the rest of the film.

Leo, heartbroken by the disintegration of his family, decides to lead the humans to the center of the mountain where there are many moonlight stones. Many hunters are lost on the way, but finally, they arrive. As they discover the stones, Ham Egg shoots at the trio. At the last minute, Mr. Lemonade jumps in the way, takes the bullet himself, and dies. They soon discover the stones, and Ham Egg, blinded by greed, steals one of the stones and swallows it so no one else can have it, but dies shortly afterward because the stone poisoned him. Dr. Moustache takes Leo and together they escape back down the mountain. It is then that Moustache suddenly realizes that the lion has gone blind. He rids of the stone they got because he believes it has ruined enough lives.

The film ends with Lune returning from the human world, and Dr. Moustache taking the cub to see his father's pelt. Leo died on the journey by stabbing himself with Dr. Moustache's knife. He did this so Dr. Moustache could eat his flesh, and clothe himself with Leo's fur so he can tell the humans what they need to know. Lune then begins nuzzling his fur. Dr. Moustache tells Lune about what his father did, "Your father was as wise as he was brave, and you should know what he did to save the world. He was the most courageous soul I've ever met, a true king who gave his life to save the land." Then, both of them head out into a meadow and see clouds in the shape of Leo.


Character Japan Original Japanese version United States English dubbed version
Leo Masane Tsukayama Dan Green
Lyre Chieko Baisho Veronica Taylor
Lune Tomoko Ishimura Tara Sands
Lukio Hekiru Shiina Elizabeth Williams
Tommy Naoki Tatsuta Michael Sinterniklaas
Coco Kaneta Kimotsuki David Wills
Burazza Kei Tani Kayzie Rogers
Pagoola Masatō Ibu David Brimmer
Bizo Ranran Suzuki Michelle Newman
Mary Tomoko Nakajima Stephanie Sheh
Higeoyaji Kōsei Tomita Mike Pollock
Ham Egg Danshi Tatekawa Ted Lewis
Ramune Yasunori Matsumoto Jamie McGonnigal
Dr. Minus Kōzō Shioya Zachary Alexander
Dr. Plus Yasuo Muramatsu Lex Woutas

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "1997年邦画作品配給収入". Kinema Junpo. キネマ旬報社 (1998年(平成10年)2月下旬号): 168. 1998.
  2. ^ "Jungle Emperor Leo - IGN". Uk.ign.com. 2003-12-12. Retrieved 2012-09-10.

External links[edit]