Leo the Lion (TV series)

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Leo the Lion
Rune, Rukio, Lea, and Leo
新ジャングル大帝 進めレオ!
(Shin Janguru Taitei – Susume Reo!)
Anime television series
Directed byShingo Araki
Produced byEiichi Yamamoto
Music byIsao Tomita
StudioMushi Productions
Original networkFuji TV
English network
Pickwick Video (1989)
CBN (1984–1985)
Original run October 5, 1966 March 29, 1967

Leo the Lion (新ジャングル大帝 進めレオ!, Shin Janguru Taitei: Susume Reo!, New Jungle Emperor: Move Ahead Leo!) is a sequel to the Japanese anime television series Jungle Emperor, or Kimba the White Lion. Osamu Tezuka had always wanted his story of Kimba to follow Kimba's entire life, and the Jungle Emperor/Kimba series was such a hit in Japan that Tezuka produced a sequel, without his American partners, in 1966.[2][3] An English dub of the series was first broadcast in the United States in 1984 on the CBN Cable Network (now Freeform).[4]

Making the series without a co-producer gave him complete creative control. For example, Tezuka changed the conclusion of his original manga story (represented in the last two episodes of this series) to a happy ending.[1]

Leo the Lion does not follow immediately from the end of the Kimba series. Instead, the story begins a couple of years following the end of the previous series. To English-speaking audiences, the behavior of the title character is inexplicably out of line with what was established in the first series. At the end of the first series, in the original Japanese script, Kimba promises to keep his animals separate from humans. It is this promise that drives the seemingly hermit-like Leo in this series.

As the series unfolds, the focus shifts from the title character to one of his cubs, the male named Rune. This series as a whole is about Rune's growth, from a whining weakling to a confident leader.

This Japanese series (so named because Leo was the Japanese name for the Kimba character) was dubbed into English by a company based in Miami, Florida in the United States known as SONIC-Sound International Corporation, and run by Enzo Caputo. The theme song for the English dub was written by Mark Boccaccio and Susan Brunet.

Stuart Chapin, who dubbed many of the voices into English, "colloquialized" all 26 scripts. After Chapin and Caputo clashed about basic matters (Chapin wanted the series to reference Kimba, a show Caputo never heard of; Chapin also wanted the Thompson gazelle to be called "Tommy" but Caputo stuck with "Tumy" because that was how the Japanese spelled it), Chapin ignored most of the plots and made up the scripts as he pleased, matching the dialog to lip movements. Thus, an elephant quotes a poem by Emily Dickinson and a gadget-heavy spy episode becomes a vehicle for "Sterling Bond", James Bond's hapless brother. In later scripts, puns abounded. In the last script, Chapin had Leo/Kimba (voiced by Caputo himself) explain the Kimba name mix-up.


While there is a common misconception that Leo's cub Rune is Leo himself, Leo is actually grown up to a fully adult lion with white fur. Unlike the previous series, the producers of the English-dubbed version of this series used the original Japanese names for nearly all the characters:

  • Leo
  • Lea
  • LoLo
  • Coco
  • Mandy
  • Rune and Rukio
  • Squawk
  • Tommy
  • Rick The Lycon
  • Grandpa Leopard
  • Mr. Hunter
  • Rhino
  • Agura the Terrible One
  • Bizo
  • Pagoola
  • The Saber-Toothed Tiger
  • Triceratops Herd
  • Huge The Gorilla
  • Zamba the Blue Lion
  • The Ceratosaurus
  • The Mahamba
  • Raffe
  • Dr. Sugi
  • Christopher Sugi

Voice cast[edit]

Original Japanese voices (1966)[edit]

English dubbing voices (1984)[edit]

  • Enzo Caputo – Leo
  • Jose Alvarez – Rune
  • Stuart Chapin – Parrot, Panther, Rhino, others

Others in the English dubbing voice cast for this anime are not available at present for listing.


  1. ^ a b Leo the Lion episode guide Archived from the original on 2012-02-10.
  2. ^ History of Kimba the White Lion Archived from the original on 2012-02-04.
  3. ^ "Which Is The Real Kimba?". Animation World Network. Retrieved 26 January 2019.
  4. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 474–475. ISBN 978-1476665993.

External links[edit]