Ultraman: The Adventure Begins
|Ultraman: The Adventure Begins
|Directed by||Mitsuo Kusakabe|
|Written by||John Eric Seward|
|Music by||Shinsuke Kazato|
|Distributed by||Hanna-Barbera Productions
|October 12, 1987|
Ultraman: The Adventure Begins is a 1987 American-Japanese animated superhero film joint produced by Hanna-Barbera and Tsuburaya Productions. The film was titled Ultraman USA (ウルトラマンUSA Urutoraman Yū Esu Ē?) for its Japanese release in 1989. It was intended as a pilot for an animated series, but no such series ever emerged. However, the costumes based on the three main heroes (the Ultra Team) were made for use in stage shows in Japan.
A stunt pilot trio called the "Flying Angels" (Scott Masterson, Chuck Gavin, and Beth O'Brien), are caught in a bizarre flash of light and crash, only to emerge unharmed. They are later informed by an agent of an interstellar peace-keeping agency (whose secret identity is the groundskeeper at a Pebble Beach golf course) that they have become the host bodies of warriors from the planet Altara in M78 to capture escaped monsters from the planet Sorkin who have arrived on Earth. They become the Ultra Force, headquartered within Mount Rushmore, and are assisted by a trio of robots, (the pint-sized Andy, the strong Samson, and the twitchy Ulysses). Although equipped with futuristic fighter crafts, inevitably one or more of the team is required to transform into an Ultraman, a gigantic red and silver superhuman being, to battle the monsters. After destroying the most powerful Sorkin monster, the constantly growing King Maira, the Ultra Force remains together to combat further threats to planet Earth.
The Ultra Force
- Scott Masterson (voiced by Michael Lembeck; Tōru Furuya in Japan) - The story's young protagonist. Transforms into Ultraman Scott.
- Height: 82 Meters
- Weight: 64.000 Tons
- Flight Speed: Mach 24
- Granium Light Ray
- Ultra Energy Ball
- Ultra Slicer
- Triple Power
- Chuck Gavin (Voiced by Chad Everett; Shinji Ogawa in Japan) - The toughest and oldest of the team and the de facto leader of the Ultra Team. Transforms into Ultraman Chuck.
- Height: 79 Meters
- Weight: 68.000 Tons
- Flight Speed: Mach 22
- Granium Light Ray
- Ultra Bubble Beam
- Beth O'Brien (Voiced by Adrienne Barbeau; Hiromi Tsuru in Japan) - The cool-headed female of the team. Transforms into Ultrawoman Beth.
- Height: 76 Meters
- Weight: 54.000 Tons
- Flight Speed: Mach 23
- Granium Light Ray
- Ultra Spout
The Robot Trio
A group of support robots built to assist the Ultra Team. Their true names were too long for the team to remember, so they were given nicknames by Scott (who came up with "Ulysses" and "Samson") and Beth (who came up with "Andy"). The initials in their names form the letters "USA".
- Ulysses (Voiced by Isamu Tanonaka in Japan) - The thin and effeminate robot in orange. His true name is Combot Model MF842.
- Samson (Voiced by Hiroshi Ōtake in Japan) - The big and strong robot in blue. His true name is Combot Model BA666
- Andy (Voiced by Charlie Adler; Kyoko Yamada in Japan) - The pint-sized robot in red. His true name is Utiloid Model ZQ14582. In charge of the Transportation System.
- Walter Freeman (Voiced by Stacy Keach, Sr.; Kōhei Miyauchi in Japan) - An elderly man in his late 60s who forms the Ultra Team. He explains to the heroes the true cause of their accident and the origins of their powers. His relation to the Ultrabeings and how he knows about them is never revealed.
- Dr. Susan Rand (Voiced by Lorna Patterson; Rihoko Yoshida in Japan) - A young scientist from the Federation for Extraterrestrial Research (or F.E.R. Labs). She has sympathy towards the Sorkin monsters fought by the Ultra Force. She gets romantically connected with Scott.
The Sorkin Monsters
- Green Shocks - The vegetation monster. Has accelerated regeneration, and powerful vines.
- Height: 100 meters (initial, can vary)
- Weight: 30,000 tons (initial, can vary)
- Garuballade - The electronic machinery monster. Superficially resembles a crystal ball (with a creature face in the center), and uses scrap metal from machinery to construct itself a monster body. The ball phase, standing on its long spinal tail, is called the Im (pronounced "eem").
- Height: 91.44 meters (Im: 152.4 meters)
- Weight: 91,000 tons (Im: 27,000 tons)
- Zoon - The comical child monster. Being a gentle creature that's only dangerous because of his size, Chuck relocates him to another planet rather than killing him.
- Height: 35.05 meters
- Weight: 35,000 tons
- King Myra - The most powerful of the Sorkin beasts. A "super transformation" monster who can double his size every 90 minutes without limit. He can also become invisible. His initial infant form (Wylon) is actually small and adorable. The Ultra Force had the most difficult time with him as his increased growth spurts resulted in deadlier abilities used against them.
- Height: Infinite in growth (Wylon: 40 centimeters)
- Weight: Infinite in growth (Wylon: 5 kilograms)
- Michael Lembeck - Scott Masterson
- Chad Everett - Chuck Gavin
- Adrienne Barbeau - Lt. Beth O'Brien
- Stacy Keach, Sr. - Walter
- Charlie Adler - Andy
- Adrienne Alexander -
- William Callaway -
- Al Fann -
- Ed Gilbert -
- Robert David Hall -
- Allan Lurie -
- Lorna Patterson -
- Peter Renaday -
- Ronald Schell -
- Mark L. Taylor -
- Vince Trankina - Aide, Doctor #2, Photographer
- Les Tremayne -
- Gordon Hunt - Voice Director
- Andrea Romano - Animation Casting Director
- Kris Zimmerman - Talent Coordinator
- Opening theme
- "Sky High Hero" (スカイ・ハイ・ヒーロー Sukai Hai Hīrō?)
- Ending theme
- "Toki no Naka o Hashirinukete" (時の中を走りぬけて?, "Race Against Time")
The music was composed by Shinsuke Kazato and released by Nippon Columbia. The soundtrack was released as a Limited Edition printing of 5,000 copies.
Ultraman USA was released in Japan by Bandai Home Video on VHS (Japanese dub only) on September 29, 1989 and on LaserDisc (bilingual) on July 25, 1991. In North America, a VHS was released by Ultra Action Video and L.A. Hero Inc. on June 2, 1993. The film has yet to be released on DVD, or any other newer format, in any region.
- Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legend The Movie (2009), Ultraman USA along with other M78 Ultra Warriors fight against the evil Ultraman Belial. This marks their second ever live appearances onscreen, after the Shinseiki Ultraman Densetsu featurette.