Ogy Anime Reveiws: Magic Boy
Other English Names:
• Sasuke, the Young Sarutobi
• Sasuke Ninja Boy
• The Boy Sarutobi Sasuke
• Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke
• The Adventures of Little Samurai
(Tsk-tsk shame on you MGM)
Theater Release Dates:
• December 25, 1959 Japan
• June 22, 1961 USA (2nd anime movie to be played in this country)
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Shoenen
Age Range: 3+
Run Time: 83 Minutes
Original Story by Kazuo Dan
Directed by Akira Daikubara & Taiji Yabushita
– Other works from Akira Daikubara:
• The World of Hans Christian Andersen (Oh no)
• Little Remi and Famous Dog Kapi
• Doggie March
• Honey Honey’s Wonderful Adventures
• The Young Jack and the Wizard
• Hellhound Liner 0011, Transform!
– Other works from Taiji Yabushita:
• Alakazam the Great
• Anju and Zushio Maru
• Panda and the Magic Serpent (Ooo)
• The Young Jack and the Wizard
Production: Toei Animation
Licensed by: Warner Bros. in a English dub only release.
This movie is made available through the WB Store in a print per order fashion.
Costs ~$22.00 shipping not included
NOTE: Sorry but no insight this time.
– Movie beginning overview:
After a mysterious vocalist, Danny Valentino, sings the plot to an Asian tune, we see animals scurry across the woods with Sasuke following behind as they were playing on this fall day. Soon Sasuke’s sister, Oyu, rings the plank of wood to let him and his fuzzy friends know it was time to eat. After everyone rubs themselves off of crumbs, Kuro the black bear still hungry takes the last sweet potato and shows it off to his woodland creature pals.
A monkey with a red jacket, Cherry, takes the tater and plays keep away with the other monkeys. The bear cub squanders and manages to get them to toss it aside. The sweet potato gets tossed into an open tree trunk. Once Kuro receives the delectable vegetable, he angers a swarm of wasps. All of the animals manage to hide, but Sasuke’s pet dik-dik named Tinkle gets pushed out of the way. Tinkle flees from the swarm, but a giant hawk manages to swoop in to take the little dik-dik away.
Oyu points out the situation to him. He swaps his bokuto for the katana in order to hunt down this monstrous bird. The chase heeds away through the mountains. The hawk soars though a pond in the creator of some mountains to drop Tinkle into the depths. As the poor dik-dik splashes about, a colossal salamander with bats flying above it approaches Tinkle to be a meal. The mother dik-dik soon arrives before the others and dives to rescue her baby.
Sasuke soon arrives to see the dik-diks struggle about. He dives in the pond with the sword in his mouth like a pirate and fights the aquatic monster. The woodland friends now arrive and help Tinkle out of the water. Sasuke finds himself getting slapped out of the pond. The animals regroup with Sasuke. The salamander creates bubbles under the water to reveal a Yuki-onna, snow witch, who looks like the Joker from Batman. Sasuke confronts her only to be tossed aside. The witch flees and Sasuke finds Tinkle crying at the pond as his mother has died. Everyone in the group collapses bawling.
At home Oyu explains the origins of the witch Yakusha. Sasuke says that he will go to learn magic in order to defeat Yakusha. Please understand due to unsubtle censorship of the 1960’s, Sasuke is going to learn Ninjutsu or ninja magic, not sorcerer magic, to fight the witch. Oyu tries to reason Sasuke’s bash behavior. Sasuke doesn’t say a word and that night he heads out into his pilgrimage to learn magic or become the next Ninja Warrior.
Personality: Young, brave, brash, and an I-can-do-anything attitude. He is sort of a blend of both Disney’s Aladdin and Mowgli from the Jungle Book.
Role: The main hero who will banish the witch who torments the land.
Name: Oyu, Sasuke’s sister.
Personality: Thoughtful and caring.
Role: A young beautiful damsel who might be the fairest among the land.
Name: Master Tozawa Hakuun
Personality: Old wise mentor (doesn’t die) and father figure
Role: A wise retired king who lives as a hermit in the mountains. As mentioned in personality, old wise mentors like any other famous examples in media.
Name: Prince Yukimura Sanada
Personality: Proud, royal, and protective.
Role: A gentle man who has a similar personality to the Prince in Sleeping Beauty.
Personality: Jealous of youth, overconfident, and loves to show off.
Role: She is the main villain who looks like a female Joker from batman and has similar motives as the queen from Snow White. She is also a Yuki-onno.
Name: Gonkurô the Mountain Storm
Personality: Loud and barbaric.
Role: A common big bandit. He is loud and gruff and talks about big stuff.
Animated in Magicolor. I’m not sure if this is a real animation technique or a lazy marketing tool. Either way that is a cheesy name for an animation style especially. Enough silliness and onto my thoughts, for being an earlier color animation from the late 1950’s it’s not bad. No way near Clutch Cargo quality at all (not a fan sorry if that was harsh. Catch the wave?).
Some animations are choppy, but the filtering used in some scenes is understandable like when Tinkle is crying and we see his teary vision. I enjoy the smooth character designs and the traditional Japanese art style goes well with the story and atmosphere it wants to portray; however, with this art being more cultured some maybe confused at first as what gender Sasuke is at first glance of the box after due to the lower lip being over colored.
The shots at times does understand how to portray the feeling in the situation like when Kuro’s nose gets stung by a wasp or how Kuro realizes how awkward it is to take food before it’s okay to eat (By the way that scene reminds me of John K.’s animated special Boo Boo Run’s Wild).
Animation Rating: 3.5/5 (B)
Damn it Danny don’t spoil the movie, but maybe I should blame Fred Spielman and Janice Torre for writing these lyrics. The lyrics Danny has to sing are almost as deadpanned as Raymond Burr in the original American release of Godzilla. I will give Danny and the background girls (whoever they are) credit for trying BOO to sing this theme song in an upbeat manner, but Danny sings this like he’s a cowboy. I guess they wanted the market to blend cowboy films and ninja samurai films together. I don’t know this theme can be laughable.
One song is instrumental and the two songs that the bandits sing are left in Japanese. Some background music like the “distraction dance” is out dated like classic Looney Tunes. As pointed out in the beginning, the sister is hitting a plank of wood to chime her brother that the food is ready, but it makes a metallic noise. Even though the whole human cast is dubbed, I think the animals are still voiced in Japanese.
One compliment with this dub is the voices do sound like they matched the characters. Also Sasuke is properly pronounced.
One complaint I have with the dub and English credits, the character’s names are lost and I can’t find out who did the English voices. Oyu’s name I had to find on the box and five other characters are not named.
Sound Rating: 3/5(C)
Overall Production Rating = 3.25/5 (C)
The animation is forgiven for being primitive, but it’s not horrible either. I find the music to be out dated which is understandable, but leaving out character’s names and spoiling the movie (themes that spoil the movie may also be a product of children’s movies back then so I won’t punch on that issue in the music rating score since beta max or vhs wasn’t made in that time period) to be harmful to the movie.
• Great fairy tale-esque movie
• Nice to see this finally released
• Traditional Japanese art made this movie more appealing
• Nice way to see a different culture
• That back sass exchanged at some parts
• A movie with a Yuki-onno in it so point this out to the Froslass Pok`emon fans
• Names of characters are lost in dubbing
• Spoiling song
• Not a hybrid release
• Some maybe turned off by the animation but that is their loss
• Some re-mastering would be nice but not needed
I enjoyed this movie.
Some out of date pop culture and heavy Japanese culture/traditions may lose new comers. Examples of this are the “distraction dance” and a Kabuki dance preformed by Yakusha which I enjoyed seeing.
One point which will confuse a majority of viewers and might be consider by some to be pointless is Oyu’s clairvoyance dream. In this dream, she sees people and events which some she hasn’t seen before. I like this because the viewer can see what the animation studio can do and (if that spoiling song didn’t happen) elude the viewer as to what will soon happen in a mystic way. Granted some may not like the mysticism.
The side plot is fairly enjoy about. Two bandits, who are like Abbot and Costello, pillage with their band grab a trunk. With the trunk a little girl will not depart with it. The girl sort of reminds me of a toddler age Konata. The calamity between these three are, the two bandits want the girl to leave so Yakusha won’t kill her but the stubborn girl refuses and forms an ego.
Since Warner Brothers owns the license, I would like to see this be shown on Toonami. You can call me crazy all day and I think this was shown on Tunner Classic Movies, but seeing more people watch and talk about this movie is all I really want.
*Pro’s, Con’s, and Other Thoughts Rating: 3.5/5 (B) Not bad for a fairy tale-esque movie.Overall ratings:
- Plot:3.5 /5 (B) It is what it needs to be.
- Performance: 3.5/5 (B) Decent Dub, but reeks of the time period.
- Pace: 3/5 (C) It does feel like the story goes by acts and does feel lengthy.
- Characters: 3.5/5 (B) Done well.
- Production Quality:3.25 /5 (C) Animation: Magicolor. Sound: I’m mixed.
- Pro’s, Con’s, and other thoughts:3.5 /5 (B) Not bad for a fairy tale-esque movie.
- Overall total: 3.38/5 (B) Does have flaws, but for how old it is it holds up well.
Note: Due to my own belief and further defining anime as a pop art, no rating will ever receive a 0, 1, or 5 (a Z, F, or A in my book). For this reason is that times will change as opinions. Anything can be far greater or worse than before. That’s just human triumph and error.What was needed?
- An Assassins Creed or Prince of Persia game variant made based on this movie.
- Blood, but not that necessary.
- Less pop culture and change up the first song.
It’s the Disney’s Jungle Book kind of bad for the children, but not as shocking as Disney’s Aladdin.
- Aladdin (Disney)
- Jungle Book (Disney)
- Peter Pan (Disney, but only in magic use)
- Teen Titans Season 4, 2nd Episode or Episode 41 titled The Quest (a.k.a. I want to dress like Robin)
- Snow White (Disney by villain)
- Taro the Dragon Boy
- The “Tsk-tsk shame on you MGM” is referring to the censorship of using the title ninja and calling him a samurai. If there was no translation given that’s sort of okay because it’s somewhat of a guess to the original ideal. For this case, they had a translation.
- The Ooo and Oh no at some of the directorial is because both were released by or similar companies like Digiveiw in the dollar slim case that I like to call the skinnies. I will review them at a later time.
- The BOO in the middle of the Sound section. In the middle of the ending song, Danny yelps BOO in the song. It makes sense on placement but still sounds awkward.
Please let me know what you think in the comments below.