Sunday, September 27, 2009

Under The Western Influence

This year at AWA and at Anime North back in May, I did a panel all about Japanese cartoons based on Western works; two hours of me showing clips and talking about them, and only occasionally resorting to making stuff up. Seeing as how it's been weeks since I did a column here, I need something I can throw up pretty quickly. So here goes! My panel - and this column -  is by no means a comprehensive or complete overview - just anime I happened to have on hand that was at least vaguely interesting to look at and worth talking about for five or ten minutes. Since I first did this panel in Canada, I started off with some Canadian content.


Written by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery in 1908, ANNE OF GREEN GABLES became a worldwide success, especially in Japan. If you are Canadian or watch PBS in the States you're already familiar with the story and/or Megan Follows. If you aren't, it's about a young orphan girl who's adopted by a middle-aged brother and sister on a farm on Prince Edward Island. Expecting a boy, the pair soon overcome their initial reservations and Anne becomes a member of the family.



"Akage No Anne" was produced by Nippon Animation Company in 1979 as part of their World Masterpiece Theater series, with animation by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata. Nippon Animation is airing a Anne prequel - "Hello Anne - Before Green Gables" right now as part of the House Foods World Masterpiece Theater. Currently unavailable in the English speaking world, the failure of the American "anime industry" to rake in cash by releasing this series is proof of massive brain damage on somebody's part.





FABLES OF THE GREEN FOREST is another show Canadians are more familiar with than Americans. This anime series, originally titled "Rocky Chuck", was based on books written by Thornton W. Burgess, eminent conservationist from Cape Cod, who over the course of his career wrote more than 170 books and 15,000 newspaper columns. His characters Sammy Bluejay, Johnny Chuck, Polly Chuck, Peter Rabbit, Chatterer Squirrel, Paddy Beaver, Grandpa Frog, Uncle Billy Mouse, and Joe Otter were introduced in his first novel, Old Mother West Wind, published in 1910. The anime series was produced by Zuiyo Eizo (the predecessor to Nippon Animation). America got exposed to the anime incarnations Chatterer The Squirrel and pals through the good offices of ZIV who dubbed this series in a haphazard and whimsical fashion.







The TOM SAWYER anime, based on the Mark Twain book actually written by Samuel Clemens, was a World Masterpiece Theater series produced by Nippon Animation in 1980. Dubbed for American home video, it was released by Just For Kids to an indifferent market. Not nearly as surreal as the Hanna-Barbera Tom Sawyer that featured live-action Tom, Huck, and Becky Thatcher being chased by an animated Injun Joe. Other World Masterpiece Theater series include Swiss Family Robinson, Rascal The Raccoon,  Dog Of Flanders, Remi, Hans Christian Andersen stories, the anime based on Hector Malot's En Famillie (Perrine Story), Pollyanna, Peter Pan, Daddy Longlegs, Von Trapp Family Story, and Lassie. No, not Lassie's Rescue Rangers. Just Lassie.




Toei's 1980 TV special LITTLE WOMEN wound up getting dubbed for America by Harmony Gold. Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott written in 1867, it's the story of four New England sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy who come of age during the American Civil War. You know how one of the characters in the book dies of tuberculosis? Not in this movie. There was also a Little Women anime series (whimsically named "Four Sisters Of Young Grass") from Movie International in 1981, and a Nippon Animation World Masterpiece series in 1989. 





HEIDI is naturally based on the popular children's book by Johanna Spyri about a Swiss orphan who goes to live with her hermit grandfather in the Alps. Animated as part of Nippon Animation Co.'s Worldwide Classics series, with direction by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata; the pair have a great time animating the endless expanses of Swiss Alps and bright blue skies. There is a Heidiland theme park in Switzerland where yodelling is enforced by law.

Zuyo Eizo HEIDI's US VHS release from Mike Nesmith's Pacific Arts


SINDBAD, being an adventure character whose appeal has lasted centuries, is a natural to become a Japanese cartoon. The character originates in ancient Middle Eastern tales of an intrepid sailor from Basra. The classic English version is from Richard Burton's 1001 Nights. No, not THAT Richard Burton, the other one. The movie THE ADVENTURES OF SINDBAD is a Toei film released in 1962, dubbed by god knows who, and a staple of public domain home video.



SINDBAD ARABIAN NIGHTS is a Nippon Animation Company series from 1975 and stars Sinbad, Aladdin, and Ali Baba together again for the first time! 1001 NIGHTS - produced by Osamu Tezuka's Mushi Productions- is one of three animated films aimed at an adult market in the late 1960s and early 70s that wound up bankrupting Mushi. I have an English trailer for this film but have never seen a full dubbed version.

from the 12-minute "Wizard Of Oz"
L. Frank Baum's WIZARD OF OZ has been animated by Japanese folks on at least four occasions. One of them is a mere twelve minutes long. The Toho version released in 1982 stars the voices of Lorne Greene and Aileen "Annie" Quinn. I think we wrote about that one already.



Based on the Russian fairy tale, TWELVE MONTHS is a Toei/Soyuzmultfilm coproduction released in 1980. Anya is sent out into the cold woods to collect flowers in midwinter by the evil queen, but is saved by the twelve spirits of the months of the year. The somber, fantastical characters and cool color scheme are close to Toei's other 1980 film, Towards The Terra.

THE WILD SWANS, a Toei film from 1977, is a complicated Danish fairy tale about a king with 11 sons and 1 daughter. Our clueless widowed king marries an evil stepmother who turns the boys into swans. Daughter Elisa escapes swanification and must complete various impossible tasks and endure hardship to return her brothers to normal. Another swan-themed fairy tale anime, SWAN LAKE is that great ballet and is also a Toei film from 1981 that reportedly was the first co-production between Marvel Comics and Toei. No seriously, it says so right here in the November 1980 issue of Comics Reader. Fred Patten wouldn't lie!


the anime that dares to ask 'who's your Daddy?'"

DADDY LONGLEGS is based on the 1912 novel by the American writer Jean Webster, Mark Twain's grand-niece. Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, this tells the story of an orphan girl whose tuition at a women's college (based on Vassar) is sponsored by an anonymous benefactor. The novel takes the form of letters written by Judy to her mystery man. Will the friendly, handsome uncle of one of her classmates turn out to be Judy's mysterious Daddy Longlegs? Hint: yes. This anime version was produced by Tatsunoko in 1979 and dubbed into English in the 1980s by 3B Productions (Tranzor Z, Starbirds). There is a later TV series by Nippon Animation Company released as part of their "World Masterpiece Theater" series.

CALL OF THE WILD - Obviously from the Jack London novel, this Toei television film is surprisingly brutal in its depiction of the rough life in the North. Also features a ninja dog.



FRANKENSTEIN the anime! Loosely based on the Mary Shelley novel, this plodding, tedious adaptation is enlivened by rare moments of extreme violence. The new ending is not an improvement. Produced by Toei as a TV movie in the late 1970s and dubbed by Harmony Gold.



DRACULA SOVEREIGN OF THE DAMNED - this famous 1980 Toei telefilm is based on the Marvel Comics "Tomb Of Dracula" by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. The more fanciful notions of the comic book seem even more fanciful without Gene Colan's masterful artwork, and Dracula cockblocks Satan and eats a hamburger.


Yup, he's eating a hamburger. Deal with it.

So far the 1970s Marvel/Toei partnership resulted in Dracula at McDonalds, Spiderman with a giant robot, and Go Nagai sketching Luke Skywalker. Oh well, one out of three ain't bad.

THE YEARLING (aka "Fortunate Fawn"): the original Yearling novel was by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, was published in 1938, and was the story of Jody, a young boy living in central Florida around the turn of the century. His parents won't let him have a pet, but he adopts a fawn whom he names Flag. I don't know how the anime version ends. This World Masterpiece Theater series recieved a really odd anonymous English dub and was sold in dollar stores as "Fortunate Fawn". Fun fact: when the American film was casting in 1939 my great-uncle tested for the part of Jody. Didn't get it, though.

FUTURE BOY CONAN, part of Nippon Animation's "World Masterpiece" series, this was based on the juvenile dystopian SF novel "The Incredible Tide" by Alexander Key, who also wrote "Escape To Witch Mountain". The original book is, as I recall, deadpan and grim, with Conan and Lana fighting to survive in a much less jolly world than we'd see in the anime series. Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, this is perhaps the finest 26 episodes of any children's science fiction cartoon ever made by anyone ever.

CAPTAIN FUTURE - based on the 1940 pulp series written by Edmond Hamilton. Curtis Newton was raised in a secret moon base by a an artificial man, an intelligent robot, and a brain in a tank. Obviously he became a space-travelling hero battling evil and injustice throughout the solar system. This 1978 Toei TV series was really popular in Europe. Hamilton's "Star Wolf" became a live-action TV series in Japan in the early 1980s.



LENSMAN was loosely modelled after the seminal SF pulp series by Edward Elmer "Doc" Smith, PhD (food chemistry). The Lensmen are top agents of the Galactic Patrol, civilization's only defense against the Boskone pirate society. The Lens endows its wearer with telepathy and the ability to control minds of lesser strength. The battle between civilization and Boskone escalates until planets, stars, and black holes are used as weapons. The series began in 1936 and continued through the 1940s, with a final book in the series appearing in 1965.




The anime film was one of the first uses of computer animation in a Japanese anime production - not THE first, but close - and was followed by a TV series that hewed slightly closer to the original novels and had a kicky, piano-driven theme song. Other anime adaptions of American SF classics include the Sunrise STARSHIP TROOPERS, an amazingly dull adaptation of a really great book.



The famous Swedish comic strip MOOMIN about the Moomintrolls and their bucolic pastoral existence has been animated on about thirty or forty separate occasions. Mushi Productions, TMS, TV Tokyo, and lots of European studios have all collaborated on different Moomin animated series. There is also a Moomin theme park in Finland, and the shops of three continents are lousy with Moomin toys, dolls, cell phone charms, you name it. The version I have was dubbed into English in Wales.

Other Western-influenced anime titles mentioned were the Toei films PUSS IN BOOTS and ANIMAL TREASURE ISLAND and SUPERBOOK - based on the book WRITTEN BY GOD!!- Tatsunoko's ANIME OYAKO GEKIJO / PASOCON TOABERU TANTEIDAN ("personal computer travel detectives") series from the early 1980s was commissioned by Pat Robertson for the Japanese market, dubbed and shown on various Christian television networks. In the Ukraine, the anime inspired a live-action Barney and Friends-style children's program titled Superbook Club (with the robot Gizmo, or "Robik" in Ukrainian, as the mascot).

Yes, I'm completely aware there are tons of anime titles I have completely neglected to mention, including HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE and the Toei LITTLE MERMAID and many others, including that one that's your favorite. Please feel free to fill up the comments about how I "forgot to mention" these titles, because I love it when you do that, and I'm also never ever sarcastic.

27 comments:

Ninjatron said...

Seeing Fables of the Green Forest at your Anime North presentation was quite amazing. I knew that I was exposed to a lot of Japanese animated programing growing up in the 80's, be they dubs or American shows farmed out to Japanese studios, but I had absolutely no idea that Fables of the Green Forest was one of them. I must have watched that show almost every day for several years, but I had completely forgotten about it. I can't remember if I liked it or not. Probably not!

d. merrill said...

I can't tell if I like "Fables" or not. The dubbing was recorded at some kind of mental institution, I think. It's strange in a very special way.

They had vinyl toys of Rocky Chuck and his galfriend at Mandarake in Shibuya for astronomical sums.

shiroihikari said...

Damn...I had a huge comment typed, and it got eaten.

Anyway, I've been working on Akage no Anne, but the pacing is pretty slow so it's taking me forever. But I love it because it combines two of my favorite things: Anne of Green Gables, and old anime.

I really liked Toei's The Little Mermaid. The art is really nice-- watching it in pan-and-scan is a crime. They really took advantage of the widescreen aspect ratio. Oh, their version of Swan Lake wasn't bad, either.

I want to see Twelve Months and Heidi, but I doubt I'll be able to find them anywhere...it blows my frigging mind that most of this stuff wasn't licensed in the US.

As for Howl's Moving Castle, the book is a zillion times better. I think the screenwriters completely missed the mark. But then again, I'm not a fan of Miyazaki anyway.

Chris Sobieniak said...

NOTE: The following is going to be long-winded so settle back and no back-talk!

Currently unavailable in the English speaking world, the failure of the American "anime industry" to rake in cash by releasing this series is proof of massive brain damage on somebody's part.

Really! Even Future Boy Conan would've been nice if they can at least stick in a mention of Miyazaki's involvement in it. This stuff is GOLD but just never got touched.

I remember noticing that 12 minute "Wizard of Oz" cartoon from a $1 DVD I picked up at Walmart (and later destroyed). That version might have came from the 1976 TV series named "Manga Sekai Mukashi Banashi" ("Animated Fairy Tales of the World" or whatever), which presented two stories per episode based on different stories from around the globe. Supposedly Madhouse worked on the series and notable guys like Osamu Dezaki and Rintaro directed some episodes. The show aired for nearly 3 years on TBS.

Episodes from this series often got distributed in the form of 16mm prints for schools as well as cheapo VHS tapes that contain a rather modest but lacking English dub that only merely works but I was 4 years old at the time of watching these to criticize the effort. I remember seeing some of these pop up on Nickelodeon back in the days they had on Pinwheel which showcased a lot of goofy European/Japanese stuff I didn't see anywhere else. Early tapes from Embassy Home Video labeled them as "Tales of Magic", though had a completely different title opening the video itself.

Here's a nice comparison of an episode for The Wolf and the Seven Kids in both languages!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1NAzzC7faw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Cdm0BaLaM

There was a different series altogether doing the same racket done by Toei Animation as well though the title of the show escapes me, but some of those episodes got dubbed as well (sounds like the Speed Racer group here)...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXmmJ_maotI

Then again, Nippon Animation in the mid 80's stuck out a bunch of fairy tales on tape that got picked up by Saban and dubbed, "My Favorite Fairy Tales", here's yet another take on the same tripe!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks5DCqqI1D8

Will it ever stop! ^_^

Still need to look for a cheap copy of "Twelve Months" to go with my copy of "The Wild Swans" (sans cover as I bought it for a buck or two from a defunct video store). In the case of the Marvel-involved "Swan Lake", there were oddly two dubs made of the same film. One that might have been comissioned by Toei themselves and released on VHS by Media Home Entertainment (later by Hi-Topps perhaps), and another that was made and distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Television that occasionally shows up on TV from time to time (part of MGM's library since they stick in a Pink Panther cartoon at the very end). Don't want to draw comparisons between both dubs, but the second one was a bit more competent.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Damn...I had a huge comment typed, and it got eaten.

Ha, this is why I usually keep a notepad handy for my comments!

I really liked Toei's The Little Mermaid. The art is really nice-- watching it in pan-and-scan is a crime. They really took advantage of the widescreen aspect ratio. Oh, their version of Swan Lake wasn't bad, either.

Too bad DiscoTek didn't pick these up while they had the chance.

I want to see Twelve Months and Heidi, but I doubt I'll be able to find them anywhere...it blows my frigging mind that most of this stuff wasn't licensed in the US.

Worst I have is a DVD pirate box of the Heidi series as well as the compiled movie in my grips, though I'm still looking for the English-dubbed version of the movie too. That show was worthy of Nick Jr. back in the day (as of Sept. 28th, the classic Nick splotch logo is no more).

As for Howl's Moving Castle, the book is a zillion times better. I think the screenwriters completely missed the mark. But then again, I'm not a fan of Miyazaki anyway.

It's a matter of taste.

Bothering to continue what I wanted to say but Blogger's limitations annoy me...

"The Yearling" I believe was not a "World Masterpiece Theater" presentation, as the show was actually produced by another company that went by the name "M.K. Company" (though I have the suspicion Kodansha's pulling the strings there, the same name also gets listed for the Lensman movie as well as 1981's "Belle & Sebastian"). MGM/UA at the time apparently had some involving in the show as well as hinted in these opening credits, and later distributed an English dub for export markets while never having aired locally at all (I've got a couple episodes on 16mm personally).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9r219tAUz8

Not long ago several episodes got stuck on a DVD from EastWestDVD relabeling the show as "Fortunate Fawn", perhaps to prevent any legal troubles down the road as I suspect. I usually don't care at all with this bunch, but nice to see this show getting some for of a release here at all when all I could ever find of it was 16mm prints on eBay.

Oh yeah, here's the end credit sequence featuring some creepy computerized morphing techniques (Lensman wasn't the first indeed)!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QIexyxEyok

Fun fact: when the American film was casting in 1939 my great-uncle tested for the part of Jody. Didn't get it, though.

Still, that's a HELL lot better than the story in my family tree, where one cousin got picked to play Heidi in a TV movie alongside Burl Ives where she gets sent to modern day New York for no reason. You can find this trash at a store near you too!

To correct another note, Future Boy Conan was not a World Masterpiece Theater show as well, though I can see where the confusion may lie, Nippon Animation has made WAY too many of these literary programs for decades, that's pretty much what they're best known for outside the few shojo/shonen works like Locke the Superman, HunterXHunter and so-on.

The ZIV dub of "Fables of the Green Forest" apparently got exposure in Canada through stations such as TVOntario in the 80's, though I do wonder if that dub was the same as the one that got released as "Chatterer the Squirrel" on the same tape I picked up at a Goodwill years back. I felt like that was a leftover dub pilot of sorts they sent over to FHE for the heck of it.

Chris Sobieniak said...

There are many you did miss out on I'm sure! I would note the few stations out there (namely Christian-based types) that had played some literary anime it he past such as Tom Sawyer and Nippon Animation's version of "Little Women" and perhaps Osamu Tezuka's take on the Old Testament with "In The Beginning", though one I did see back in the 90's I wished I bothered to tape was the 1989 series "Jungle Book: Shonen Mowgli", which was dubbed by a Canadian group and released on VHS (in crappy EP speed) by Strand VCI Entertainment. I don't have much to say that isn't probably on display elsewhere online, but I bothered buying a lot of anime cels from this show from a guy who fell for my low price bid! I was not going to pass that up big time!

There, I got it all in!

d. merrill said...

BTW Ninjatron, we need to get together at some point and brainstorm a set list for the big two hour Classic Anime panel at Anime North next year!

Anonymous said...

Actually the Tom Sawyer anime did get aired on HBO in the late '80s and early '90s - I remember watching it in the early morning hours before leaving for school. Nippon Animation also produced a version of "Little Women" for the World Masterpiece Theater in 1987, called "Ai no Wakakusa Monogatari," and this was shown on HBO too. Aside from these two series I believe there was only one other series from the World Masterpiece Theater which found its way to America, and that was the 1981 version of "Swiss Family Robinson" (aka "Flone of the Mysterious Island") which aired on The Family Channel (formerly CBN) in 1989.

The story of the Little Mermaid has been made into anime several times. The basic story formed the basis of a 1970-71 TV series by Toei called "Mahou no Mako-chan" (released in several European countries but never in English), and then there was the 1991 Japan/Korea coproduction "Ningyo Hime Marina no Boken" (which became "Saban's Adventures of the Little Mermaid" in the USA).

On the subject of Hayao Miyazaki, don't forget his 1984 adaptation of Sherlock Holmes for Tokyo Movie Shinsha ("Meitantei Holmes" aka "Sherlock Hound" in English) which made all the characters into anthropomorphic animals. Holmes is also heavily alluded to in "Detective Conan" ("Case Closed"), as Holmes is the hero of the main character Shinichi (Jimmy) Kudo. And Nippon Animation's 1977 series "Jouo Heika no Petite Angie" aka "Angie Girl" got a partial U.S. release on video as "The Casebook of Charlotte Holmes" despite the series having no relation to the story of Holmes.

Several of Jules Verne's stories became anime, most notably "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" which formed the basis for Gainax's 1990 classic "Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water." Nadia is a spiritual cousin of "Future Boy Conan" but unlike Conan, Nadia did get dubbed and did receive a proper DVD release in the U.S. It may have been shown on some PBS stations here but otherwise is another deserving show which didn't make it on U.S. TV.

The story of Pinocchio also became an anime on a few occasions. There were TV series by Tatsunoko in 1972 and Nippon Animation in 1976. Tatsunoko's show ("Kashi no Ki Mokku") got dubbed into English on two occasions, by Jim Terry sometime in the '80s and then in 1992 by Saban, aired on HBO as "Saban's Adventures of Pinocchio."

d. merrill said...

Please feel free to fill up the comments about how I "forgot to mention" these titles, because I love it when you do that.

I believe we here at Let's Anime World HQ all stand in awe of the fact someone would feel the need to point out that the main character in "Detective Conan" is, in fact, a Sherlock Holmes fan. No shit, Sherlock.

"Nadia" is a "spiritual cousin" of Future Boy Conan in the sense that it would be the offspring of two cousins who were a little too close to each other genetically, and who filed the serial numbers off of dozens of more entertaining shows and clumsily stitched the bits and pieces together to foist an inferior product on an unsuspecting public.

The only thing "Nadia" "deserved" was a bad Carl Macek dub and a punch in the nose.

George said...

Chris Slobeniak,

Is there any way to help me out. I am trying to find Alps No Shoujo Heidi with English Subtitles just so I can simply watch it. Is there any way I can borrow it or can you burn it for me or something. I will pay you for a copy or even a renter's fee. Seriously.

Just let me know.

George

Chris Sobieniak said...

The only thing "Nadia" "deserved" was a bad Carl Macek dub and a punch in the nose.

Thanks for setting the record straight Dave!

George said...
Chris Slobeniak,

Oh look, someone wants me (and my name gets spelled like the Publisher's Clearing House envelopes state)...

Is there any way to help me out. I am trying to find Alps No Shoujo Heidi with English Subtitles just so I can simply watch it. Is there any way I can borrow it or can you burn it for me or something. I will pay you for a copy or even a renter's fee. Seriously.

Just let me know.

George


I'd like to help, but I don't have an English subbed version of the show at all, but thanks for asking. The very nature of charging a 'renter's fee' just startled me a little. I'm not that good.

d. merrill said...

http://www.yesasia.com/global/heidi-theatrical-version-boxset/1003950722-0-0-0-en/info.html

There, don't say I never gave you nothin'.

George said...

Thanks there Mr. Sobieniak.

Sorry about misspelling your name. I realized after I already submitted the comment. I found a bootleg copy of it for sale on a website in Arabia with English dubbing or subbing. They were listing it for $26,000USD. Typo or not, I have no idea, but I am not going to try it. Haha.

You're totally worth the renter's fee by the way.

Cheers.

George

George said...

Dave,

Thanks for the Heidi Theatrical Version link. I have that actually and I also have the official Spanish Dub in the box with the artwork and everything because I speak spanish. However, my english is much better and I have found heidi on an arabian bootleg website with subs and also a possible bootlegger. If I get it with subtitles, I would be happy to get a copy to you and Chris. Thanks again.

George

Also, have you checked out JSDVD mall? It has been having issues lately, but they claim to have Little Women with subs and Triton of the Sea. Anyways, just a thought.

Chris Sobieniak said...

George said...
Thanks there Mr. Sobieniak.
Sorry about misspelling your name. I realized after I already submitted the comment.


That's alright, it's not everyday that doesn't happen (let alone if anyone can pronounce it properly or not).

I found a bootleg copy of it for sale on a website in Arabia with English dubbing or subbing. They were listing it for $26,000USD. Typo or not, I have no idea, but I am not going to try it. Haha.

Best not to with situations like that.

Wikipedia states that an English version of Heidi was done on several occasions in the Philippines and India, people there are lucky bastards if nothing more.

You're totally worth the renter's fee by the way.
Cheers.
George


Merci beaucoup!

Dave,
Thanks for the Heidi Theatrical Version link. I have that actually and I also have the official Spanish Dub in the box with the artwork and everything because I speak spanish.


Typically are Latino buds get lucky too.

However, my english is much better and I have found heidi on an arabian bootleg website with subs and also a possible bootlegger. If I get it with subtitles, I would be happy to get a copy to you and Chris. Thanks again.
George


I wouldn't mind that a lot as I'm curious to see how it is. I'm still looking for the US-released English dub of the movie myself since I once passed up a copy at a video store I should've rented years ago. You do not think of how valuable these things are until it's too late. I have a faint memory of that one showing up on Nick's Special Delivery back in the 80's. The only time they ever aired this at all stateside when they could've aired the entire show anyway.

Also, have you checked out JSDVD mall? It has been having issues lately, but they claim to have Little Women with subs and Triton of the Sea. Anyways, just a thought.

I think I've heard of them as they also have an English subtitled release of 3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother (a.k.a. "Marco"). We've got one fansubber who has only got up to a dozen episodes so far on that.

George said...

Dave,

In regards to the English Subbed Marco / 3,000 Leagues in Search of Mother, JSDVD Mall Does have that. I bought Marco, A Dog Named Flanders, Perrine Story and Trapp Family Story, and Sinbad from JSDVD Mall all with English Subs. A company called PIMGROUP does all of those dubs. The boxes have the same art with different characters that form some kind of continuous image so it actually looks nice displayed as well.

I am currently watching Peter Pan No Bouken with English Subs as well. Have you seen it? I like it a lot for being one of the more recent Masterpiece Theater Shows.

I wouldn't say I am only a Masterpiece Theater fan, but my mission in life is to collect and watch all of them with english subs or at least raw if it's impossible for a few of them. I just wanted to get into old stuff as I am part of the Sailor Moon fan wave (only 24).

What are you watching right now?

By the way, it's really been fun talking with you and Chris. I have heard both of you mentioned on AWO and heard your interview as well. I love listening to Daryl, Clarissa and Gerald. Hopefully I will get a chance to see you guys at a con someday. I have met Carl Horne before at Komuricon, as I am in Portland, but have not made it out to east coast for a con.

Take care. Chat with you soon.

George

Chris Sobieniak said...

I wouldn't say I am only a Masterpiece Theater fan, but my mission in life is to collect and watch all of them with english subs or at least raw if it's impossible for a few of them. I just wanted to get into old stuff as I am part of the Sailor Moon fan wave (only 24).

I guess that puts me in the Voltron/Robotech wave then? ^_^

d. merrill said...

George;
Most of my HK gray-market anime action comes from the lovely Pacific Mall, a local Toronto institution which gets raided by the MPAA about twice a year for copyright violations. I've picked up my share of quasi-legal weird Chinglish-subbed DVDs there, including some Umi No Toriton.

George said...

Dave,

Awesome and dangerous. I like it...Pacific Mall huh! I am checking that out. Thanks for the tip.

George

Salvatore said...

Well... since you did mention The Little Mermaid at the very end, I'll let it slide. When IS someone gonna release this gem on DVD? Toei? Discotek? SOMEBODY!

...

Awesome post as usual.

Chris Sobieniak said...

Salvatore said...
Well... since you did mention The Little Mermaid at the very end, I'll let it slide. When IS someone gonna release this gem on DVD? Toei? Discotek? SOMEBODY!


I often think Hen's Tooth would not be a bad company to get this released though, and they have already tackled a number of G.G. Communications-released stuff like the Pippi Longstocking films.

Andrew said...

Definitely too late for the trend, but just wanted to say that 12 Months is indeed on YouTube, but in Russian with no subtitles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nq0hUk2yKr8&feature=PlayList&p=3A2FC4E99AD12D87&index=103

Soyuzmultfilm just plains kicks butt. Just goes to show what animation allied with Communism can accomplish! There's a lot of other good stuff by them up, including an entire channel ("Soyuzmultfilm") that has some of the classics with English subs.

George said...

Dave and Chris,

Hey guys. Well, I did find a website that actually had Heidi, as well as some other rare World Masterpiece Theater titles for sale. However, they were recently suspended. A friend of mine from Iran was going to help me get them from a persian website called

http://www.arinashop.com/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi

Anyways, I was just wondering. Could I possibly purchase from whoever has a copy of Nobodie's Boy Remi and Little Women. I contacted Daryl Surrat recently, but have not heard back yet regarding Remi. Just let me know if I could even get a vhs copy from you guys. Would be happy to pay for it of course through paypal.

George

d. merrill said...

George, you can email me at terebifunhouse@gmail.com and we can arrange a swap for Little Women (I don't have Nobody's Boy Remi). I'm sure Chris has his own email; he posts a lot in the comments here, but this isn't his blog.

Petran79 said...
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Petran79 said...
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Petran79 said...

There are two different series and some might find them confusing:

1.Rocky Chuck the hill mouse, based on Thornton Burgess stories

2.Bannertail The Story of Gray Squirrel and kuma no Jacky, based on tales by Canadian Ernest Thompson Seton (Monarch, Big Bear of Tallac)

Very informative article. It is unfortunate that works that should have had an English dubs were only dubbed in French, Spanish, Italian etc.

Fortunately Cities of Gold had an English dub (and the upcoming sequel hopefully too)

An update on the Yearling.

The dub was made in Australia. It differs from the book in some scenes, eg Fodderwing is with Jody till the last episodes. I'd say that the character of Fodderwing is completely different from that of the novel and the way his family treats him too. I did not like that at all but the series had high quality nevertheless. You can watch it on Youtube.

But today such quality series are difficult and expensive and risky to produce. Nippon Animation's last effort with 52 episode series "Porfy's Journey", based on a French novel did not do that well to allow them to cover the expenses.

Another series I liked was the 1980 Maeterlinck's Blue Bird. Setting the characters in a modern era worked, plus it had some wacky and surreal scenes too.