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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Anime > Action > Fantasy > Japan > Magic Boy (1959 aka Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke/Toei/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)

Magic Boy (1959 aka Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke/Toei/MGM/Warner Archive DVD)

Picture: C Sound: C- (English-only track) Extras: D Film: B+

Sasuke is a young Japanese boy living in the forest with his beautiful sister and his animal friends, but when they are suddenly attacked by the Evil Witch Yakusha, Sasuke leaves his home to train under the White Wizard Hakuunsai to become Magic Boy to defeat Yakusha. Sasuke was an ordinary boy living in peace with his animal friends, but when the Demon Witch Yakusha escapes from her imprisonment she kills one of Sasuke's friends. Sasuke vows revenge and sets off on a pilgrimage to learn powerful magic to stop her rain of terror and as Sasuke trains, bandits under Yakusha terrorize the country side and kidnap Sasuke's sister. But Sasuke is not alone, along with the help of his animal friends and the Prince of the land (who's also in love with his sister) they rescue Sasuke's sister and stop Yakusha and her band of bandits in Akira Daikuhara and Taiji Yabushita's Magic Boy (1959), the first animated Japanese feature film to make it to the U.S. market.

This was an old Japanese animated movie about a boy, animals and his struggles against evil. It reflects some of Japanese culture, that power and magic resides within nobility and the belief of spirits residing in nature. It was your typical old school fairy tale of young hero in training to defeat the forces of evil. Unfortunately it was dubbed over and only had an English. Lossy Dolby Digital Mono voice-track, but a Japanese track not as hissy and warmer might exist. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image (in an unidentified scope format no one seems to known about, but it is likely ToeiScope) has good color, but can be soft with some print flaws and color fading. Yabushita co-directed Panda & The Magic Serpent the previous year, the first ever animated Japanese Anime feature film, so this is an important era of animation highly under-issued on home video.

There are sadly no extras.

- Ricky Chiang


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