Kimba the White Lion is an anime series based on a manga series published by Osamu Tezuka in the 1950s; however, in Japan the series is known as Jungle Emperor.
The series is set in Africa. In the first episode, Kimba's father, Caesar, is a protector of the animals in the wild. However, he has been upsetting the villagers by freeing their cattle; in the Japanese version, he is actually stealing the cattle to feed the jungle carnivores. A professional hunter is called in to capture the lion. Instead of directly confronting the lion, the hunter makes a recording of his voice, which the hunter uses to catch the lion's mate, who is pregnant with Kimba. Kimba's mother is used as bait to lure Caesar. Caesar is killed, and his mother is put on a ship.
While on the ship, Kimba's mother gives birth to her son. Mother and son receive a lot of support from the rats that inhabit the ship. About two months after Kimba is born, a stork comes by and warns one of the rats that he senses a storm approaching. Kimba's mother tells Kimba about his father, and tells him he must leave the ship and return to their homeland to rule in his father's place. At first, Kimba doesn't want to leave his mother. After some gentle urging, he reluctantly agrees. He slides out from between the cage bars, and jumps out of a porthole into the sea.
The next morning, Kimba awakens, and finds himself hanging on to a board. After a moment, he realizes that he sees the remnants of the ship all around him; he also realizes that his mother must be dead. As Kimba tries to return to Africa, he receives help from the fish in the ocean, and he sees the stars form the face of his mother. He is also guided by butterflies to land. The series follows Kimba as he returns to the wild and how he learns and grows.
The English dub of Kimba the White Lion is very friendly to young audiences, due to the editing that was done to it. However, some of the voice acting in the English dub is not the best, and some the vocal delivery is rather stilted. Even with its faults, Kimba the White Lion is still a classic anime series.
|Kimba the White Lion||52||1965-1966||Eiichi Yamamoto||Mushi Production||The Right Stuf International|
|Jungle Emperor Leo: Feature Film||N/A||1966||Eiichi Yamamoto||Mushi Production||N/A|
|Jungle Taitei Susume Leo||26||1966-1967||Shingo Araki||Mushi Production||N/A|
|The New Adventures of Kimba the White Lion||52||1989-1990||Takashi Ui||Tezuka Productions||N/A|
|Jungle Taitei Leo||N/A||2009||Goro Taniguchi||Tezuka Productions||N/A|