Photos - Little Prince and the Eight Headed Dragon
I've been wrestling with the dilemma of whether to refer to Toei Animation's 1963 film by its Japanese title, Wanpaku Ouji no Orochi Taiji, or the common Western title, Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon. I certainly want to make things as easy as possible for you to discover and appreciate these classic movies. And I certainly don't wish to be a foreign movie or anime snob.
In the end, I've decided to use the original name, since, after all, it's their movie. And one of the goals of this blog is to understand these Japanese animations on their terms. We're here to learn, and I think I'll do everyone a better service if I try to teach with the correct names. Western hacking of anime classics is a real sore point with many fans, including me. It's a mistake that must be ended.
According to Wikipedia, "Wanpaku Ouji no Orochi Taiji" translates as "The Naughty Prince Slays the Giant Serpent." It's a bit of a mouthful, but oftentimes Japanese movies have long title.
I'm a great fan of this movie, and I wanted to share a number of screenshots for you. I'm afraid my only copy was downloaded from YouTube a few years ago, so that's why the pictures are smaller than I'd like them to be. It doesn't help matters that Toei's DVD's of all their classic anime films are old, single-layer releases, circa 2000. It's astonishing that Toei doesn't respect their own history, or that they fail to recognize the value of these great movies. This was their golden age, when they aspired to create feature-length animation comparable to Walt Disney. In the process, their young artists nurtured and developed their skills, eventually giving birth to modern anime as a unique and wholly Japanese artform.
Fans of Studio Ghibli are missing out on the Toei Animation classics, and not just the ones Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki created. In many ways, Ghibli is the torch-bearer for Toei, and it's the key to their uniqueness. Nobody in the world makes movies like Ghibli, and if you truly want to know why, your journey leads to Toei.
I've done a little work on Paint Shop Pro to pretty these photos up. Hope you enjoy them! This is a spectacular movie, one of the true animation classics.