Trailer - Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke (Toei, 1959)



Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke is Toei Doga's second animated feature film, which followed on the success of Hakujaden a year earlier.  This is a much more ambitious picture, not only in its presentation (widescreen), but also the content.  The animators, led by Akira Daikubara and Yuji Mori, are pushing themselves to their limits, all while continuing to learn their craft.  One of the joys of watching the early Toei Doga pictures is seeing that creative process in action.  To a great extent, the artists are mastering the craft as they proceed.

I really enjoy the scale of this picture; there are many set-pieces and moments that could work as cartoons in their own right.  I love the scenery and the vivid color, which is always a Toei trademark.  It's a really solid movie that cements Toei's growing ambition and reputation.  Sasuke is a portrait of the studio in its growing phase, for good and bad.  I think of this movie as a learning experience, which will hit serious paydirt in Toei Doga's third feature, Saiyuki.

I just uploaded this trailer to Youtube, and I'll be adding a few more Toei trailers in the coming days.  Enjoy!

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