Magic Boy, known in Japan as Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (少年猿飛佐助? "The Boy Sarutobi Sasuke"), is a full length animated film released on December 25, 1959. Released as Toei Animation's second theatrical anime, the film was released in theaters in North America on June 22, 1961 making it the second anime film to be released there after The Tale of the White Serpent.

In medieval Japan, a boy named Sasuke and his sister live in a forest along with several young animals of different species. One day, one of the animals is grabbed by an eagle and thrown into a lake. Sasuke and another animal jump into the lake to save it. But a monstrous salamander arrives and devours one of the animals. Sasuke tries to fight the monster, but is defeated. And the beast leaves the lake, revealing its true form: a female demon named Yakusha. Sasuke's sister tells him Yakusha was transformed into a salamander by a powerful wizard millennia ago. But now she could muster enough power to have her normal shape back. And now she will found a reign of terror in Japan! Then, Sasuke decides to seek a magician master to learn to fight against Yakusha to save Japan and avenge the death of his pet.

Cast and charactersEdit

  • Teruo Miyazaki as Sarutobi Sasuke
  • Harue Akagi as Omon Yayamata
  • Hiroko Sakuramachi as Oyû
  • Katsuo Nakamura as Yukimura Sanada
  • Kenji Usuda as Tozawa Hakuun
  • Ryôei Itô as Okera no Kinta
  • Shunji Sakai as Batta no Miyoshi
  • Tomoko Matsushima as Okei-chan
  • Yoshio Yoshida as Gonkurô

The MGM versionEdit

In the English language version, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer left most of the original songs with Japanese language lyrics. Since the creators of the English version preferred to liken Sasuke to the public perception of samurai, who were viewed as heroic, as opposed to the ninja, who were viewed as "sinister spies and assassins," MGM's publicity incorrectly claimed that The Adventures of the Little Samurai was the Japanese title of the film.[1]

Video gameEdit

A video game titled Shōnen Sarutobi Sasuke (also known as Sasuke Ninja Boy) was released by Sunsoft for the Super Famicom in 1994.[2]


According to animation historian Jerry Beck, the film exhibited Toei Animation's effort to use the "Disney formula of presenting a traditional folktale with songs and plenty of cute animals."[1]

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit

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