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Category: About : Anime

Tezuka’s Anime (Telefilms)


Tezuka's Anime Telefilms

Tezuka’s Anime Telefilms

With the success of his early animated weekly television programs, Tezuka decided to set his sights on a longer, 60-minute program based on the same popular anthology format used by Walt Disney Company.  Although the Black & White New Treasure Island (1965) TV Special aired on January 3, 1965 as the first episode of Tezuka’s “Mushi Pro World” television series, the format didn’t really catch on.

However, in late August 1978, as part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, the Nippon Television Network Corporation spearheaded the creation of an annual charity event.  Dubbed “24 Hour Television: Love Saves the Earth” [24時間テレビ「愛は地球を救う」], the telethon was created to raise money (via donations) to support the charity efforts of a wide range of projects –  everything from helping the sick or handicapped, to victims of global natural disasters, to war relief, to environmental conservation.  Osamu Tezuka was approached and asked to contribute a two-hour animated television movie, beginning a semi-annual tradition that lasted from 1978 until 1989 when Tezuka passed away.  In all, nine animated telefilms were produced by Tezuka Productions, skipping only 1982, 1987, and 1988.

Of course, animation is a much more collaborative effort than manga (generally speaking), and it should be noted that while Tezuka may have had a hand in creating the general plots and setting the overall tone, he was not the primary writer/director of any of the telefilms.  However, they were developed by the staff of Tezuka Productions, and have many of the telltale Tezuka signs – chief among them a strong use of Tezuka’s Star System.  In fact, Undersea Super-train: Marine Express (1979) alone features a virtual cornucopia of Tezuka’s star players.

Title Aired Network Format Length Produced by
New Treasure Island 1963/01/01 Fuji TV B&W 52 min. Mushi Productions
Space Journey: The First Dream of Wonder-kun 1969/01/02 NHK Colour 20 min. Mushi Productions
One Million-year Trip: Bander’s Book 1978/08/27 NTV Colour 94 min. Tezuka Productions
Undersea Super-train: Marine Express 1979/08/26 NTV Colour 91 min. Tezuka Productions
Fumoon 1980/08/31 NTV Colour 91 min. Tezuka Productions
Bremen 4: Angels in Hell 1981/08/23 NTV Colour 91 min. Tezuka Productions
A Time Slip of 10,000 years: Prime Rose 1983/08/21 NTV Colour 90 min. Tezuka Productions
Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature 1984/08/19 NTV Colour 90 min. Tezuka Productions
The Three-Eyed One: Prince in Devil Island 1985/08/25 NTV Colour 85 min. Toei
Galaxy Investigation 2100: Border Planet 1986/08/24 NTV Colour 73 min. Tezuka Productions
The Story of Osamu Tezuka: I am Son-Goku 1989/08/27 NTV Colour 70 min. Tezuka Prodcutions