Kimba is back! The real, original, only version ever broadcast in Australia is now available on DVD!
Australia must have, per capita, more Kimba fans than any other country in the world. And in the decades since Kimba was last seen on TV, two important things have happened: They have not forgotten about Kimba, not at all. And they have been mis-treated with a variety of home video releases that had a new soundtrack instead of the talented voices that were familiar from TV and instead of the rich and wonderful music that make Kimba the White Lion so special.
Well, here it is--the original Kimba, all 52 episodes, on DVD. And expertly brought to DVD, I might add. Some may have imported a 26-episode DVD set from the United States, trying to get their Kimba fix, only to be disappointed in the technical quality of the American DVDs. There are no disappointments here! Madman Anime has gone to Japan, where the original materials of the show exist in the hands of Tezuka Productions, and then they went to America to get the English soundtracks, and thus they recreated one of the greatest animated TV series of all time.
The pictures on this page are all actual screen shots taken from these DVDs. As you can see, there is no fading, no color loss, no dirt, no scratches on these films.
Look at the rich detail in this scene, the full range of colors. This is the way the show was made, eye-poppingly beautiful.
Billie Lou Watt is heard as Kimba in these episodes--the voice that endeared the character to audiences all over the world. It's enough to make a person feel 30 years younger.
The 52 shows are contained on 10 DVDs. If you spring for the big box set, you get an 11th DVD, with bonus features that make a Kimba fanatic like me jump for joy: The first episode of the Japanese version of this series is presented for the first time with English subtitles. This episode was most likely chosen because it was the one most radically edited for English-speaking audiences. Not that anything major was cut out, but scenes were re-sequenced (the English version coming out superior, in my opinion). Some of the finer details of the story were changed, and you get to hear more of the original music in the Japanese version, as well. Most important, you get to see the original opening and closing themes--the opening is a particularly spectacular bit of animation accompanied by a majestic theme song. (Watch the opening theme from this Japanese episode, and then watch the Circle of Life song from Disney's Lion King. Just for fun.) In an ideal world, we'd get the entire series in Japanese with English subtitles, but this is good for now.
Also on the bonus disc is a collection of scenes that were deleted from various episodes. Most amazing of these is a two-and-a-half minute song by four panthers, with some tripped out animation that must have been cut out for fear of blowing kid's minds back in the 60s! Each deleted scene is placed in context with the edited version, which is a really nice touch.
A look at Kimba collectibles from over the years, descriptions of a dozen or so major characters, and a group of model sheets from the original production round out the disc. Definitely worth the price of admission.
Kimba fans can FINALLY get their beloved show the way it was meant to be seen--complete, and in glorious, full, living color. Bravo!