1950 The first Jungle Emperor (Junguru Taitei) manga appears as monthly installments in the Japanese magazine, Manga Shonen. Written by Dr. Osamu Tezuka, the story has an enduring popularity as evidenced by the numerous reprints it has had (at least 10) since then. Basically, Jungle Emperor has always been available since it was first published 55 years ago. Often, for a reprint edition, Dr. Tezuka would make changes to update aspects of the story.
1965 Following the success of Astro Boy (Mighty Atom) on TV, both in Japan and in a syndication deal with NBC Enterprises in the U.S., Tezuka's production company (Mushi Productions) begins the color TV adaptation of Jungle Emperor as a series of 52 weekly episodes, with a symphonic music score by Isao Tomita. As part of the contract, NBC Enterprises finances the conversion of Mushi Productions to color work and brings key people to the US to study color techniques with animators from the Walt Disney company. In exchange, NBC Enterprises has creative input into the show. Thus, Kimba The White Lion is born.
1966 The new Kimba series is first shown in the US.

The success of this series in Japan over the past year is marked with a new Jungle Emperor theatrical feature and...

...the production of a sequel series, 26 episodes long and made without an American contract, known as Junguru Taitei: Susume Leo! (Jungle Emperor: Onward, Leo!). This series features Leo (Kimba) as an adult.
1967 The Jungle Emperor theatrical feature wins the San Marco Silver Lion award at the Venice International Film Festival.
1978 The adult Leo character becomes the mascot for the Japanese baseball team the Seibu Lions.

The contract allowing the showing of Kimba The White Lion in the U.S. runs out. Because of Mushi Productions' bankruptcy in 1973, there is no way to negotiate another contract.
1984 Junguru Taitei: Susume Leo! finally comes to the US, as "Leo The Lion". All 26 episodes are dubbed into English and shown on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).
1989 Dr. Osamu Tezuka dies at age 60 on February 9th.

A new version of Jungle Emperor is made and shown in Japan. Dr. Tezuka died when episode 6 was in production, a fact that casts doubt on how much input he had into this show. The content of this series is nothing like either the original manga nor the first TV series.
1991 Tezuka Productions creates a 50-minute animated feature based on a "symphonic poem" Isao Tomita created in 1966 from his music for the original TV series. This new animated feature tells the story of Leo's/Kimba's birth in coordination with the music.
1993 The original Jungle Emperor/Kimba series is dubbed into English again, by a new production company. This time, none of the original music is retained. This new English version is sold in syndication around the world as Kimba The White Lion. This version of Kimba will receive many partial releases to home video in Australia over the next several years.

The release date for Disney's Lion King is changed from this year to next year.
1994 The Walt Disney company releases the theatrical feature The Lion King. In Japan, over 1100 manga and anime artists and fans sign a petition requesting that the Disney company acknowledge that their movie was based on characters and situations from Jungle Emperor. The Disney company maintains that they were totally ignorant of the Japanese series.
1995 The 1993 English dub of Kimba The White Lion receives a limited (8 episodes) home video release in the U.S. The title of the show on the video boxes is "Kimba The Lion Prince".
1997 Tezuka Productions releases a theatrical feature, Jungle Emperor Leo, based on the second half of Dr. Tezuka's original manga story.
1998 The 1989 Jungle Emperor TV series receives a limited (and poorly dubbed) release (approximately 12 episodes) on home video in the U.S. as "The New Adventures of Kimba".

The Disney company files suit to try to prevent the showing of the 1997 "Jungle Emperor Leo" movie at the 1998 Toronto FantAsia Film Festival.
2000 The original (1966) English dub of Kimba is released to home video (VHS) in its entirety.
2003 The original (1966) English dub of Kimba is partially released on DVD (26 episodes). The DVD release uses the original order of episodes (the VHS release had followed the odd order of episodes dictated by NBC Enterprises).
2005 The current syndicator of the 1993 dub of Kimba offers a limited release of 5 episodes on DVD and VHS. A public domain video company offers a low-quality release of 8 more episodes from this series on DVD.

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