Kimba, the White Lion-Volume 1 (Jangaru Taitei)(Warner Vision) (1965)

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Released 15-Sep-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Animation Notes-Fan Info - episode listings and credits
Gallery-Picture gallery
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1965
Running Time 87:42
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Eiichi Yamamoto
Osamu Tezuka
Studio
Distributor
Aust. Screen Ent.
Warner Vision
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Isao Tomita


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    Kimba The White Lion, or Jangaru Taitei as it was known in Japan, was first seen outside that country in 1966 when it aired on US Television. Radically different from the animation American audiences were used to, Kimba became popular overnight and helped to lead the way into western markets for later anime series.

    Created by the 'father' of the Manga style of comic art and of Anime itself Osamu Tezuka (who also created the Astro Boy character) Kimba was seen and loved all around the world by millions of fans. The action centres around a young orphaned lion cub and his efforts to 'civilise' the Jungle by helping the animals to make peace with each other. Human characters are often portrayed as evil exploiters of nature, quite a radical idea for 1965, who pose a constant threat to the Jungle and its inhabitants, while Kimba ironically is usually trying to get his fellow creatures to behave more like humans, the nicer members of our species at any rate.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The original source material for Kimba would be quite old by now and considering the relatively limited scope for sales you wouldn't expect a full restoration job due to the expense of such an undertaking. Even so, on the whole the video quality is barely acceptable, and true fans will be disappointed at the numerous and constant blemishes.

    Kimba The White Lion is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1, reflecting its television roots.

    The most obvious problem is the ever present interlacing right throughout all four episodes. This is a common problem with older animation releases and the strong effect in Kimba muddies the clarity of the image significantly. There are also unpleasant Gibb effect distortions haloing every moving character, evidence of poor or overzealous MPEG compression. Clarity is further marred by slight chroma noise in scenes where there are large blocks of a single colour such as the blue of the sky.

    Minor dirt, damage and film artefacts abound in almost every frame such as those at 1.20 and 3.26 in episode three, and occasional horizontal lines such as those at 13.19 in episode two suggest analogue tape tracking errors as well.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    Kimba The White Lion at first seems to have a much better audio restoration than video, however fans will soon realise that this is the result of the audio being much more recently recorded! In the early nineties, the series was remastered for a video release in the U.S. and, probably due to the limited remastering technology at the time, had a completely new audio track added. All the character voices were redubbed and, worse still, a new theme song dropped in as well! An awful new theme song I might add. This new audio almost ruins the nostalgia value of the show for old time fans as the familiar voices of the main characters are gone.

    The disc has only one audio track, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack.

    Dialogue sync is good throughout, but as there is only stereo Dolby Digital no use is made of surround channels or subwoofer. Again, as the audio is relatively recent and in stereo only there are no clicks or dropouts to speak of and the character voices are always clear and understandable.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Notes

    The program notes as they are referred to are simply a list of episodes in their order of production. There is also a production credit summary which unfortunately doesn't list the names of the voice actors, original or new, or the people at NBC who were involved in the original show.

Gallery

    The image gallery has eight stills which are a combination of promotional art, design drawings, poster art and even what looks like a food label.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    Kimba The White Lion is presented as a multi region PAL disc in its R4 guise. Sadly for those of us in Region 4, our version is lacking the special features found in the R1 boxed set. These include two interviews with people from the U.S. NBC production staff, Fred Patten and Fred Ladd, detailing the history of the series plus Tezuka's original program proposal to NBC.

    On the bright side, judging by the reviewer's comments about the visuals of the R1 version, we may have a slightly improved release in terms of video quality here in Region 4. The R4 version would not seem to be as dark and dull as the R1 version is described as being. That comment is based on another reviewer's opinion however, not from actually seeing the R1 version myself.

Summary

    Kimba The White Lion is an acceptable release for those wishing to introduce the series to young viewers, however older fans more interested in the nostalgia value will be sorely disappointed with the redubbed audio.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© George Soropos (read my bio or the puppy dies)
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig ST70-670. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
Audio DecoderMarantz SR7200. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationLuxman LV600 valve hybrid stereo amp for front stereo pair and Marantz SR 7200 for centre and surround channels
SpeakersAltec Lansing Model 15's front stereo, matched Krix Centrix front and rear, Krix matched rear surrounds, Sony rear subwoofer (Altec's provide sub for front)

Other Reviews
Michael D's Region 4 DVD Info Page - Kimba W Lion
DVD Net - Terry K

Comments (Add)
I miss the old opening theme song! - Paul C
Original audio on R1 - micpp
new kimba release - newt
Kimba box set - John