Jungle Emperor - first anime in color

1965. "Jungle Emperor" is the first anime in color (first animated TV series) in Japan. It was aired on Fuji Television. The broadcasting started on October 6, 1965. and ended on September 28, 1966. It was shown every Wednesday at 7:00 PM, 1 episode per day.

1966. "Kimba the white lion" anime was shown in USA.It was distributed by NBC Films, and it was aired for the last time in 1978.

1967. "Kimba the white lion" anime was shown in Australia on Melbourne TV. It started at 4:00 PM.

1969. "Kimba the white lion" anime was aired as "Kimba el leon blanco" in Spain on TVE for the first time. Also, it's interesting that "Kimba" was the first Japanese anime that was ever aired in Spain. These series were later released on video in Spain in the 80s (the exact year is not known). (Many thanks to Mazochungo for this info!)

1977. 39 episodes of the 1966 "Kimba the white lion" TV series were aired under the title "Kimba der weisse Löwe" in Germany (on ZDF) and in Austria (on ORF 1). On ZDF it was aired every Tuesday, from January 4 to October 4.

7 LPs and 7 MCs containing slightly shortened versions of 29 episodes from the above TV series were released in Germany by Poly (a division of Polydor/PolyGram).

"Kimba the white lion" anime was aired in Italy under the title "Kimba il leone bianco" for the first time in September 1977 (in Rome on "TV Voxson"; in Lazio on "GBR" on September 5), and these italian-dubbed episodes that actually came from the U.S. (from NBC Films) were aired on several TV stations to date (excluding the "new" italian Kimba series from 1999). During these years there were two opening themes - in the beginning the show used the U.S. (NBC) opening theme, which was replaced with the italian opening theme in 1982. The show had two dubbings - the first one (in which Kimba had a female voice) ran from 1977 to 1990, and the second one that featured Kimba with a male voice was introduced in 1983 and it was aired even recently (in 2001). In the 80s both of these two dubbings were used. (Many thanks to Francesco Piccardo for these infos!) Production credits

1978. "Kimba il leone bianco" TV series were aired in Italy on "Antenna Nord". The broadcasting started in Spring 1978.

1979. From January 25 to April 14 "Kimba il leone bianco" TV series were aired in Italy on "Quinta Rete" (future "Italia 1") during the "Ora dei ragazzi"("The boys' hour") TV programme. (Many thanks to Francesco Piccardo for the initial correction!)
1980. From August 5 to August 25 "Kimba il leone bianco" TV series were aired in Italy on "La Uomo TV", from Monday to Friday.
1982. "Kimba the white lion" TV series were again shown in Australia on Melbourne TV.
"Kimba il leone bianco" TV series were aired in Italy, but this time with a new (italian) opening theme instead of the previously used (U.S.) one. This opening theme was composed by Riccardo Zara, and performed by "I Cavalieri del Re" ("The King's Horsemen"). It was originally recorded in 1979.
The first airing started on "Telearcobaleno" on March 2 at 1:30 PM and 6:15 PM.
There was also another airing on "T.R.E." (part of the "TV Port" network) that started on March 9 at 6:00 PM and that was aired from Tuesday to Friday.
Production credits Lyrics of the opening theme
The opening theme (new and improved version; Windows Media Audio clip, 1,5 MB)
The opening theme - 2000 version (streaming RealAudio clip; source)
MIDI file of this theme (44 kB; source page)
The opening sequence (RealVideo clip, 3,51 MB; new version)
The opening sequence, 2nd version (RealVideo, 3,51 MB; from Regno delle Anime)
Italian version of the "A-I-U-E-O mambo" jap.song (and the lyrics; Windows Media Video clip, 1,9 MB)
1983. "Kimba the White Lion" has been released in the UK on video by Entertainment In Video (distributor: CBS). A total of 2 volumes were released, and the first one was released on July 29, 1983. Each volume had a running time of 90 minutes (contained 4 episodes).
A new italian dubbing of "Kimba the white lion" episodes, which starred Franco Latini as Kimba, was aired in Italy for the first time. It's important to mention that this dubbing, instead of having only the wonderful Isao Tomita's music, had just 50% of the background music that was composed by Isao Tomita, while the other 50% was replaced by the instrumental version of the italian opening theme.(Many thanks to Francesco Piccardo for these infos!)
1985. "Kimba der weisse Löwe" TV series (33 of total 38 episodes) was again aired in Germany, this time on Sat 1. It was aired every Monday, at first (in 1985) at 1:30 PM CET, and then (in 1986) at 3:00 PM. The airing started on September 2 and ended on April 21, 1986.(Many thanks to Joachim and to Marc from Germany for these infos!)

1986. "Kimba der weisse Löwe" was released on video by Taurus Video in Germany. It was re-released in 1995. Video releases

1988. "Kimba der weisse Löwe" TV series was again aired in Germany on Sat 1, every day at 2:10 PM CET, with repeats on the following day at 9:10 AM or at 9:35 AM. This airing started on March 31 and ended on May 7. (Many thanks to Marc from Germany for these infos!)

1989. "Kimba der weisse Löwe" TV series was again aired in Germany on Sat 1, every Tuesday at 2:05 PM CET, with partial repeats on the following day at 9:35 AM. This airing started on April 4 and ended on January 1, 1990. (Many thanks to Marc from Germany for these infos!)
"Kimba the white lion" was released in Finland on video under the title "Kimba valkoinen leijona". These episodes are actually the italian 1979 episodes with finnish subtitles. Each cassette was 45 minutes long and it contained 2 episodes (probably). (Many thanks to Lauri Welling from Finland for this info!)
The opening theme of the Finnish Kimba episodes, recorded in 1986, is actually the 1977 German opening theme translated into Finnish by Ari Pauli Meriläinen. It is performed by Hannu Takala, and it was available only on the "Children TV favorites" LPs and cassettes, released by a Finnish company called Sateenkaari in 1987.
The opening theme (Windows Media Audio 9 clip; 436 kB) Lyrics of this opening theme
Note: Again many thanks to Lauri Welling from Finland for the theme and the lyrics! Sorry for the fair quality of the sound, I've improved it a bit, but I couldn't do anything else. But, if you're still interested in it, download it and enjoy!
1990. From September 3 to November 23 "Kimba il leone bianco" TV series were aired in Italy on "Odeon" during the "Sugar" TV programme, from Monday to Friday.

The complete 1965 "Jungle Emperor Leo" anime was aired as "Le Retour de Léo" in France on "La 5" ("La Cinq"). They were followed by the complete 1966 "Leo" anime, but this time the 1966 "Leo" was recorded with new french voice actors. The airing started on September 17.

The above episodes were later aired on TF1 in 1995 (under the title "Le Retour du Roi Léo") and on FR3 (France 3) in 1996 as well.
The opening theme was sung by Claude Lombard, and pictured here is the scan of the 45rpm record with the theme. This song is actually based on the opening theme of the italian TV series "Sabato al circo"("Saturdays at the circus") - the music (by N.Carucci) is the same in both songs, only the italian lyrics (by A.Valeri Manera) were replaced with the french lyrics by Charles Level.
The opening theme (from the 45rpm record; Windows Media Audio 9 clip; 1,41 MB)
Lyrics of the opening theme (with translation)
Note: Although the image on the cover of the 45rpm record suggests that the 1989 Kimba series were also aired on "La 5", there is no further information on this.

1991. 14 episodes of the "Kimba der weisse Löwe" series that were never shown in 1977 (but which were newly dubbed - including the episode "The Return of Fancy Prancy" that was initially aired in 1977 but which was damaged immediately after that first airing, and so it had to be retaken and redubbed for the "Bou Bou" series), and all 26 episodes of the "Onward, Leo!" series were all together aired on Pro7 as "Bou Bou - König der Tiere". The name was changed because of the copyright reasons. (Many thanks to Swen Steffens for these explanations!)In addition to Pro7, "Bou Bou - König der Tiere" was also aired on TV München, but the year is not known.

"Kimba il leone bianco" video has been released in Italy by a company called Pretty Video.

The shown video contains two episodes from the italian 1970s airings, "Invasione degli insetti" ("Insect invasion") and "Distruttori del deserto" ("Destroyers from the desert"). This video is a very rare item.
1992. "Jungle Emperor" (aka "Kimba the White Lion") anime was aired in Japan on TV Tokyo every Tuesday and Thursday at 7:30 AM.
1994. "Kimba der weisse Löwe" TV series were aired in Germany on RTL 2. They were aired almost at the same time "Lion King" was shown in movie theaters.
1998. In Germany in the City's library of Munich (München) on two Wednesdays, August 5 and 12, starting at 3:00 PM CET four episodes from the "Kimba der weisse Löwe" series were shown to children on video.
2000.
The original Kimba 1966 episodes were finally released on video by Right Stuf International. These episodes were also released on DVD in 2003 and in 2005. Video releases DVD releases
38 episodes of the "Jungle Emperor" TV series were aired in Germany on Junior, part of the pay-TV Premiere World, Monday to Friday, starting at 6:15 AM and 10:55 AM.
The broadcasting started on June 21 and ended on August 9.
2001. "Kimba il leone bianco" anime was shown in Italy on 4 local TV stations:
- on TeleNapoli 34 (Campania) everyday, starting at 5:20 PM CET (this airing ended in July 2001.)
- on Telenuovo (Veneto) everyday, starting at 6:00 PM CET (this airing ended in 2002.)
- on ReteSette (Piemonte), everyday, starting at 3:00 PM CET (this airing ended in January 2002.)
- on TeleRoma 56 (Lazio), everyday, starting at 7:15 AM CET (this airing ended in January 2002.)

On September 7, 2001. Billie Lou Watt, the voice of Kimba in 1966. U.S. Kimba TV series, dies. See the announce taken from the New York Times from September 13, 2001.

2002.

From March 14 to May 7, 38 episodes of the "Jungle Emperor" TV series were again aired in Germany, and again on "Junior", part of the pay-TV "Premiere World". The airing was from Monday to Friday, at 7:00 AM CET.

"Kimba the white lion" TV series was again aired in Germany on "Junior" (part of the pay-TV "Premiere World") from Monday to Friday at 7:20 AM CET under the name "Leo der kleine Löwenkönig" (Leo the Little Lionking). This airing started on September 20.

2003.

On March 25 2003 26 episodes from the 1966 U.S. "Kimba" TV series were available for the first time on DVD by Right Stuf. SeeDVD releases for more information!

The italian Kimba airing called "Una giungla di avventure per Kimba" has repeated its broadcast after exactly 4 years in Italy on channel Italia 1. The broadcasting started on September 8 (and it was aired from Monday to Friday at 08:15 AM CET), but it temporarily ended on September 19, and it seems that the airing has been interrupted for good.
2004.
The original 1965 episodes were aired on TV on the Nihon Eiga Senmon satellite channel. It is carried on three Japanese satellites as a part of three packages: on Superbird C (at 144.0°E, freq.12583 horizontal) as a part of the I-HITS package, on JCSAT 4A (at 124.0°E, freq.12508 vertical) as a part of the Sky PerfecTV package (channel 707), and on N-Sat 110 (at 110.0°E, freq.12371 R) as a part of the Sky PerfecTV 110 package.
It was aired every Sunday at 11:00 AM, one episode per week (this episode was repeated every Wednesday morning at 06:00 AM). The airing started in the middle of July 2004, and it ended on August 7, 2005.
Also, it is interesting to mention that, along with Kimba, three other popular animes by Osamu Tezuka were aired in the same part of day - an episode of "Astro Boy" and "Princess Knight" was aired before Kimba, while an episode of "The Amazing Three" was aired immediately after Kimba.
From September 24 to November 16 "Kimba the white lion" TV series were aired in Germany on "Junior" (part of the pay-TV "Premiere World") from Monday to Friday at 10:40 AM CET. These are the original 1966 episodes dubbed in Germany in 1977 (38 episodes).
2005.
"Kimba el Leon Blanco" was aired in Latin America on Cartoon Network Latin America in the Boomerang section. It was aired from June 6, and it was aired from Monday to Friday at 6:00 AM ET, 2:00 PM ET and 10:00 PM ET. It seems that this airing has ended in the meantime (exact ending date is unknown).

French "Le roi Léo (vol. 1)" DVD-box cover
The first 26 episodes of the 1965 "Jungle Emperor" series have been published in France on DVD for the first time. It has been released in a DVD box titled "Le roi Léo - tome 1" by a french firm called Rouge Citron Production on June 21. Note that this is a french release, with french audio only.
> DVD releases

Kimba the White Lion DVD box artwork
Madman Entertainment from Australia has released on DVD all 52 episodes of the original Kimba series aired in the U.S. and Australia in the 60s and 70s. It was released on September 21.

> DVD releases

After the airing of the original 1965 episodes has finished on the Nihon Eiga Senmon japanese satellite channel on August 7, 2005, airing of the 1966 ("Go ahead, Leo!" or "Onward, Leo!") series was started.
It was aired at the same time: every Sunday at 11:00 AM (also one episode per week), with repeated airing every Wednesday morning, and ended on February 21, 2006.
Along with it, other Tezuka animes were aired in the same part of day as well: an episode of "Astro Boy" and "Blue Blink" (instead of "Princess Knight") was aired before "Leo", while an episode of "The Amazing Three" was aired immediately after "Leo".

On November 29 Right Stuf released a special DVD box that every true Kimba fan should have: this DVD box contains all 52 episodes of the original Kimba episodes aired in the U.S. in the 1960s and 70s newly remastered with image quality never before seen on previous Kimba DVD releases. More info about it can be found on the
DVD releases page.

The
1977 german-dubbed Kimba episodes were once again aired in Germany and Austria on pay-TV "Premiere" - they were aired on "Junior" from Monday to Friday at 08:45 AM CET, and on "Premiere Start" and "Premiere Austria" every Saturday at 08:45 AM CET.
German "Kimba der weisse Loewe" DVD coverThe airing on "Junior" started on August 24 and ended on October 14, while the airings on "Premiere Start" and "Premiere Austria" started on August 27 and ended on October 15.


German Kimba fans finally got a chance to see some of the 38 episodes of the Kimba series that were dubbed in german and aired in Germany in 1977. On November 11 Koch Media has released on 4 DVDs 16 episodes from the series, while the next 10 episodes were released on March 17, 2006. For more info please visit the
DVD releases page.

Spanish "La leyenda de Kimba el leon blanco" DVD box front coverOn November 17 a DVD box set titled "La leyenda de Kimba, el león blanco" that contains 15 episodes from the
1965 series was released in Spain by Premium Video. What is strange, though, is that the image on the front cover of the DVD box suggests that these are the 1993 series. The box set contains 5 DVDs, and the episodes have both Spanish and English soundtracks. The DVDs feature interactive menus, chapter selectors, and infos about habits and customs of the animal that is shown on each DVD.
(Many thanks to Lauri Welling from Finland for info about this DVD release!)

Gilbert Mack, the voice of Pauley Cracker (and the voice of Mr. Pompus) in the original U.S. Kimba series, passed away on December 5 at the age of 93.

2006.
The german-dubbed Kimba episodes from 1977 were again aired in Germany on "Junior", part of the pay-TV "Premiere". These episodes were aired from January 11 to June 24 on "Premiere Start" and from January 14 to June 26 on "Premiere Austria". They were aired on "Junior" from Monday to Friday at 7:35 AM CET (since March 17), and on "Premiere Start"/"Premiere Austria" Saturdays at 9:25 AM CET.

French "Le roi Léo (vol. 2)" DVD-box coverA DVD box with the next 26 episodes of the 1965 "Jungle Emperor" (aka "Kimba the White Lion") series, titled "Le roi Léo - tome 2", has been released on January 24, again by Rouge Citron Production. This is a french release as well, with french audio only. >DVD releases

Yet more DVD box sets with french-dubbed episodes of the 1965 "Jungle Emperor" series were released - 2 DVD box sets titled "Le Roi Leo" with 12 DVDs containing all 52 episodes have been separately released by Déclic Images on March 9 and on June 7, and another, 3rd DVD box set, containing 26 episodes of the 1966 "Leo" series has been announced, however it never made to the stores. These DVD sets were discontinued in the meantime, and instead five 4-DVD sets were made available in 2007 and 2008 - first three sets contain the 1965 "Jungle Emperor" episodes, and the last two sets contains the 1966 "Leo the Lion" series. > DVD releases

Starting August 7 the 1965 "Jungle Emperor" series were again aired in Japan, this time on Cartoon Network Japan as a part of the "Boomerang" program. It was aired from Monday to Friday at 6:00 AM, 1 episode a day (with repeats on the same day at 11:00 PM). This airing lasted until October 16. However, a repeated airing of the series has started on CNJ on December 11, and this time it is aired from Monday to Friday at 6:30 AM, with the repeat of the episode at 11:30 PM. After January 1, 2007 the episodes were aired Monday-Friday at 10:30 AM. This airing ended on February 19, 2007.
2007.
In Germany a 10-DVD box set called "Superbox" and containing all 38 episodes of the Kimba series that were dubbed in german and aired in Germany in 1977 has been released by Koch Media Entertainment on March 23. DVD releases

From July 13 to September 21 the original 1965 "Jungle Emperor" series were again aired in Japan on Cartoon Network Japan, 1 episode every day from Monday to Friday at 10:00 AM, with a repeat on the same day at 11:00 PM.

From July 15 to August 21 the german-dubbed Kimba episodes from 1977 were again aired in Germany on "Junior", part of the pay-TV Premiere (now Sky), every day at 6:00 AM CET. Just like on "Junior", 5 episodes from this dubbing were aired on the other two pay-TV channels, "Premiere Start" and "Premiere Austria", every Saturday from July 21 to August 18 at 6:00 AM CET.

2008.
From February 19 to March 27 the german-dubbed Kimba episodes from 1977 were again aired in Germany on "Junior", part of the pay-TV Premiere (now Sky), every day at 6:00 AM. The episodes aired on Saturday were aired on the same day at the same time on "Junior", and also on "Premiere Start" and in Austria on "Premiere Austria".
From April 2 to May 8, 14 years after the last airing, the 2nd german airing of Kimba from 1991 known as "BouBou - Koenig der Tiere" has been once again aired on TV in Germany. This time it was aired on "Junior", every day at 11:45 AM, but instead of all 40 episodes, only 37 episodes have been aired.

From July 1-18 only 18 episodes from the german-dubbed Kimba episodes from 1977 were having another airing in Germany on "Junior". They were aired every day: Monday to Friday at 8:30 AM, and Saturday & Sunday at 7:20 AM. The episodes aired on "Junior" on Saturday were aired on the same day at 8:20 AM on "Premiere Start" and in Austria on "Premiere Austria".

From August 10 to October 20 the original 1965 "Jungle Emperor" series were again aired in Japan on Cartoon Network Japan, 1 episode every day from Sunday to Thursday at 12:00 AM.

Good news for Kimba (and Tezuka) fans in the UK: both "Jungle Emperor" movies, along with the first episode from the 1965 series, were screened during the "Osamu Tezuka: Movies into Manga" festival (September 18-24) held in the London's Barbican Centre. The first episode from the original Jungle Emperor series was screened on September 19 from 5:45 PM as part of the "Tezuka on the Telly 1" programme, the 1997 movie was screened on September 20 at 11:00 AM, and on September 23 at 10:30 AM GMT ("Schools' screening"), and the 1966 movie was screened on September 21 at 12:00 AM GMT. All the screenings were in the Centre's Cinema 1. The 1997 movie was dubbed in English, while the 1966 movie were subtitled in English - for the very first time, which made this screening very special.

On September 22 the japanese Internet TV Branco added a new channel called "Tezuka Osamu Animation World", which showed Tezuka's works/series like Astroboy, Princess Knight, The Three-Eyed One, BlackJack, One Million-Year Trip: Bander Book and Fumoon. The 1965 Jungle Emperor (later known as Kimba the White Lion) series has also been aired. However, on January 30, 2009 Branco ceased to exist as an Internet TV service.

2009. From Wednesday, February 18 to Thursday, April 30, the original 1965 "Jungle Emperor" series were again aired in Japan on Cartoon Network Japan, 1 episode every day from Sunday to Thursday at 12:00 AM.

2010. From April 22 (from July 12 for "Sesta Rete") "Kimba il leone bianco" anime was shown on 3 local TV stations (all airings ended in August):
- on Telestudio (Piemonte) everyday, starting at 6:45 AM and at 8:30 PM CET
- on Quinta Rete (Piemonte) everyday, starting at 8:00 AM and at 5:00 PM CET
- on Sesta Rete (Piemonte), everyday, starting at 4:00 PM and at 7:15 PM CET
From October 2 to January 15, 2011, "Kimba il leone bianco" anime was shown on D1 Television (Sicily), every Monday and Saturday at 5:35 PM CET.