Pygmalio (1990-91)

 

Pygmalio consists of 39 episodes (25 min. in length) produced by TV Tokyo and is based on the manga of the same name by Shinji Wada, which was published between 1978 and 1990. It tells the story of Kurt/Coult, the prince of the kingdom of Loon, son of King Stephan and Galatea, whose mother is the goddess Aganade. She has blessed Kurt with a cheerful spirit and special talents which he has to use to defeat Medusa. When Kurt was a baby, Medusa transformed Galatea and others into statues out of envy at her happy marriage to the king. Medusa also forced King Stephan to swear allegiance to her and to promise to make Kurt do so on his eighth birthday in order to save his kingdom. When the day comes Kurt declares he will defeat Medusa and restore those transformed back into humans. He sets out on a long journey to the Land of the Dead in order to complete his quest.

More:

https://myanimelist.net/anime/3765/Pygmalio

https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=1817

 

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Allegro Non Troppo: “Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune” (1977)

This feature-length Italian film, directed by Bruno Bozzetto, is a parody of Disney’s Fantasia. It features six animated vignettes which are interspersed with live-action black and white scenes showing the fictional animator, orchestra, conductor and filmmaker commenting and working on the production of the film in a humorous fashion.

Two of its animated episodes derive their subject matter directly from Fantasia — the first of these is the first vignette in Allegro non Troppo set to Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, which was inspired by the Centaur scene set to Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony. In this story, an elderly satyr pursues nymphlike nude female figures, all in a failed effort to restore the virility and good looks of his youth. The erotic yet humorous storyline depicts the humiliation of the satyr as he grows ever smaller in size. The scene ends on a peaceful note, with the landscape traversed by the satyr transformed into a woman’s body.

More:

http://www.bozzetto.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegro_Non_Troppo

“It’s a Greek Life” (1936)

One of the final shorts produced by Van Beuren Studios, the 25th entry in their Rainbow Parade series. A centaur cobbler is hired to to repair Mercury’s flying sandals with the help of a couple ducks. Instead of getting the job done, he takes the sandals on a fun flight over the Greek landscape while the ducks antagonize him. Mercury returns before the centaur has completed the job and mischief ensues. The characters have stereotypical Italian accents and there’s lots of clever animated play with the sculpture.

Run, Melos! [走れメロス!] (1992, 2nd version)

Released in Japan in 1992 by Bandai, Run, Melos! (Hashire Melos! in Japan) is a 107- minute animated adaptation of the famous 1940 short story by Osamu Dazai and a remake of the 1981 animated film. It featured direction and screenplay by Masaaki Osumi and was produced by Visual 80. This was the second of three versions of “Run, Melos!” — click here to learn more about the 1981 film and here to learn about the 2009 version.

Note: The story was also animated as a 30-minute stop-motion short for the Classic Children’s Tales series (1992), and again, as a 10-minute short directed by Keisuke Morishita, for the Famous Japanese Fables series (1997).

 

Run, Melos [走れメロス] (1981, 1st version)

A 68 minute film directed by Tomoharu Katsumata for Fuji TV in Japan. It is based on a very famous Japanese short story written in 1940 by Osamu Dazai, which is itself a reworking of a 1799 ballad called Die Burgschaft by Friedrich Schiller. Both are based on the ancient legend of Damon and Pythias that is preserved in the Fabulae of Gaius Julius Hyginus; however, in both Schiller and Dazai’s versions the main characters’ names have been changed to Melos and Selinuntius.

This is the first of three animated versions of the story, “Run, Melos!”. The second was produced in 1992 and has its own post here, while the third was produced in 2009 and his its own post here.

The story told is one of trust and the power of friendship: Melos, a shepherd, is arrested and accused of conspiracy against the tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse (in this animated version he is innocent of the charge, but in Dazai’s story he is not). He is given three days to travel to his sister’s wedding while Selinuntius, a sculptor and friend of Melos, agrees to stay in his place as the king’s hostage. On his way back from the wedding, he encounters many obstacles and delays, and he considers allowing his friend to die in his place, but finally he decides to try and arrive in time to save Selinuntus. He does so but also implores Selinuntius to hit him, in penance for the treachery he almost committed, but then Selinuntius asks him to do the same, for having doubted Melos’ return. Their display of honesty and loyalty forces the tyrant reconsider his decision and  he lets them both go with impunity.

More:

 

Jason and the Heroes of Mt. Olympus [Jason et les héros de l’Olympe] (2001-2002)

One season of 26 episodes (22 min. each in length); French TV series produced by Night Storms Productions and Saban Entertainment.

From Wikipedia: “Jason is a twelve-year-old with fantasies of becoming a hero just like those in the mythological battles of the antiquity…His dreams become a reality when he climbs to the top of Mt. Olympus and fulfills an ancient prophecy. Jason is the “chosen one”: Jupiter, King of the Immortals, gives him the Belt of Orion which allows him to exist on Mt. Olympus and gives him control of the universe. The evil Dracchus seeks the all-powerful amulet and it is up to Jason to keep the belt and save Mt. Olympus!”

 

Terry Toons: “Somewhere in Egypt” (1943)

with Gandy Goose and Sourpuss, 6 min.

From IMDB: “It’s wartime in occupied Egypt, and Sourpuss and Gandy Goose are stationed, apparently, right in front of the Sphinx. Gandy plays a soothing, exotic melody as Sourpuss drifts off to sleep, where he dreams that he and Gandy have ridden a magic carpet into the ancient Egyptian tombs. At first they seem scary, and darn Gandy can’t keep his hands from fiddling with things that could be booby traps. But the adventure takes a turn for the better, as the tomb becomes filled with sexy, scantily clad kitties.”

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