“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!] (2009, 3rd version)

A retelling in two 23-minute episodes as part of the Aoi Bungaku Series (Blue Literature Series) television anime series (episodes 9-10).

In this version, a playwright writes a play based on the story “Run, Melos”, and deals with his own feelings of betrayal towards his childhood friend.

See also the post on the 1981 version here and the 1992 version here



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.



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.”

Alexander Senki or Alexander: War Chronicles [アレクサンダー戦記] (1999)

Released in North America as Reign: The Conqueror and in Europe as Alexander the Great, this series of thirteen 30-minute episodes is a super stylized sci-fi retelling of the life of the Macedonian ruler. It is based on a light novel written in the 1990s by Hiroshi Aramata. Famed animator Peter Chung (who created MTV animated series Aeon Flux) developed the character and set design. The first ten episodes were also recut into a film in 2000.




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