The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (Yugo Serikawa, 1963)

The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films presents The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon.

criterion logoA landmark animated film, the Toei Doga studio’s sixth feature The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon reimagines a Shinto myth and casts the storm god Susano’o as a headstrong, young child on a fantastic journey to find and save his dead mother.  The boy adventurer, aided by Akahana the rabbit and the giant Titan Bo, travels to the crystalline land of night, faces the god of fire, and battles to save a princess from the Yamata no Orochi, a legendary Japanese dragon.  Memorable for animator Yasuji Mori’s break from the established Toei house-style and a rare score for an animated film by famed composer Akira Ifukube, The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon is a modernist treasure from one of the world’s great animation studios, presented here in its original Japanese version.

Disc Features:

  • New, restored high-definition transfer in full Fujicolor and 2.35:1 Toeiscope, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Isolated score by Akira Ikufube
  • New video piece with animator Genndy Tartakovsky on The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon and its influence
  • New video piece with animation critic and historian Charles Solomon on Toei Doga
  • New interview with animator and historian Takashi Namiki on animator Yasuji Mori, including an extensive gallery of Mori’s illustrations
  • Kitty’s Graffiti (1957) and Kitty’s Studio (1959), two short animated films by Mori
  • Trailers for The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon and other Toei Doga animated features
  • PLUS:  A booklet featuring a new essay by animation historian Jerry Beck

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