Wanpaku Ôji no Orochi Taiji (Japanese: わんぱく王子の大蛇退治, literally "the naughty prince slays the giant serpent") is an anime film produced by Toei Animation and released in Japan on March 24, 1963. English-dubbed versions were released under several titles, including The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon (Columbia Pictures English dubbed release), Prince in Wonderland, and Rainbow Bridge.
This anime film tells the story of the god Susanoo (as a cute boy), whose mother Izanami has died. He is deeply hurt by the loss of his mother, but his father Izanagi tells him that his mother is now in heaven. Despite Izanagi's warnings, Susanoo eventually sets off to find her. Along with his companions Akahana (a little talking rabbit) and Taitanbo (a strong but friendly giant from the Land of Fire), Susanoo overcomes all obstacles in his long, wondrous voyage. He eventually comes to the Izumo Province, where he meets Princess Kushinada, a little girl whom he becomes friends with (he also thinks that she is so beautiful that she looks like his mother Izanami). Kushinada's family tells Susanoo that their other seven daughters were sacrificed to the fearsome eight-headed serpent, the Yamata no Orochi. Susanoo is so infatuated with Kushinada that he decides to help her family protect her and slay the Orochi once and for all, and he, Akahana and Taitanbo prepare for the spectacular showdown.
This movie eschewed the soft, rounded look of previous Toei animated features for a more stylized one. It is also one of the few anime films to have music by famed composer Akira Ifukube. Ifukube was given more time to write his score for this film than most of the other films he had composed for. Some of this film's music was also featured in two episodes (including the first episode) of the anime series Mazinger Z.
- Producers: Hiroshi Okawa, Sanae Yamamoto
- Director: Yugo Serikawa
- Writers: Takashi Iijima, Hideaki Sugawara
- Music: Akira Ifukube
- Animation Director: Yasuji Mori
- Assistant Director: Isao Takahata, Kimio Yabuki
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