Jungle Emperor (ジャングル大帝 Janguru Taitei) is a Japanese Shōnen manga series created by Osamu Tezuka which was serialized in the Manga Shōnen magazine from November 1950 to April 1954. An anime based on the manga was created by Mushi Production and was broadcast on Fuji Television from 1965 to 1966. It was the first color animated television series created inJapan. The later series was produced by Tezuka Productions.
The anime series has enjoyed popularity worldwide—including in the United States, Australia, Europe (where it has been translated into several languages such as French, Italian, Catalan, Spanish, German, Dutch etc.) and the Middle East.
A new TV special premiered September 5, 2009 on Fuji TV. Produced in commemoration of Fuji TV's 50th anniversary, it was directed by Gorō Taniguchi, written by noted novelist and drama writer Osamu Suzuki, and featuring character designs from noted illustrator Yoshitaka Amano.
In Africa during the mid-20th century, as mankind encroaches, the white lion Panja (Caesar in the English dub) gives the jungle's wild animals a safe haven. However, he angers nearby villagers by stealing their cattle and their food to feed the jungle carnivores. (In the English dub he merely frees the cattle.) A professional hunter, Ham Egg (Viper Snakely in the English dub), is called in to stop these raids. He avoids directly attacking Panja. Instead, he records the sounds of Panja and uses them to trap his mate, Eliza, who then becomes bait in a trap for Panja. Panja is killed for his hide, and the pregnant Eliza is put on a ship, destined for a zoo. Leo (Kimba in the English dub) is born on the boat. Eliza teaches him his father's ideals. As a huge tropical storm nears, she urges her cub out through the bars of her cage. The storm wrecks the boat, and he flounders in the ocean. The fish help him learn to swim. As he begins to despair, the stars in the sky form the face of his mother, who encourages him. Guided by butterflies, he makes it to land. Leo lands far from his ancestral home and is found and cared for by some people. He learns the advantages of human culture, and decides that when he returns to his wild home he will bring culture to the jungle and stand for peace like his father. The show follows Leo's life after he returns to the wild, still a young cub, and how he learns and grows in the next year. Leo soon learns that only communication and mutual understanding between animals and humans will bring true peace.
The remake of this was done in 2009. Earth, sometime in the 21st century. Because of non-stop environmental destruction, the United Nations commissions a private company, "Eternal Earth", to create an artificial jungle, to be a nature preserve and to protect animals. All wild animals are forced to live in it. The animals that live in this "neo-jungle" have an easy life. Leo, son of Panja, is born in this artificial world. Because of the unrealistic nature of the neo-jungle, Leo lives his life like he hasn't a care in the world. But Leo is ridiculed by the other animals; they call him a coward--he is not like his father, the great Jungle Emperor, but Leo vows that some day he will be. Kenichi, son of the Eternal Earth company's CEO, has no doubt about the great success of the neo-jungle. The story starts when Leo and Kenichi meet. Kenichi has the special ability to understand what the animals are saying. In the end the remake (in 2009) is nearly impossible to find or it ends up costing more than the original, by double or triple the price.
The animated series was first broadcast in Japan, in October 1965. It was broadcast, with English-dubbed voices, in the United States and other English-speaking markets, beginning in September 1966. It was first commissioned for U.S. development by NBC Enterprises, and adapted by Fred Ladd, for syndicated broadcast.