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The Magic Serpent (1966)

Kairyu daikessen (original title)
In ancient Japan, a good lord is killed and his throne is taken by the trecherous Yuki Daijo and his wizard friend Oroki-maru. The young prince Ikazuki-maru is rescued from the jaws of ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Tetsuya Yamauchi)

Writers:

, (story)
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Cast

Credited cast:
Hiroki Matsukata ...
Ikazuchi-Maru / Jiraiya
Tomoko Ogawa ...
Sunate
Ryûtarô Ôtomo ...
Orochi-Maru
Bin Amatsu ...
Daijô Yûki
Nobuo Kaneko ...
Dôjin Hiki
Sen Hara ...
Spider woman
Kensaku Hara ...
Zenbei
Masataka Iwao ...
Kido
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Akira Shioji
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Storyline

In ancient Japan, a good lord is killed and his throne is taken by the trecherous Yuki Daijo and his wizard friend Oroki-maru. The young prince Ikazuki-maru is rescued from the jaws of death by a magic bird sent by a wizard. Ten years later, Ikazuki-maru embarks on an adventure to avenge his parents and the wizard's death with his magic powers he learned from the wizard. He kills Yuki Daijo but then must battle Oroki-maru in a battle to the death. Written by Horror-Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Fantasy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 March 1966 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Froggo and Droggo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It has long been suggested that this film was one of George Lucas' inspirations for the Star Wars series. See more »

Connections

References Godzilla (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Susume! Jiraiya
("Forward, Jiraiya!")
Ending Theme (Japanese version only)
Music by Toshiaki Tsushima
Lyrics by Masaru Igami
Vocals by Yôko Maekawa & Young Fresh
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User Reviews

The Magic Dragon...has a moral?
21 November 2004 | by (New Orleans, LA) – See all my reviews

Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy film. The special effects are par for the era and the budget, but watch it for the storyline, which is strong and consistently interesting all the way through. The heavy use of magic and surrealistic plot twists (the hero gets beheaded and then puts his head nonchalantly right back on again later!) sets this one apart from the usual "giant monster" movie. Plot, pacing, and characterization are above average for this type of movie, and elevate it from being just another kaiju film into a truly enjoyable fantasy.

One of the more interesting things about this movie is that it apparently has a moral. The hero values honor above all else, and honors his obligations to his family, his friends, and his kingdom. Of course, in this case, sometimes one's honor requires one to turn into a giant fire-breathing frog, but still!

There are some elements in this movie that do remind me of Star Wars: A New Hope, as others noted, but I am not sure whether this means that Lucas drew from this film or not. I suspect he didn't. The plot (young man with special powers avenges his parents and saves his kingdom by battling an evil sorcerer) is fairly common. But still and all, who knows? George Lucas drew on a lot of movies to create "Star Wars" and I wouldn't be terribly surprised if this movie had a little something to do with his work. However, "The Magic Serpent" deserves to be appreciated on its own.

I would love to see a better print of this movie with a better transfer to DVD, but from what I understand this movie is quite rare in the United States, and due to its lack of popularity, it's not likely to get the remastering/rerelease treatment. So get it when you can and enjoy.


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