Jungle Emperor Leo (1997)
"Janguru taitei" (original title)

PG  |   |  Animation, Adventure  |  1 August 1997 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 227 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

A story about an emperor lion as he goes on an incredible adventure with man and his two sons, they learn that not all humans are bad.



(screenplay), (story)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the year 2032, Batô, a cyborg detective for the anti-terrorist unit Public Security Section 9, investigates the case of a female robot--one created solely for sexual pleasure--who slaughtered her owner.

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Stars: Akio Ôtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka, Tamio Ôki
Paprika (2006)
Animation | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a machine that allows therapists to enter their patients' dreams is stolen, all hell breaks loose. Only a young female therapist can stop it: Paprika.

Director: Satoshi Kon
Stars: Megumi Hayashibara, Tôru Emori, Katsunosuke Hori
Animation | Action | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A female cyborg cop and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

Director: Mamoru Oshii
Stars: Atsuko Tanaka, Iemasa Kayumi, Akio Ôtsuka
Animation | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her - but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, James Caan, Mary Steenburgen
Rocky V (1990)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Reluctantly retired from boxing and back from riches to rags, Rocky takes on a new protege who betrays him; As the champ's son must adjust to his family's new life after bankruptcy.

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
Leo the Lion (TV Series 1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  


Cast overview, first billed only:
Masane Tsukayama ...
Leo (voice)
Chieko Baishô ...
Lyre (voice)
Tomoko Ishimura ...
Rune (voice) (as Mifuyu Hiiragi)
Hekiru Shiina ...
Rukkio (voice)
Kaneta Kimotsuki ...
Coco (voice)
Naoki Tatsuta ...
Tommy (voice)
Masatô Ibu ...
Pagura (voice)
Ranran Suzuki ...
Bizo (voice)
Kei Tani ...
Burazza (voice)
Chafûrin ...
Jack (voice) (as Chafuhrin)
Dan Green ...
Leo (voice)
Michelle Newman ...
Bizo (voice)
Veronica Taylor ...
Lyre (voice)
Marc Thompson ...
Brother (voice)
Lune (voice) (as Tara Jayne)


A story about an emperor lion as he goes on an incredible adventure with man and his two sons, they learn that not all humans are bad.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Il leoncino bianco amato da un'intera generazione torna sul grande schermo. (The little white lion that was loved by a generation comes to the silver screen.) (Italian release) See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violence | See all certifications »



Release Date:

1 August 1997 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Jungle Emperor Leo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The North America DVD from Media Blasters/Anime Works has two age ratings: a official PG rating from the MPAA and a 7 and Up rating from Media Blasters. See more »


Lune: I agree with you, Dad. Fighting the humans is wrong. Some of them are nice. One of them even saved my life, so they must be good.
Leo: Lune, I'm afraid Pagoola is not entirely wrong. Of course,some men have proven themselves to be kind. Then again, there are those humans who destroy the jungle, and pose a great threat to us.
Lune: Hm?
Leo: However, nothing is achieved through fighting. But if we can't trust them and don't want to fight them. Then what?
Lune: Well... we should make friends with them.
Leo: Uh?
Lune: If we were ...
See more »


Spun-off from Kimba the White Lion (1965) See more »


Wind Song
by Matsu Takano
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

JUNGLE EMPEROR LEO: New version of Tezuka's "Kimba the White Lion"
21 April 2002 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

JUNGLE TAITEI (aka JUNGLE EMPEROR LEO, 1997) is a feature-length adaptation of the famous comic book story of the same title by pioneer Japanese manga (comic book) writer-artist Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989), a story best known to American audiences by the animated TV adaptation shown in the U.S. under the title, KIMBA THE WHITE LION (1965). This latest film version is a full-blown theatrical animated feature made by Tezuka Productions, which has sought to keep Tezuka's legacy alive with new animated versions of his work (the most recent being METROPOLIS, an acclaimed theatrical feature released in 2001).

JUNGLE TAITEI picks up the story of Leo, the white lion, in adulthood as he maintains his rule over the jungle and helps his wife, Liya, raise their two cubs, Rune and Rukyo, amidst a land teeming with all sorts of wildlife, many of whom eagerly assist the regal Leo, although the elephants frequently dissent. When a band of white men enters the jungle searching for the elusive Mount Moon, site of the lucrative moonlight stones valued as a potential energy source, Leo has his paws full trying to keep the humans' disruption to a minimum, although he fails to prevent a massive fire. Eventually, Leo decides to form an alliance with the one good human, Professor Hige Oyaji, who sports a trademark handlebar mustache (and was a character in Tezuka's "Astro Boy" as well), and decides to help him beat the bad humans, led by the greedy Hamegg, to the site of the stones. Much of this story was originally told in a second Leo animated series, JUNGLE TAITEI SUSUME LEO! ("Jungle Emperor Onward Leo!"), a 26-part follow-up produced by Tezuka himself back in 1966, but never aired on American broadcast television. Some episodes of the second series have been dubbed into English and released on tape in the U.S. under the title, LEO THE LION.

A second plot in the newer film involves Leo's precocious male cub, Rune (a dead ringer for Leo/Kimba as a child), who develops a curiosity about all things human after he explores a vegetation-covered ruin of an airplane and finds a music box which proves to be endlessly fascinating to him. At one point, Rune is swept out to sea on a log by a flash flood and picked up by fishermen who sell him to a European circus. The trapeze artist, Mary, takes the cub under her wing and uses him in her act until Rune hears from a flock of migrating storks of the troubles his father is having in the jungle and Mary arranges for him to get on a ship bound for Africa.

Unfortunately, the two plotlines never merge effectively, each tending to undercut the other. One is a deadly serious adventure story (similar to plotlines in Edgar Rice Burroughs) while the other is a more fanciful Disney-style cartoon tale of a cute little lion cub and his relationships with humans and other animals. (Interestingly, all the animals can talk to each other-in Japanese!-but not to humans.) The journey to Mount Moon is fraught with peril and concludes on a tragic note of self-sacrifice that might have seemed noble back in the 1950s when this story was first published, but seems uncalled for in this new adaptation, in which human encroachment on the jungle is viewed with considerably less sympathy than it once was.

Still, the film is fluidly animated and full of imagery of spectacular scope, aided by computer animation in certain intricate moments, some of which deliberately recall Disney's 1994 hit, THE LION KING, which is widely believed to have been inspired by the original KIMBA series, a charge Disney strenuously denied ("Kimba? Never heard of it."). The scenes of the lion cubs at play here are as relaxed and genuinely cute as anything one is likely to see in animated depictions of animal life, yet without the forced humor, modern slang, show tunes and high-speed drive of Disney cartoons. There is also a stirring background score punctuating the film's more dramatic moments. However, while the film remains highly enjoyable, it lacks the intense storytelling and raw artistic vigor of Tezuka's original 1965 series, some episodes of which are available in the English-dubbed version, KIMBA THE WHITE LION.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The fact there are only 2 post here makes me sad. cathy-creswell
Discuss Jungle Emperor Leo (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: