The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982–1983)
"Taiyô no ko Esteban" (original title)

TV Series  |  TV-Y7  |   |  Animation, Adventure, Family
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 2,407 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 1 critic

A trio of kids must search throughout 16th Century South America for personal answers linked to the legendary El Dorado.

Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

on Amazon Video

Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 07 Mar 2012
a list of 28 titles
created 07 Jun 2013
a list of 35 titles
created 24 May 2014
a list of 35 titles
created 11 months ago
a list of 26 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982–1983)

The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982–1983) on IMDb 8.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Mysterious Cities of Gold.




1983   1982  



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Nobody's Boy Remi (TV Series 1977)
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A compelling story in which orphaned Remi gets hired out to a traveling street entertainer Vitalis when her foster parents fall on hard times.

Stars: Masako Sugaya
Treasure Island (TV Series 1978)
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Stars: Joe Thomas, Bobby Thong, Shôzô Iizuka
Ulysses 31 (TV Series 1981)
Adventure | Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

To return home and restore his cursed crew, a great hero of space and his child companions must find the Kingdom of Hades against all evil opposition.

Stars: Matt Birman, Jacques Ebner, Claude Giraud
Future Boy Conan (TV Series 1978)
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

After the world is nearly destroyed by a war, a young boy and his friends must fight to save the world from those who seek to conquer what is left of civilization.

Stars: Noriko Ohara, Masatô Ibu, Mieko Nobusawa
Il était une fois... la vie (TV Series 1986)
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The workings of the human body explained by animated characters.

Stars: Roger Carel, Marie-Laure Beneston, Alain Dorval
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In 17th century France, young Dogtanian travels to Paris to fulfill his ambition to become one of the King's Musketeers. He befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis and falls in love with Juliette. A doggy version of the tale.

Stars: Eduardo Jover, Gloria Cámara, Manuel Peiró
Animation | Family | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A team of peacekeepers travels the galaxy solving disputes and exploring new worlds. Set against a story of a dispute between a dictatorial planet vying for more power and the rest of the union.

Stars: Roger Carel, Annie Balestra, Alain Dorval
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A furry version of Jules Verne's classic adventure story of the challenge to circumnavigate around the globe in 80 days.

Stars: Banjô Ginga, Ichirô Nagai, Ken'ichi Ogata
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Long ago, the mystical civilization of Arkadia was one of the most advanced places on Earth, until the end of the world came and forced the land and it's people underground. After that ... See full summary »

Stars: Jeanine Forney, Chris Benard, Amandine Rajau
Once Upon a Time... Man (TV Series 1978)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A comprehensive animated survey of the evolution of humanity and the history of predominately Western Civilization.

Stars: Annie Balestra, Albert Barillé, Yves Barsacq
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young man leads a small band in search of his father while fighting the forces of Sawboss using the various vehicles they carry with them.

Stars: Darrin Baker, René Bériard, Gilles Laurent
SuperTed (TV Series 1982)
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a toy factory, after being made, a teddy bear is put in a storeroom after being deposed. The teddy bear is found by a cosmic being from outer space known as Spotty Man, and Spotty Man ... See full summary »

Stars: Jon Pertwee, Derek Griffiths, Peter Hawkins


Series cast summary:
Janice Chaikelson ...
 Zia (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Adrian Knight ...
 Tao (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Michael Rudder ...
 Pedro (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Terrence Labrosse ...
 Sancho (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
 Kokapetl / ... (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
 Captain Gomez (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Maurice Podbrey ...
 Governor Pizarro (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Anick Faris ...
 Lana / ... (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Shiraz Adam ...
 Esteban (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Howard Ryshpan ...
 Mendoza (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Kelly Ricard ...
 Narrator (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Walter Massey ...
 The Doctor (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Dean Hagopian ...
 Kalmec (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
 Menator / ... (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
A.J. Henderson ...
 Captain Gaspard / ... (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Tomoko Ai ...
 Lana (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Jackie Berger ...
 Esteban (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Shigeru Chiba ...
 Priest (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Isabelle Ganz ...
 Zia (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Tesshô Genda ...
 General Gomez (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Haruna Ikezawa ...
 Wyna (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Rokurô Naya ...
 Subcommander Gaspard (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Sachiko Saitô ...
 Gwynn (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Evelyne Séléna ...
 Narrator / ... (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Jean Topart ...
 Narrator / ... (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Mahito Tsujimura ...
 Metnard (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Hideyuki Umezu ...
 Carmec (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Kiyoyuki Yanada ...
 Wanococha (39 episodes, 1982-1983)
Jean-Claude Ballard ...
 Mendoza (37 episodes, 1982-1983)
Jacques Ferrière ...
 Pedro (37 episodes, 1982-1983)
Francis Lax ...
 Sancho (37 episodes, 1982-1983)
Odile Schmitt ...
 Tao (36 episodes, 1982-1983)
Hubert Noël ...
 Pichu (34 episodes, 1982-1983)
Pierre Garin ...
 Gaspard (17 episodes, 1982-1983)


The year is 1532. Esteban, a young boy, is told that he was saved by Mendoza, a navigator on a Spanish ship from a ship wreck in a storm at sea. The only clue to his identity is a medal that Esteban wears about his neck. Esteban joins Mendoza on a trip from Spain to the new world - the Americas - where on route he meets two other children - Zia - an Inca girl and Tao, the last member of a highly advanced race. All three are looking for different things - Esteban to find his father and his identity, Zia for her father and Tao for remains of his race. The clues for all three quests however all point to the seven Cities of Gold and so the children, Mendoza, Sancho and Pedro - two other sailors and friends of Mendoza start searching in a massive treasure hunt for the Cities Of Gold... Written by Lee Horton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


| |



Release Date:

13 May 1982 (Luxembourg)  »

Also Known As:

Esteban and the Seven Cities of Gold  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(39 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Each episode was followed by a very short live-action educative documentary. See more »


During the opening credits, Esteban is seen controlling the golden condor using 2 control levers. However, during the episodes proper, he only uses one (the condor just has one, shaped like a cobra). See more »


English Opening Titles Narrator: It is the Sixteenth Century. From all over Europe great ships sail west to conquer the New World - the Americas; the men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries; to find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun, that leads to El Dorado and The Mysterious Cities of Gold.
See more »


Referenced in Adam and Joe's Wonky World of Animation (2000) See more »


Les Mystérieuses Citées D'Or
(French Theme)
Written by Haim Saban & Shuki Levy
Performed by Jacques Cardona as "Apollo"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

should this be an example for modern cartoons?
4 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

Like most of the rest of you I agree that this was the best cartoon series made in the 1980s. I wanted to be Esteban, to fly the golden condor, to visit Machu Picchu, I also even made a gold mediallon and of course drove my parents insane by singing the theme song all day every day. However, I've noticed that this program provided a lot more than happy memories. It taught me a great deal about South American history, geography, and ancient civilizations.

I saw some of the series again recently and what struck me admist the attacks of nostalgia was the actual historical accuracy of certain images and scenes. Obviously it was an exploration of the lives of conquistadors such as Pizarro and Cortes, but the use of myth (ie - that Esteban was the child of the sun, that there was a 'El Dorado') was common amongst early explorers. Vital characters such as La Malinche - la chingada, the lover and translator for Cortes, who is seen as the black stain in Mexican history by many Mexicans - pop up all over the place and the portayal of ancient tribes such as the Incas and Amazons in their magnificent Peruvian/Brazilian backdrops is remarkably accurate. The greed of the Spaniards is conveyed well, as is their undeniable bravery, and the romance of the heralded 'explorer' such as Mendoza shines through. The children are clearly the most important characters, and they actually reminded me of Mark Twain's Huck Finn, a cool intelligent 12 year old boy with adventurous blood and an active imagination, who seems trapped in the moral dilemma of helping European concepts of civilizations to overcome native tribes and 'savage' peoples. The journey they take explores the whole Latin American continent and no-one can say that they didn't want to go to Machu Picchu and walk in Esteban's footsteps after seeing this cartoon!

Having studied a course in pre-Colonial Latin American history at Uni and having been to Latin America it is remarkable how much this TV series taught me. Perhaps given the average intellectual level of most cartoons nowadays, the present generation of kiddies should be treated to re-runs of this fantastic program, or even a sequel?!

27 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
HMV Exclusive of Mysterious Cities of Gold LeeDiamond
The character you liked most Keep_Searching
Warnings on DVD Boxset plastic_sword
A movie: Is this for real? skeletondance
Region 2 DVD Coming Out February 2008 rjfwalker
sequel guimond-fafard
Discuss The Mysterious Cities of Gold (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: