11 user 4 critic

Ringing Bell (1978)

Chirin no suzu (original title)
An innocent lamb learns about life and death when he seeks revenge upon the wolf who slaughtered his mother.





Cast overview:
Narrator (voice)
Minori Matsushima ...
Chirin (voice)
Akira Kamiya ...
Adult Chirin (voice)
Taeko Nakanishi ...
Mom (voice)
Seizô Katô ...
Uô (voice)


A baby lamb named Chirin is living an idyllic life on a farm with many other sheep. Chirin is very adventurous and tends to get lost, so he wears a bell around his neck so that his mother can always find him. His mother warns Chirin that he must never venture beyond the fence surrounding the farm, because a huge black wolf lives in the mountains and loves to eat sheep. Chirin is too young and naive to take the advice to heart, until one night the wolf enters the barn and is prepared to kill Chirin, but at the last moment the lamb's mother throws herself in the way and is killed instead. The wolf leaves, and Chirin is horrified to see his mother's body. Unable to understand why his mother was killed, he becomes very angry and swears that he will go into the mountains and kill the wolf. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

wolf | lamb | mountain | killed | sheep | See All (16) »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 March 1978 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ringing Bell  »

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Did You Know?


Originally released theatrically as a double feature with The Mouse and His Child (1977) in Japan. See more »


Narrator: Chirin couldn't understand what his mother had done to deserve dying at the hands of the Wolf King. What did any of the sheep do for that matter? But the Wolf still came and the sheep still died; helpless at the fangs of their enemy. Nature had been unfair to Chirin... and to his mother.
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User Reviews

Cute and clever movie about the Natural Order
15 February 2011 | by (Planet Earth) – See all my reviews

A 2-D Japanese animation movie that tells the story of Chirin, a baby ram who wears a ringing bell and wants to become a wolf.

The first part of the movie is very bucolic, with Chirin is in the farm with his mother and all the sheep eating, playing and frolicking around. Chirin is the cutest thing ever. The second part of the film, in which Chirin trains to be like a wolf, is much darker in colors, sharper in lines, and darker in mood, but it is also more interesting.

The story has all the elements of traditional storytelling, in which Nature, family, social relationships, life and death are explored naturally and organically, and in which the children are expected to learn about them from an early age.

In fact, the movie is a terrific way to teach children that Nature and the natural order is what it is, despite its harshness, we like it or not, that Nature has its own logic, that you cannot change your nature without becoming lost and isolated -an outcast. It also shows that all natural creatures have a right to live, and that you cannot consider one good and the other bad, as even the bad ones have their reasons to behave the way they do. Finally, the movie shows that resentment can harm and ruin your life.

To modern standards and moronic treatment of children, this could be considered an adult movie. The thing is, no child is going to like the end and is going to cry through, but with the parents by his/her side, he/she will learn an important lesson in life.

The animation is simple but very cute, with an adorable drawing of Chirin and of all animals, except for the wolf and other fierce animals, which are, of course, ugly and frightening. What is more, the animation reminded me of Disney, old-Disney, especially of Bambi, to which Ringing Bell relates both in the drawing style and in the message conveyed.

The movie just lasts 47 minutes.

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