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Chirin no suzu (1978)

PG  |   |  Animation, Drama, Family  |  11 March 1978 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 275 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 3 critic

An innocent lamb learns about life and death when he seeks revenge upon the wolf who slaughtered his mother.



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Title: Chirin no suzu (1978)

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Directors: Toshio Hirata, Osamu Tezuka
Stars: Katsue Miwa, Ryouko Kitamiya, Kazuko Sugiyama


Credited cast:
Akira Kamiya ...
Grown Chirin (voice)
Seizô Katô ...
Wolf (voice)
Minori Matsushima ...
Chirin (voice)
Taeko Nakanishi ...
Mom (voice)
Hitoshi Takagi ...
Narrator (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) »


PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

11 March 1978 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

Ringing Bell  »

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Did You Know?


The novel which the film is based on, was originally a WWII novel and supposed to be told by a French veteran about him adopting a little sheep named Chirin in 1916 during WWI after Chirin's mother was killed after a farm was hit by a enemy mortar shell. 20 years later, the French soldier sees the Jews being taken by Nazi soldiers during the Holocaust. The French soldier decided to train Chirin with defending from and attacking the Nazis with horns. The wolf was supposed to be a Nazi general nicknamed ''Der Schwartz Wolf'' (The Black Wolf). After the Nazis massacred hundreds of Jews, France and Britain declared war of Germany. Before that event, the French soldier and Chirin grew up to become a tough man and a ram. After all the battles they had with the Nazis, they faced them at the Battle of Normandy. During that battle, they are wounded by a Nazi machine gun fire. But, Chirin impales Der Schwartz Wolf then disappears in the mist. At the end at the book he stated that he never seen nor heard about Chirin ever again. See more »


Narrator: [final lines] The Snow feel for days without letting up, covering the ground with a smooth white blanket. Whatever happened on that mountain, whatever happened in that meadow, was covered up without a trace to remind those who had witnessed it. And later, some claimed to remember Chirin as a lamb, others said he was a spirit from the mountain. But they were too wrapped up with their own lives to worry about it for long. And one night during a terrible blizzard, the gentle sound of a bell was ...
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User Reviews

Disney-like animation but unDisney-like content
18 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

This is a classic cartoon that anyone should avoid 'judging a book by its cover'. It looks exactly like any other cheesy Disney cartoons...but it is TOTALLY the opposite.

This 40-minute clip is one huge character development influenced by the choices in life made by a sheer little lamb, and the consequences that followed. There are other anime with equally dark/depressing themes, but this is probably one of the first few that I noticed that made it very obvious & convincing part in the latter. The unfairytale-like ending -- definitely something you won't expect from a cartoon like this -- is one such powerful testimony. Aside from the first 8 minute, the rest of the movie is very dark but true to anything anyone has to face in reality. If i have kids, I will definitely include this cartoon at the top of the 'cartoons for kids' list. Cartoons should not be meant to give kids false impression of life but instead prepare them for the real moral lessons. This anime absolutely nailed it.

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