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The Mysterious Cities of Gold 

Taiyô no ko Esteban (original title)
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A trio of kids must search throughout 16th Century South America for personal answers linked to the legendary El Dorado.




1983   1982  



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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-Y7 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

French video tape site


France | Japan | Luxembourg


French | Japanese

Release Date:

1 May 1982 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Esteban and the Seven Cities of Gold See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(39 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The voice actor for Mendoza narrates the educational mini-documentaries at the end of each episode. 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 »


Esteban: His hand, it was so warm.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Episode 11 in the US version contains a slight time cut, missing a close up scene of a soldier in the temple doorway as it is collapsing. Episode 1 in the British version starts immediately at the narration "It is the year 1532" rather than showing a god shot of Barcelona. Episode 32 in the British, Polish, and German versions all contain a scene cut. After Papa Camayo gets shot by the Olmec, Pedro and Sancho hit him with a log. However, this scene continues with them saying "Here's your reward" and then using his back as a pivot for a see saw. It was probably removed for violence. Episode 36 in the British version is missing the opening sequence that shows the Olmec flying machine using the secret weapon to kill a bunch of Mayans. See more »


Followed by The Mysterious Cities of Gold (2012) 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

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User Reviews

The unforgettable children of the Sun!
11 November 2005 | by Keep_SearchingSee all my reviews

I watched that cartoon when I was a kid.I remember that it was very nice.As it was a long time ago I had forgotten most of the plot and the characters.

Some months ago a local TV channel aired "The Mysterious Cities of Gold" .In spite of not being a 5-year old kid anymore I sat in front of the TV in order to watch it again.And I really enjoyed it!

It is a masterpiece in the animation genre-a cartoon with an exciting plot,memorable characters and terrific music.Moreover,it takes place at an interesting historical period-the conquest of South America. Most characters in cartoons are rather flat.But here all the characters are intriguing-especially the Spanish navigator Mendosa who is both greedy and kind-hearted.The kids Esteban,Zia and Tao are really nice.The villains also have their charm.

Hardly any other cartoon has better music score.Not only the starting song "Children of the sun" but all the other melodies are stunning.

So,if some TV channels in your countries air this cartoon,don't hesitate at all-take your seats in front of the TV and explore the mysterious cities of gold where adventures never end-as well as our enjoyment!

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