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These images are provided for review purposes only and remain the copyright of whoever holds the copyright today (if they let me know I'll give a proper acknowledgement). These images are from a TNT satellite broadcast several years ago, of a shorter version with most of the violence omitted. The original Japanese film, which I was lucky to see in 1959, had extended violent scenes.

Magic Boy (1959)

Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke
Directed by Akira Daikuhara and Taiji Yabushita.       Studio: Toei.
Story by Kazuo Dan, script by Dohei Muramatsu

A short Official trailer from Youtube, from the Warner Archive        Alternative link with download button

First the main characters:
Magic Boy and his sister; The Prince; The Witch; The Magician:
the cast
We start with a peaceful village where a small boy lives with his elder sister and animal friends:
magic boy frame grabs

One day a large bird flies away with the baby deer, Tinkle. Tinkles mother follows, and jumps into a lake where the bird has dropped her child. Tinkle scrambles to safety but there is a lake monster which kills the mother deer. Magic Boy also jumps in and fights the lake monster which turns out to be a witch.
magic boy frame grabs
Magic Boy meets and lives with a magician who over a period of years teaches him magic.
magic boy frame grabs
Whilst Magic Boy is away from home, the village is ransacked by bandits who take their loot to the witch. Hearing of Magic Boy the Witch orders that he, his sister, and the village prince be done away with. The bandits burn the sisters house but she gets away.
magic boy frame grabs
Magic Boy rescues a small girl from the bandits and returns home. He goes to visit the prince..
magic boy frame grabs
Whilst he is with the prince the bandits kidnap the sister and take her to the witch. Magic Boy and the Prince go to fight the witch and the bandits. Guess who wins. Happy ending.
magic boy frame grabs

magic boy frame grabs

I have been looking for an English version of this movie for years, but try looking on video channels for the German version which is called: Der Zauberer und die Banditen. Try asking Fox or TOEI for a DVD release.
2021- It looks as though WARNER ARCHIVE - NOW HBO Max- may be a good source to try as they have released an official trailer. HBO Max is streaming only, USA only... subscription. Sky own HBO rights in the UK but HBO Max is excluded. So you may need to wait until after 2025 to watch Magic Boy in the UK....

Working as an inbetweener on this early film was Rin Taro (sometimes Rintaro), real name Shigeyuki Hayashi, also used the name Kuruma Hino. He later worked on many classic anime series as producer or director, including my beloved Moomin , Art Director on Kimba the White Lion (1966)(no similarity to The Lion King at all...); Captain Harlock, Dr Slump and Arale, Phoenix, Time Stranger, and all the way up to the modern anime (2001) Metropolis, which I also saw on the big screen. My anime collection includes so much of this mans work - and he worked on the anime I first saw...

Another inbetweener on Magic Boy was Gisaburo Sugii, and again I have some of his later work, notably the magnificent Night of the Galactic Railroad, which he directed.