HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black '47
Godfather Part II, The
Await Further Instructions
Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
In Order of Disappearance
Charlotte's Web
Meg, The
Christmas Blood
Equalizer 2, The
1985
Mowgli
Ski School
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Age of Shadows, The
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Othello
First Reformed
Red White and Zero
Death Wish
Cry Wilderness
Heiresses, The
Millhouse: A White Comedy
Skyscraper
Born of Fire
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Lucia
Yanks
Sweet November
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The
Real Men
   
 
Newest Articles
Phone Freak: When a Stranger Calls on Blu-ray
A Name to Conjure With: David Nixon's Magic Box on DVD
Which 1950s Sci-Fi was Scariest? Invaders from Mars vs The Blob
The Empire Strikes Back: Khartoum vs Carry On Up the Khyber
Stan and Ollie's Final Folly: Atoll K on Blu-ray
The Big Grapple: Escape from New York and Its Influence
The Conquest of Everett: The Kenny Everett Video Show on DVD
Bout for the Count: Hammer's Dracula in the 1970s
Nopes from a Small Island: Mistreatment of American Stars in British Films
You Know, For Kids: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box
If He Were a Carpenter and It Was the 80s: The Fog, Prince of Darkness and They Live
Tee-Hee, It's 80s Sci-Fi Horror: Night of the Comet, The Stuff and Night of the Creeps
Chance of a Ghost: The Uninvited and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
3 Simian Slashers: Phenomena, Link and Monkey Shines
When is a Jackie Chan Movie Not a Jackie Chan Movie? Armour of God and City Hunter
   
 
  30,000 Miles Under the Sea Get Along SwimminglyBuy this film here.
Year: 1970
Director: Takeshi Tamiya, Shotaro Ishinomori
Stars: Kurumi Kobato, Masako Nozawa, Akira Hitomi, Keiichi Noda
Genre: Musical, Animated, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: From the Sixties to the early Eighties, Toei Studios made the best kids’ movies in the world. Why? Because their cartoons had everything! Case in point: their fourth adaptation of a Shotaro Ishinomori story. After a voyage undersea to observe marine farming, young Isamu (voiced by Masako Nozawa) and his loyal cheetah visit a tourist site near a dormant volcano where they meet beautiful sea princess Angel (Kurumi Kobato).

Suddenly, an explosion of lava heralds the rise of a scary, Godzilla-sized dragon, spewing fireballs that fry innocent women and children. While jets scramble to fight the monster menace, Angel and Isamu escape aboard her amazing, snail-shaped sea vehicle “See Through” - a gag reference to the Sea View from Irwin Allen’s Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) - and journey to the idyllic undersea kingdom of Atlas. Here, the youngsters discover that volcano-dwelling supervillain King Atlas has assembled an army of prehistoric dragons and aims to conquer the surface world.

30,000 Miles Under the Sea zips along at a brisk seventy minutes, full of thrills, spills and spectacle. It winningly combines monsters, science fiction, action, sing-along musical numbers (note the male voice choir typical for anime of this period), fairytale romance, child heroes with crazy gadgets and animals that know kung fu, into a potent brew that can’t fail to entertain even the most jaded child. Drawing from Jules Verne, but also 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) in its attention to detail and solid SF ideas, this is utopian science fiction from an age when Japan believed science would build a brighter future.

It pads the story somewhat with aquatic musical ballets, reminiscent of The Little Mermaid (1990), that at least provide a chance to admire an array of colourful sea monsters and beautifully animated marine life. Ishinomori’s character designs have that delightful retro charm, with the inhabitants of Atlas dressed like sea anemones in pastel frills, Magma’s soldiers in medieval armour yet wielding lethal ray guns, and some seriously creepy creatures. Note the tentacle horror that nearly strangles Isamu during his escape from prison or the vampire bats lurking inside Magma’s underground base.

The plot is low on social commentary compared to other SF anime from the period, but given Ishinomori sometimes lacks the lightness of touch possessed by Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki, this is no bad thing. What 30,000 Miles…excels at is action, offering a host of eccentric set-pieces: Magma’s fireball-spewing monsters erupt from cracks in the earth to spread global terror across Moscow, London, Venice and Honolulu (why them?); cheetah dons scuba-gear (?!) to fight it out with bad guys; soccer-mad Isamu fells villains with his Pele inspired bicycle kick; and a splendid sea battle wherein Magma’s drill-nosed submarines and dragon army prove no match for Atlas’ luminous bubble-shaped UFOs and such weird weapons as anti-missile starfish and electric eel torpedoes.

Collectively these scenes trump rival studio Toho’s dwindling live action output of the early Seventies. All wrapped up in a sublime lounge music score by Takeo Watanabe. Co-director Takeshi Tamiya topped this with Babel II (1973), one of the greatest and most influential “kids save the world” SF extravaganzas of all time.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 5218 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Stately Wayne Manor
George White
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Aseels Almasi
Rashed Ali
   

 

Last Updated: