ALAKAZAM THE GREAT
The film a sentimental and mawkish in places but if that is a crime then most Disney product is infinitely more guilty of. There are some rather sickly songs and the dubbing is not very good (an original restored version with subtitles is probably long overdue). On the plus side, the film comes with a sly sense of humour that makes it quite endearing. Certainly, few cartoons move with such fast-paced action. The films rare availability on video and existence as an internet bootleg has began to see it reevaluated as a lost early anime classic in recent years (although the Chinese animated version of the same classic story see below is by far the better film).
Alakazam the Great was one of the handful of films directed by Osamu Tezuka, the cult creator of numerous manga (and the person credited with the distinctive manga/anime look), the most famous of which was Kimba the White Lion (1965-6) and Astro Boy (1963-6).
Alakazam the Great is based on the epic 16th Century Chinese legend Journey to the West. The same traditional Chinese stories also formed the basis of numerous films and tv series:- as the Japanese film Monkey Sun (1940); the Chinese animated Princess Iron Fan (1941); the Chinese animated Princess Iron Fan (1941); the Chinese film Princess Iron Fan (1941) based on a partial segment of the story; the Japanese film Songoku: The Road to the West/The Adventures of Sun Wu Hung (1959); the Chinese animated film The Monkey King: Uproar in Heaven (1965), which is the best adaptation of the story to date; a trilogy of live-action films from Hong Kongs Shaw Brothers Monkey Goes West (1966), Princess Iron Fan (1966) and The Cave of the Silken Web (1967); the popular the Japanese tv series Monkey (1978-9); a South Korean tv series Journey to the West (1982); a Japanese tv series Journey to the West (1993); director Jeffrey Laus two-part Hong Kong film A Chinese Odyssey Part 1: Pandoras Box (1994) and A Chinese Odyssey Part 2: Cinderella (1995) with Stephen Chow as Monkey; a Japanese anime tv series Monkey Magic (1998); the US tv mini-series The Monkey King/The Lost Empire (2001) starring Thomas Gibson; the Hong Kong tv mini-series The Monkey King (2002); Jeffrey Laus remake of his earlier work A Chinese Tall Story (2005); a Japanese tv series Saiyuki (2006), which had one film spinoff with Saiyuki (2007); the US-made Jackie Chan/Jet Li vehicle The Forbidden Kingdom (2008); the modernised Emperor Visits the Hell (2012); Stephen Chows Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013) and its sequel Journey to the West: Demon Chapter (2017);The Monkey King (2014) starring Donnie Yen and its sequels The Monkey King 2 (2016) and The Monkey King 3 (2018) with Aaron Kwok; and the Chinese animated Monkey King: The Hero is Back (2016).
Full film available online here:-