May 1 2010
When I was about 8 or 9, Kuwait’s national network started showing a cartoon series on their Channel 2. I hadn’t known that they would be showing a new cartoon but when I switched on the tv, this white, energetic drawing appeared and I was a fan.
Kimba The White Lion was a Japanese anime series from the 1950s. Created by Osamu Tezuka and based on his manga of the same title which began publication in 1950, it was the first color animated television series created in Japan. The English series started in 1966 (which were the ones that I saw). It’s the story of a young cub Kimba (Leo in Japanese) whose parents were captured by a hunter and after his father was killed, his pregnant mother is sent on a ship to be taken to a zoo. Kimba is born on the ship.
After a storm wrecks the ship, Kimba finds himself alone in the ocean, guided by fish & butterflies and encouraged by the face of his mother formed in the clouds. He is found and cared for by some people. He learns the advantages of human culture, and decides that when he returns to his wild home he will bring culture to the jungle and stand for peace like his father. The series follows his adventures as he grows up.
It wasn’t just a cartoon, it has a message and also tackled death. That was rare in cartoons that I saw and I just felt nostalgic for this series when I saw a photo of a white lion in Flickr. I think I’ll try to watch some of it online.