Unico in the Island of Magic in English, which was released on July 16, 1983. In this film, Unico meets a kind-hearted young girl named Cheri. Cheri’s older brother, Toby, is working for the evil Lord Kuruku, who plans to turn all living creatures, animals and people alike, into zombie-like beings called “Living Puppets” to be his slaves; Toby’s job is to change people into Living Puppets and then lure the Living Puppets to Kuruku’s island castle. After Cheri’s parents and neighbors all get turned into Living Puppets, she and Unico team up to stop Kuruku. Seeking advice from the Trojan Horse, Unico and Cheri learn that Kuruku is a puppet who was mistreated by his owners and discarded. He washed up at the edge of the world – where all unwanted “junk” ends up eventually – and was brought to life with the power of sunlight, determined to take revenge on the human race. With help from the Sphinx’s daughter, Unico – who realizes that Kuruku is really just a lonely, friendless creature – is able to break Kuruku’s spell, but since Kuruku’s hate was the only thing that kept him alive, Kuruku reverts to puppet form, and Cheri keeps him as a toy. Soon afterward, the West Wind finds Unico and spirits him away once again.
Ok for years I had been searching for the title of this anime. I remember watching this as a kid on the Disney Channel, but had no idea what it was. I forgot all about this anime. Years later for some reason it popped back into my head. I was searching sites trying to find it going off only what I could remember. I remembered there were a brother and sister, and witch that had her brother under a spell. They were at some mystic island or another realm that they traveled to in search of her brother. There was this giant robot on wheels chasing this little girl. The robot would scream and breathe fire.
Now this memory is horrible, but I was going off that. I posted to different sites trying to find the name of the anime. I finally gave up after literally a few years here and there looking. It wasn’t until I went to a book store and found a book that had different cover art for various anime’s. I was flipping through it, and there it was, Unico. I had found the title of the anime. I saw the robot in the book and instantly knew this was it. I had to buy this book, and then buy the anime. I had left out quite a lot, like the fact there was a unicorn and that people turned into puppets.
After seeing this anime now that I am older it is a little cheesy, but by all means it is awesome. The animation is superb. Lord Kuruku is animated very nicely. I am surprised this didn’t scare me as a kid. He has a very fluid movement to him, he can shape shift into any form. He’s kind of like a ball of jello. He squishes and squashes all around. The action sequences are very well drawn. Over all I am not disappointed in spend my time trying to find this movie. It was well worth it.
Also check out The Fantastic Adventures of Unico this is another movie, with some really decent animation.
DVD cover for Unico in the Island of Magic.
Cheri and Toby’s parents as puppets.
A dragon robot, what could be scarier?
A loud mouth Sphinx.
Just like the Pied Piper, Toby summons the puppets to his ship.
All of the villagers turned into Living Puppets.
Melvin the cat, and Toby.
Toby and Lord Kuruku are just awesome to watch.
For the time this was made, I can’t stop being memorized by how great they did this movie.
I enjoyed the story very much. It was very different for the time it was made. It certainly made an impression on me all those years ago.
Lord Kuruku’s voice is awesome. I am surprised this didn’t scare me as a kid. There are some low points in the movie though.
Very well drawn, the characters were memorable, the story was very original.
Definitely buy it.