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Animal Treasure Island

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Title: Animal Treasure Island  
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Subject: Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghibli, 1971 in film, History of anime, Toei Animation, Hitoshi Takagi, List of Japanese films of 1971
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Animal Treasure Island

Dōbutsu Takarajima
Directed by Hiroshi Ikeda
Produced by Hiroshi Ôkawa
Written by Kei Iijima
Hiroshi Ikeda
Hayao Miyazaki (Idea)
Based on Treasure Island 
by Robert Louis Stevenson
Starring Minori Matsushima
Asao Koike
Hitoshi Takagi
Fusako Amachi
Kosei Tomita
Kinto Tamura
Music by Naozumi Yamamoto
Distributed by Toei Company (Japan)
Release dates 20 March 1971
Running time 78 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese

Animal Treasure Island (どうぶつ宝島 Dōbutsu Takarajima) is a 1971 Japanese anime feature film adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. The film was produced by Toei Animation and released on the studio's 20th anniversary. It was licensed and distributed in English-language countries by Discotek Media.


Jim, the young assistant of the keeper of the Admiral Bembo inn, and his mouse friend Gran (Rex in English) are one night asked by a rough, one-legged stranger for a room and to watch out for suspicious-looking characters. The latter, a band of black-cloaked assassins, soon arrive, and the man asks Jim to take care of the casket he's been carrying before engaging the intruders. Jim and Gran narrowly escape. After they return to the ransacked inn later, they open the casket in hopes of gaining some money for compensation for the damage. Inside they find a map to the treasure hidden by the infamous pirate captain Flint.

Jim and Gran immediately set out with their steam-powered barrel boat - and the innkeeper's infant son Baboo as a stowaway - to recover the riches, but after a few days at sea they are captured by the pirate crew of Captain Silver and brought to Pirate Island, where both are sold to a slave merchant. Alerted by Gran's unchecked babbling, one of the crew, the monocled Baron, also steals the map from Jim.

In the holding cell, Jim and Gran encounter Kathy, the feisty and resolute granddaughter of Captain Flint. They manage to escape the cell, and Jim recovers the map as the assembled pirate captains pour over it. Kathy, however, promptly steals it, and having no ship to reach the island, she accepts the Baron's offer of transportation, which is in turn instantly usurped by Silver. Silver and his crew try their best to steal the map back during the voyage, but Kathy's distrust and Jim's secret assistance foil the scheme repeatedly. After an attack by the pirate captain chairman, which they narrowly escape, Silver and his crew are finally incapacitated.

Just before reaching the island, however, a storm rips the ship apart; Jim, Gran, Baboo, and the baby's self-appointed guardian, the walrus Otto, arrive just after Silver, his crew, and Kathy, now a prisoner of the pirates. In exchange for her friends' safety, Kathy offers to lead Silver to the exact location of the treasure. Silver, however, plans on double-crossing both Jim and his own crew to get the treasure for himself.

While Otto holds off his fellow pirates (who soon surrender after realizing that Silver wouldn't share with them anyway), Jim chases after Silver as he and his monkey lieutenant are climbing towards the top of an extinct volcano where the treasure is hidden. In the end Kathy sacrifices the final secret of recovering the treasure to save Jim's life, but it does no good to Silver; the mechanism he is told to trigger does not reveal the treasure immedialety, but instead serves to drain the island volcano's crater lake. Silver and his lieutenant are swept out into the sea, and the lake drains to reveal Flint's sunken ship, where Jim, Gran, Kathy and the reformed pirates find the treasure. The film ends with Jim and Kathy sailing away with Silver's ship, while the dethroned captain and his lieutenant chase after them on improvised log boats, quarreling all the while.


Hayao Miyazaki created a manga adaptation as a promotional Tie-in for the film. It was serialized in 13 instalments, printed in colour, in the Sunday edition of Tokyo Shimbun from January to March 1971.[1][2]


  1. ^ 砂漠の民 - 宮崎駿作品 (マンガ) [People of the Desert - Hayao Miyazaki works (manga)]. Comic Box (in Japanese) (Fusion Products) (3): 111. November 1, 1982. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ "ナウシカの道 連載 1 宮崎駿・マンガの系譜" [The Road to Nausicaä, episode 1, Hayao Miyazaki’s Manga Genealogy]. Animage (Tokyo: Tokuma Shoten) (61): 172–173. June 10, 1983. Retrieved November 27, 2013. 

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