ULTRAMAN USA (aka ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS) Anime Film Coming to Blu-ray in Japan
Source: Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions has announced the anime film ULTRAMAN USA (ウルトラマンUSA, Urutoraman USA), a co-production with the American studio Hanna-Barbera, will be released on Blu-ray in Japan on September 26. The disc will also include the English language version, ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS.
Looking to reintroduce Ultraman to the American market, Tsuburaya saw ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS as a way to appeal to the growing interest in anime in the US. While Hanna-Barbera was the American producer and distributor, the animation was produced in Japan by Studio Sign and Ashi Productions (now known as Production Reed). The film was syndicated to US television beginning October 9, 1987.
On April 28, 1989, ULTRAMAN USA made its debut in Japanese theaters as the headline feature of ULTRAMAN TOURNAMENT (ウルトラマン大会 [フェスティバル], Urutoraman Taikai [Fesuteibaru]), a film festival that also included the ULTRAMAN episode TERROR ON ROUTE 87 (恐怖のルート87, Kyofu no Ruto Hachijunana) and the ULTRAMAN ACE episode GIANT-ANT TERRIBLE-MONSTER VS THE ULTRAMAN BROTHERS (大蟻超獣対ウルトラ兄弟, Ohari Chouju Tai Urutora Kyoudai). Each segment of the festival was introduced by an anime short from the children’s show ULTRAMAN KIDS (ウルトラマンキッズ, Urutoraman Kizu).
ULTRAMAN USA was also released on Japanese VHS on September 29, 1989, and laserdisc on July 25, 1991. ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS was released on American VHS on June 2, 1993. The film was never released on DVD in either country.
Twenty-five years after the last home video release, ULTRAMAN USA/ULTRAMAN: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS finally returns in a remastered Blu-ray edition featuring a new high definition transfer from the original 35mm negatives of the film. Bonus content includes a digital gallery of the movie’s production proposal and the ULTRAMAN KIDS interstitials from ULTRAMAN TOURNAMENT.
An explosion on Sorkin in the M78 scatters pieces of the planet across the universe. Four fragments crash into the United States, unleashing the Sorkin Monsters Greenshocks, Galbalard, Zoon and King Maira.
Days later, Captain Scott Masterson, Captain Chuck Gavin, and Lieutenant Beth O’Brien — ace stunt pilots in the Los Angeles-based “Flying Angels” team — are suddenly engulfed in a mysterious light during a flight. They discover that they have become host bodies for the Ultra Force, alien beings from the planet Altara in M78 who have come to defend Earth from the Sorkin Monsters.
Japanese Voice Cast
Scott Masterson/Ultraman Scott: Toru Furuya
Chuck Gavin/Ultraman Chuck: Shinji Ogawa
Beth O’Brien/Ultrawoman Beth: Hiromi Tsuru
Walter Freeman: Kouhei Miyauchi
Dr. Susan Rand: Rihoko Yoshida
English Voice Cast
Scott Masterson/Ultraman Scott: Michael Lembeck
Chuck Gavin/Ultraman Chuck: Chad Everett
Beth O’Brien/Ultrawoman Beth: Adrienne Barbeau
Walter Freeman: Stacy Keach Sr.
Dr. Susan Rand: Lorna Patterson
Production: Tsuburaya Productions, Hanna-Barbera, Kodansha, Nihon Columbia, Bandai
Animation Production: Studio Sign, Ashi Productions
Executive Producers: Noboru Tsuburaya, William Hanna, Joseph Barbera
Director: Mitsuo Kusakabe
Screenplay: John Eric Seward
Character Design: Kazuo Iimura
Hero Design: Hitoshi Yoshida
Mecha Design: Tomohiko Sato
Monster Design: Keita Amemiya, Hirotsugu Murayama, Chisato Sugiura
Art Director: Akira Furuya
Color Design: Yoshiharu Wakai, Yuko Kobari
Animation Directors: Kazuo Iimura, Osamu Tsuruyama, Masateru Kudo, Nobuyoshi Habara
Storyboard Artists: Seiji Okuda, Makoto Nagao, Mitsuo Kusakabe, Jutaro Ohba
Director of Photography: Toshiaki Morita
Editor: Naoyuki Masaki
Voice Directors: Noriyoshi Matsuura (Japanese Version), Gordon Hunt (English Version)
Japanese Version Director: Riku Matsukawa
Release date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Product Code: BCXS-1392
Region Code: 0 (Region Free)
Number of Discs: 1
Price: ¥7,800 (Approximately $71.21 US, Plus Tax)
● Main Feature Running Time: Approximately 153 Minutes (Japanese Version 75 Minutes + English Version 78 Minutes)
● Extras Running Time: Approximately 6 Minutes
● Japanese Version Specs: 4:3 (1080p High Definition) / Linear PCM (Stereo) / Removable Japanese Subtitles
● English Version Specs: 4:3 (1080p High Definition) / Linear PCM (Monaural) / Removable Japanese Subtitles
● Extras: Production Proposal Digital Gallery, ULTRAMAN KIDS Short
Bonus Content: 8 Page Reference Book
Manufacturer: Tsuburaya Productions
Distributor: BANDAI NAMCO Arts Inc.
About Tsuburaya Productions
Tsuburaya Productions, creator and copyrights owner of the superhero ULTRAMAN series was founded in 1963 by Eiji Tsuburaya, world-renowned special effects wizard also known for his special effects work on the Godzilla series. With more than fifty years’ experience, it is one of Japan’s oldest and most respected independent film and television production houses. Its popular Ultraman TV and film series which premiered in 1966 has been seen in over 100 territories worldwide and has spawned over 3,000 licensed products. In addition to production, the company also handles character licensing and program distribution and staging live stage shows both domestically and internationally.