Astro Boy Original Production Cel (O...Click the image to load the highest resolution version.
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DescriptionAstro Boy Original Production Cel (Osamu Tezuka/Mushi, 1963). For anyone interested in the history and origins of Japanese animation, this original Astro Boy production cel would be the "holy grail," as foreign animation art from this era has largely been lost. Astro Boy premiered in Japan on Jan. 1, 1963, and in the US on June 22, 1963. It was the first Japanese animated series to be dubbed and exported to the US, and was doubtless many Westerners' first brush with what would eventually become the world-wide phenomenon of anime. The immediate success of Astro Boy with American audiences led to the release of other early hits such as Speed Racer and Gigantor. A sentient robot with superpowers, Astro Boy was a "Pinocchio-like" figure - with tragic origins. Created to resemble a distraught inventor's deceased son, Astro Boy's naïveté and noble spirit made for many harrowing adventures in this long-lasting, oft-revived series. Still hailed as the "God of Manga" in his homeland, comic artist and animator Osamu Tezuka is largely responsible for the international success of the Japanese animation industry. After an early life colored by wartime experiences and an adolescence devoted to academic excellence (he received his M.D. in 1961) he decided upon a career as an artist - and was staggeringly prolific until his death in 1989. These early experiences were responsible for his famous pacifist views - and the sophisticated and philosophical storylines in his manga. He was admired by such cinematic giants as Walt Disney and Stanley Kubrick. His best-known and most successful television series was Astro Boy, which was so successful in Japan (netting 40% of the TV-owning audience), that it was prepared for its American debut only six months later! In addition to Astro Boy, Tezuka was the creator of the famous Kimba the White Lion - and countless others. This is an incredibly rare piece - we have never seen one of these before! This is a hand-inked, hand-painted original production cel of Astro Boy himself, depicted in a full-body pose, jet flames shooting from his legs, as he patrols the airspace over a city. He measures 4.5" in length; a subtle "dry-brush" effect has been applied to the cel to represent the exhaust from the flames. A piece of this caliber is not likely to be seen again! In Fine condition.
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