Magic Serpent (怪竜大決戦 is a Kairyū Daikessen, lit. Great Mystic Dragon Battle)1966 tokusatsu kaiju and ninja fantasy film produced by Toei Company and based on the Japanese folktale "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya." It was released to Japanese theaters on March 5, 1966, and to American television syndication via American-International Television in 1970.
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Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Tetsuya Yamanochi
- Written by Masaru Igami
- Based on the story "The Tale of the Gallant Jiraiya" by Mokuami Kawatake
- Produced by Shigeru Okada, Takesuke Shinkai
- Music by Toshiaki Tsushima
- Cinematography by Motoya Washio
- Edited by Tadao Kanda
- Production design by Seiji Yada
- Assistant director Yuji Makiguchi
- Special effects by Akiyasu Tawarazaka, Shigeru Akatsuka, Kunio Kunisada, Gaimi Kaneko
- Theme song performed by Young Fresh
- Lyrics by Masaru Igami
- Composed by Toshiaki Tsushima
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Hiroki Matsukata as Ikazuchimaru Ogata / Jiraiya
- Tomoko Ogawa as Tsunade
- Ryutaro Otomo as Orochimaru
- Bin Amatsu as Daijo Yuki
- Nobuo Kaneko as Dojin Gama
- Izumi Hara as Spider Woman
- Kensaku Hara as Zenbei
- Yumi Suzumura as Osaki
- Takao Iwamura as Koshirota
- Toshio Chiba as Momobe
- Daizen Shishido as Ikkansai
- Kenji Kusumoto as Jihei
- Kuniomi Kitani as Donen
- Michimaro Otabe as Honai
- Masataka Iwao as Kido
- Shinichiro Hayashi as Samanosuke Ogata
- Chiyo Okada as Kureha
- Akira Shioji
- Mitsukazu Kawamura
- Katsuki Chikamatsu
- Masatoshi Oya, Seizo Fukumoto as Ninja
- Giant Toad
- Giant Dragon
- Giant Eagle
- Giant Spider
- Main article: Magic Serpent/Gallery.
Magic Serpent was released directly to television in the United States by American International Television in 1970. Despite the existence of an English dub commissioned by Toei, AIP-TV had the film dubbed at Titan Productions, where voice actor Bret Morrison directed and gave voice to several supporting characters. AITV's version of the film is uncut, save for the opening credits: in Toei's version, the credits play over a montage of Jiraiya's training throughout his adolescence, while AITV editors Emil and Eli Haviv shortened the credits and used a montage of still shots of the Giant Dragon as a backdrop. The song "Forward, Jiraiya!" was also replaced by instrumental music from elsewhere in the film. Additionally, all of the monsters' roars were replaced with those of existing monsters: the Giant Toad uses Rodan's roar, the Giant Dragon uses Godzilla and Gaira's roars, the Giant Eagle uses Mothra's roar, and the Giant Spider uses Kiyla's roar.
- Great Mystic Dragon Battle (literal Japanese title)
- The Magic Serpent (U.S. DVD title)
- Grand Duel in Magic (international English title)
- Grand Duel of Ninjas (Singapore English title)
- Monsters of the Apocalypse (Les Monstres de L'Apocalypse; French theatrical title)
- Ninja Apocalypse (French video title)
Retromedia/Image Entertainment DVD (2004)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (2.0, Titan Productions dub)
- Subtitles: None
- Special Features: None
- Notes: Cropped to 1.33:1. Packaged with Return of the Giant Monsters. Retromedia added sound effects to the film to justify the copyrighting of this "special edition."
Toei Video DVD (2004)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (1.0)
- Subtitles: Unknown
- Special Features: Theatrical trailer, textless trailer
- Fragments of an international English dub for Magic Serpent appear on the film's French theatrical dub. The complete dub remains undiscovered.
- Toei reused the Giant Toad and Giant Dragon suits for their 1967 TV show Masked Ninja Akakage, although the former lost its nasal horn.
- Promotional artwork featuring the Giant Toad would later be reused and heavily altered by Yamapro to become the Pachimon monster Shirako.
- Magic Serpent was loosely remade in 1970 as Young Flying Hero, a Taiwanese martial arts fantasy that also features a giant toad and dragon monster as a major set piece.
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