Once Upon a Time
Windaria (film poster).jpg
North American Windaria film cover
(Douwa Meita Senshi Uindaria)
Genre Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Anime film
Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama
Produced by Toshihiro Nagao
Written by Keisuke Fujikawa
Music by Satoshi Kadokura
Studio Idol
Kaname Productions
Studio Gallop
Licensed by United States Streamline Pictures, ADV Films
Released Japan July 19, 1986
Runtime 101 minutes
Anime and Manga Portal

Windaria (童話めいた戦史ウインダリア Douwa Meita Senshi Uindaria?, lit. "Fairy Tale War Windaria"), also called Legend of Fabulous Battle Windaria and Once Upon a Time, is a Japanese animated film produced by Kaname Productions and Idol. The film was directed by Kunihiko Yuyama and written by Keisuke Fujikawa. It was released theatrically in Japan on July 19, 1986.



The mountainous kingdom of Paro and the coastal city-state of Itha had been at peace for over a century. They would have remained that way but for the ambitions of Paro's power-hungry king. Paro invaded Itha, despite the love between Jill, Paro's prince, and Ahanas, Itha's princess. Caught between duty and emotion, the star-crossed lovers were forced to fight a war to its bitter conclusion. Isu was a simple farmer from the neutral village of Saki, but he saved Itha from being destroyed by a spy from Paro, and found himself hungering for wealth and glory that the Ithan monarchy could provide. Agents from Paro made him an offer to fulfill his wishes, and he left his wife Marin behind in what would turn into a battlefield between the two kingdoms.

Voice cast

Japanese character name Japanese seiyū English character name English voice actor
Izu (イズー) Tōru Furuya Allen Kerrigan Mahan
Marlin (マーリン) Waka Kanda Marie Jane Alan
Jiru (ジル) Kazuhiko Inoue Roland Bruce Nielsen
Anasu (アーナス) Naoko Matsui Veronica Barbara Goodson
Kundori (クンドリー) Rihoko Yoshida


Windaria is based on a novel of the same name, authored by Keisuke Fujikawa, the film's screenwriter.[1][2] In the Japanese version of Windaria, portions of the novel are read over the beginning and ending of the film as narration by the protagonist Izu.[1] Fujikawa's resume includes the live-action Ultraman and the animated series Space Battleship Yamato, Grandizer, and Cat's Eye.[1] The film was produced by animation companies Kaname Productions and Idol and directed by Kunihiko Yuyama, who previously worked on Magical Princess Minky Momo and GoShogun.[1][3][4] Studio Gallop was responsible for its photography and Studio Cosmos contributed the backgrounds. Mutsumi Inomata acted as both character designer and animation director.[5] The film's instrumental musical score was composed by Satoshi Kadokura. The opening theme "Yakusoku" (約束?, lit. "Promise") was written by the late Kazuhiko Katoh and performed by Akino Arai.[6] The ending theme "Utsukushii Hoshi" (美しい星?, lit. "Beautiful Planet") was written and performed by Arai.[7]


Release and marketing

Windaria was released theatrically in Japan on July 19, 1986.[8][9][10] In 1987, Harmony Gold licensed Windaria for release in the United States, changing the title to Once Upon A Time and trimming the movie from its 101-minute running time to 95 minutes.[5] The English language version was edited in order to better market the movie to younger audiences.[2][11][12] According to director Carl Macek, Harmony Gold was given no scipts or translations of the property and they thus had little insight into the plot details.[13] The English version included a new script, an altered plot, scenes switched around, violent and adult-oriented scenes removed, the entire cast given Western names, and added narration provided by Russell Johnson (of Gilligan's Island fame).[2][11][14]

Windaria was first distributed in Japan to home video by Victor Entertainment. The eventual laserdisc release contained a trailer, a pilot film (in which characters are colored differently than the final version), and a second audio track.[15] Victor released Windaria on DVD in Japan on December 16, 2000.[16] This release forgoes the laserdisc extras but includes a director interview on the insert.[15] Atlus reissued the film on DVD on March 25, 2005.[17] Streamline Pictures released the English version, titled Windaria, on North American VHS between 1992 and 1993.[3][18] A laserdisc version was planned by Image Entertainment yet never distributed.[15] ADV Films released the original English version Once Upon a Time on DVD on March 23, 2004.[19] The uncut Japanese version has never been officially released in this region.[20]

A generous amount of Windaria-related merchandise has been marketed in Japan since the movie's 1986 debut. Fujikawa's Douwa Meita Senshi Windaria bunkobon was published by Kadokawa Shoten during March 1986.[21] Shortly after the premiere of Windaria, several official guide books were released, one (Settei: Windaria) containing Idol's sketches, storyboards, and promotional materials. A special omake was published on August 25, 1986, as part of Kadokawa's "Mediamix Special" imprint.[22] Inomata's 1988 art book Gatsu no Koe Hoshi no Yume contains some of her illustrations from the film.[23][24] Arai's album Natsukashii Mirai, containing both the film's opening and ending themes, was released by Victor on October 21, 1986.[25] The film's original soundtrack was released by Victor on both LP and CD on July 21, 1986, and CD was reprinted in March 24, 1994.[26] It was reissued on June 23, 1999 alongside the soundtrack to Birth, another anime by Kaname.[15][27] Finally, a 2008 Nintendo DS video game based on the movie was developed by Compile Heart under the name Dungeon of Windaria (ダンジョン オブ ウインダリア?) and released in Japan.[28][29]



  1. ^ a b c d Drazen, Patrick (January 1, 2002). Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! Of Japanese Animation. Stone Bridge Press. pp. 223–9. ISBN 978-1-8806-5672-3. 
  2. ^ a b c Houston, Don (April 1, 2004). "Once Upon A Time". DVDTalk. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  3. ^ a b Ledoux, Trish; Ranney, Doug; and Patten, Fred (February 1, 1997). The Complete Anime Guide: Japanese Animation Film Directory & Resource Guide. Tiger Mountain Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-96-495425-0. 
  4. ^ Oppliger, John (August 1, 2008). "Ask John: Which Women Have Made an Impact on Anime Production?". AnimeNation. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  5. ^ a b McCarthy, Helen (July 1997). The Anime! Movie Guide. The Overlook Press. p. 44. ISBN 978-08-7-951781-6. 
  6. ^ "'Do You Remember Love?' Composer Kazuhiko Katoh Found Hanged (Updated)". Anime News Network. October 17, 2009. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  7. ^ Oppliger, John (February 23, 2007). "Ask John: What are the Most Impressive Anime Songs?". AnimeNation. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  8. ^ "ウインダリア [Windaria]" (in Japanese). Newtype (Kadokawa Shoten): Back cover. August 1986. 
  9. ^ Lucas, Tim and Donna (1996). Video Watchdog (31–36): p. 26. 
  10. ^ Patten, Fred (September 1, 2004). Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews. Stone Bridge Press. pp. 47–8. ISBN 978-1-88-065692-1. 
  11. ^ a b Oppliger, John (August 16, 2002). "Ask John: Is Carl Macek the Al Capone of Anime?". AnimeNation. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  12. ^ Lent, John A. (August 1, 2001). Animation in Asia and the Pacific. Indiana University Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-25-334035-1. 
  13. ^ Bertschy, Zac and Sevakis, Justin. ANNCast: Macek Training Anime News Network. Podcast accessed on 2011-06-20.
  14. ^ Sevakis, Justin (July 17, 2008). "Buried Treasure: Windaria". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  15. ^ a b c d Jenkins, Ralph (2001). "Old Skool Anime: Windaria & Birth". Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  16. ^ "ウインダリア [Windaria]" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  17. ^ "ウインダリア DVD [Windaria DVD]" (in Japanese). Atlus. Archived from the original on July 21, 2006. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  18. ^ Hartl, John (May 17, 1992). "Here comes summer and so is a raft of children's videos". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2011-06-21. 
  19. ^ Oppliger, John (December 23, 2003). "AD Vision Announces New DVD Titles". AnimeNation. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  20. ^ Oppliger, John (January 9, 2009). "Ask John Editorial: What Anime Features Haven’t Been Licensed?". AnimeNation. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  21. ^ "ウィンダリア 童話めいた戦史 [Windaria Fairy Tale War]" (in Japanese). Book Shelf. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  22. ^ "マニア館入荷情報 「内山まもる ウルトラマンメビウス外伝」ほかムック本入荷しました [Stock Information Stock Mania "Ultraman Mebius Gaiden protect Uchiyama" mook other books in stock]" (in Japanese). Mandrake. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  23. ^ "月の声星の夢 いのまたむつみ画集 [Dream in a Voice, Star in a Moon: Mutsumi Inomata Collections of Paintings]" (in Japanese). Doga Books. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  24. ^ Inomata, Mutsumi (November 1988) (in Japanese). 月の声星の夢 いのまたむつみ画集 [Dream in a Voice, Star in a Moon: Mutsumi Inomata Collections of Paintings]. Fujimi Shobo. pp. 25–57. ISBN 978-4-82-919101-9. 
  25. ^ "懐かしい未来 [Future Nostalgia]" (in Japanese). JVC. Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  26. ^ "ウィンダリア 音楽篇" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  27. ^ "ウインダリア/バース [Windaria/Birth]" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2011-06-19. 
  28. ^ "『ダンジョン オブ ウインダリア』人気アニメがダンジョンRPGに [Dungeon of Windaria: A popular animation is in a dungeon RPG]" (in Japanese). Famitsu. March 11, 2008. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  29. ^ Spencer (March 11, 2008). "Dungeon of Windaria’s loose link to the source material". Siliconera. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 

External links

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