Momotaro: Sacred Sailors
is the first Japanese feature-length animated film. It was directed by Mitsuyo Seo, who was ordered to make a propaganda film for World War II by the Japanese Naval Ministry. Shochiku Moving Picture Laboratory shot the 74-minute film in 1944 and screened it on April 12, 1945. It is a sequel to Momotarō no Umiwashi, a 37-minute film released in 1943 by the same director.
After completing naval training, a bear cub, a monkey, a pheasant, and a puppy say goodbye to their families. While they are preoccupied, the monkey's younger brother falls into a river while chasing the monkey's cap and is carried towards a waterfall. The dog and the monkey work together to save the child just before he is swept downstream. A time skip occurs and Japanese forces are seen clearing a forest and constructing an air base in a Pacific island with the help of the jungle animals. A plane lands in the airstrip and from inside emerges Momotaro, depicted as a General, together with the bear, monkey, dog and pheasant, who by this point have become high-ranking officials. The subsequent scenes show the jungle animals being taught the alphabet via singing, washing clothes, given military training, and loading weapons in warplanes. The animal residents of the island are shown as simple primitives who are star struck by the glamorous and advanced Japanese animals.
|events||World War II|
|keywords||advanced air base aiueo bear bear cub british soldier celebes dutch east india company gojūon how to japanese soldier military training monkey pacific island parachute pheasant sing stammer time skip train washing clothes|
|publisher||All the Anime Funimation|
|theme||animated anime japanese propaganda sequel war|