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Horus: Prince of the Sun

Set in an unspecified northern kingdom, the film opens with the young Horus (Hisako Ookata (Japanese)/Billie Lou Watt (English)) attempting to fight off a pack of “silver wolves,” and accidentally waking up an ancient stone giant, named Mogue (or Rockoar in some editions of the film). Horus succeeds in pulling a splinter from the giant’s shoulder, which transpires to be a rusty and ancient sword. The giant proclaims this to be the “Sword of the Sun,” promising also that when the sword has been reforged, he will come to Horus, who will then be called “Prince of the Sun”.

Horus’ father, on his deathbed, reveals that their family came from a northern seaside village, which was devastated by the terrifying ice devil Grunwald, leaving them the only survivors. Before dying, Horus’ father urges his son to return to the land of his birth and avenge the village.

On his journey, Horus and his companion, a bear named Koro, are soon confronted by Grunwald, who plunges the boy from a cliff when Horus refuses to serve him. Hols survives the fall and is rescued by the inhabitants of a nearby village. Horus soon becomes a heroic figure when he kills an enormous pike which had been threatening the lives and livelihoods of this fishing community.

The pike was a ploy of Grunwald’s, who then sends the silver wolves to attack the village instead. In the battle that follows, Horus and Koro chase the wolves to a deserted village, where he meets a mysterious young girl named Hilda. Horus takes Hilda back to his village, where her beautiful singing is welcomed by the villagers, with the exception of the chief, who is increasingly resentful of Horus’ popularity, and his deputy, Drago. Hilda, who is actually Grunwald’s sister and under his evil influence, later collaborates with Drago and sends a swarm of rats to attack the village (in the original Japanese version, Grunwald wanted Horus to be his brother before he plunged Horus down the cliff; this ties in with Horus’ first encounter with Hilda and her comment on how they both share the same fate that they’re like twins). Drago frames Horus for his own failed attempt to assassinate the chief, and the villagers banish Horus.

Horus sets out in search of Grunwald, but is confronted by Hilda, and the owl who acts as messenger between Hilda and Grunwald. With her true identity revealed, Hilda reluctantly attack Horus, who falls into a chasm and becomes trapped in an enchanted wood, where he is haunted by visions of the villagers and his father. Grunwald then sends Hilda, against her wishes, to kill Horus, and makes his own attack on the village, together with his wolves and a giant ice mammoth.

Horus is able to escape from the enchanted forest when he realizes that the sword must be reforged as a collective effort and that the villagers must unite in order to defeat Grunwald. After a brief fight with Hilda, who is thoroughly remorseful about her involvement in Grunwald’s plan, Horus rejoins the villagers in their battle and uses the raging fires they ignited in their defense to reforge the sword. With the “Sword of the Sun” reforged, he is soon joined by the stone giant Mogue. Together they defeat and destroy Grunwald. Hilda, who had given her magical “Medal of Life” to aid Horus, finds that she is still alive without it, and rejoins Horus and the villagers.

Info & Credits

Title Horus, Prince of the Sun
Japanese Title 太陽の王子 ホルスの大冒険
Japanese Title (Romanized) Taiyō no Ōji: Horusu no Daibōken
Release Date 1968
Rated PG
Duration 1 hr 21 min

The characters

 image001 Horus
A hunter living with his father. Horus is a courageous and strong young boy. After finding an old sword called “The Sword of the Sun”, he is determined to restore the sword and so become the “Prince of the Sun”. He does the right thing even when it would be easier to walk away. He is a hard worker and a skilled fighter. His weapon is an axe tied to a rope. He joins a village of fishermen during his adventures.
 image002 Hilda
A young harpist and singer. Hilda’s village was destroyed by a demon. She is somber and sings haunting songs of loneliness. When she sings, everyone nearby tends to stop what they are doing to listen until she finishes. She has two close friends, Chiro and Toto. She lives alone until Horus takes her to the fishermen’s village. She always wears a blue gem on a necklace.
image003 Grunwald
An ice demon. Grunwald’s sole purpose is to destroy all humans, and has many ways to do this. He is not arrogant, however, and can recognize a powerful opponent. He uses animals, among other methods, to do as much damage as possible to human villages. The animal he uses the most are wolves, notably with a silver wolf.
 image004 Potom
The son of the leader of the village. Potom is around Horus’ age and is a hard worker. He doesn’t stop working when Hilda sings. He is next in line to lead the village after his father.
 image005 Koro
Horus’ pet bear and friend. Koro goes with Horus on some of his adventures. He is often distracted by food and isn’t very cautious. He is fiercely loyal to Horus.
 image006 Chiro
A squirrel and one of Hilda’s two close friends. Chiro is gentle, kind, and emotional. He talks with Hilda about her problems and wants her to be happy. He is often at odds with Toto, Hilda’s other friend, since they disagree about what is right.
 image007 Toto
An owl and one of Hilda’s two close friends. Unlike Chiro, Toto dislikes everyone except Hilda. If Chiro says something he doesn’t agree with, he will chase him around until he has apologized for his “foolishness”. Toto likes power and taunting others.
 image008 Maug
A giant made of boulders. The Sword of the Sun was stuck in his shoulder. Maug promises Horus that if he can restore the sword, then he will acknowledge him as the Prince of the Sun and willingly serve him. Maug is very strong and thinks of Grunwald as an annoying gnat instead of a real threat.
 image009 Village Leader
The leader of the fishermen’s village and the father of Potom. He dislikes anything out of his control and has a short temper.
 image010 Drago
The village leader’s chief adviser. He craves power and is always looking for ways to get more. He is loyal to no one and isn’t very smart.
 image011 Mauni
A little girl from the village. Mauni is friendly and like to sing, play, and weave flowers together. She likes Hilda in particular.
 image012 Philip
A little boy from the village. Philip likes to practice with his bow and arrow, and is constantly chasing rabbits.
 image013 Philip’s Mother
Philip’s mother takes care of Horus when he comes to the village. She is kind and generous, but sad.
 image014 Bordo
A working man in the fisherman’s village. Bordo helps build structures in the village. He is serious and focused. He is not distracted by Hilda’s singing.
 image015 Ganko
The blacksmith in the fisherman’s village. He is a master at his craft, but he cannot restore the Sword of the Sun in his shop.
 image017 Silver Wolf
Grunwald’s special servant. There are other silver wolves, but this one in particular causes trouble for Horus. He can move so quickly that it is difficult to see him. Because of this, some people doubt his existence.
 image018 Horus’ Father
Horus’ father took Horus to live in the wilderness after a demon destroyed their village by corrupting the hearts of the people.

Production Credits

Director Isao Takahata
Producer Hiroshi Okawa
Writer Kazuo Fukazawa
Art Director Mataji Urata
Cinematography Jiro Yoshimura
Scene Design Hayao Miyazaki

Voice Casting

Character English Japanese
Horus ??? Hisako Ôkata
Hilda ??? Estsuko Ichihara
Grunwald ??? Mikijiro Hira
Potom ??? ???
Koro ??? Yukari Asai
Chiro ??? ???
Toto ??? Hisa Yakomori
Maug ??? Tadashi Yokouchi
Village Leader ??? Masao Mishima
Drago ??? ???
Mauni ??? ???
Philip ??? ???
Philip’s Mother ??? ???
Bordo ??? ???
Ganko Eijirô Tono
Horus’ Father ??? Hisa Yakomori

Horus: Prince of the Sun Trailer

Screenshots from the movie

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