The Bell of Chirin (US: Ringing Bell)

3/11/1978 Movie 46 minutes Sanrio (distributed by Nihon Herald Eiga)
Producer: Tsuji Shintarô
Original Work: Yanase Takashi
Music: Izumi Taku
Art: Abe Yukio
Key Animators: Yamamoto Shigeru, Miyamoto Sadao, Hirata Toshio, Akabori Kanji
Key Assistant Animators: Takahashi Haruo, Handa Teruo, Taga Shinmi, Ônishi Tomoko
Assistant Animators: Nakajima Kaoru, etc.
A mid-length movie released in Japan as a double-feature with the Sanrio-Murakami Pro. co-production A Mouse and His Child. A little lamb named Chirin sees his mother killed by a wolf, and sets out to become a wolf himself. A social fable on the dangers of (non)conformity, this movie goes where most children's anime fears to tread, with a truly sinister mood and serious theme the likes of which are found rarely in anime, much less in children's anime. Brilliantly economical storytelling and directing, combined with that lovely art and fluid animation which is the calling card of early Sanrio, make this film a forgotten anime classic. It is Hata's solo feature film directorial debut. After directing Chirin, Hata was occupied for a short while with the Unico pilot, completion of which marks the moment Hata would begin work on his first two full-length feature film directing efforts, The Legend of Sirius, released 1981, and Fairy Florence, released 1985, which would collectively occupy him for the next six years.

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