The Mysterious Cities of Gold

Japanese name

太陽の子エステバン (Taiyō no Ko Esuteban)

Directed by

Bernard Deyriès, Edouard David

Produced by

Kenichi Murakami, Kenichi Maruyama

Written by

Jean Chalopin, Bernard Deyriès


Studio Pierrot
DIC Audiovisuel

Licensed by

Fabulous Films



English networks

Australian Broadcasting Corporation
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

Original run

May 1, 1982 – September 5, 1983



The Mysterious Cities of Gold (太陽の子エステバン, Taiyō no Ko Esuteban, Les Mystérieuses Cités d'or) abbreviated MCoG, is a Japanese-French animated series co-produced by DiC Entertainment and Studio Pierrot.


Mitsuro Kaneko (MK Productions) wanted to make an animated series based on the young adult fiction novel The King's Fifth by Scott O'Dell. It was a book that detailed how the Spanish stripped the 'New World' of all its riches.

The story was adapted by Jean Chalopin and Bernard Deyriès, and is very loosely based on the novel. The series was directed by Bernard Deyriès, Edouard David, Kenichi Murakami and Kenichi Maruyama. The producers were Max Saldinger, Kanae Mayuzumi and Atsumi Yajima. Shingo Araki was involved with the series as an animator and some episodes were directed by Toyoo Ashida and Tatsunoko Production veteran Mizuho Nishikubo. Nobuyoshi Koshibe composed the original Japanese score.

Originally, Koshibe's score was to be used for the French version as well. However, Bernard Deyriès recalled his reaction to the proposed music he heard from Ulysses 31 in that he felt that the score was rather understated as he was expecting a more adventurous feel, something akin to films like the Indiana Jones movies. At that point Haim Saban and Shuki Levy had met up with Bernard Deyriès, in which they became involved with the soundtracks of Ulysses 31 and MCoG.

Opening narrationEdit

It is the 16th century. From all over Europe, great ships sail west to conquer the new world, the Americas. The men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries, to find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to El Dorado and the Mysterious Cities of Gold.


Broadcast HistoryEdit

The series originally aired in Japan on NHK (the national public broadcaster) and premiered on May 1, 1982, running for 39 episodes until its conclusion on February 5, 1983.[4] The series also aired in English in the United States on the Nickelodeon cable network from June 30, 1986 to June 29, 1990;[citation needed] and in the United Kingdom, twice on Children's BBC in 1986/87[5] and 1989;[6] and in Australia, on the public broadcaster ABC through the late 1980s to early 1990s.[7] The series also aired in France on Antenne 2 [8][9] and in Turkey onTRT.[10] The German version premiered on DFF and was later shown on ORB, MDR and Your Family Entertainment.

External linksEdit

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