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The Magical World of Gigi (Harmony Gold English Dub; 1984)

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The Magical World of Gigi was a 1984 English adaptation of the anime Magical Princess Minky Momo (魔法のプリンセス ミンキー モモ Mahō no Purinsesu Minkī Momo). It was produced by Harmony Gold, around the same time they had dubbed Robotech. Additionally, a copyright encyclopedia notes that the theme song for this adaptation had its copyright filed on September 7, 1984[1].

History

The first 52 episodes of Momo were utilized for the dub, and are said to have been very minimally edited by those who have claimed to have seen them[2]. The series failed to air in the United States, as buyers were not interested[3], but this adaptation was used as the basis for several international versions that aired under the "Gigi" title (such as those aired in France, Italy, and the Netherlands). The Italian dub stuck to the 52-episode order used by Harmony Gold, though the remaining episodes would later be dubbed a few years later. The French dub managed to cover the entirety of the Minky Momo series.

The English version did eventually make its way on to the "Cartoon Connections" block of ATV10 in Melbourne, Australia, and aired from at least late 1986[4] to early 1988 [5]. There was also an unconfirmed allegation on an old Momo fan site that the TV dub had been broadcast in Israel[6]. Another account has the series as having aired there around 1985, in response to an Israeli fan's query about the series [7].

In addition to Australia and Israel, an archived copy of Malaysia's New Straits Times indicates that the dub had been airing on the RTM2 channel around 1988[8]

For several years, it was unknown what ultimately became of the dub masters for Momo/Gigi; it is alleged that both it and Dragonball were the only two titles that Carl Macek did not buy for Streamline Pictures [9]. While Dragonball's license eventually passed to FUNimation in 1995, it seems that the license to Minky Momo may have reverted to Ashi by then. Copyright catalog entries[10] on Harmony Gold's licenses suggest that the Minky Momo rights were held until at least 1996, where they may have reverted afterwards.

It is possible there may be copies of episodes recorded from the Australian broadcasts of the series, but none have yet to surface.

The only portion of Minky Momo that had ever managed to see a commercial release in the USA would be the 1985 OVA La Ronde in my Dream, localized in 1987 as "Gigi and the Fountain of Youth". While Carl Macek did not appear to have been part of the production team behind the dub of the series, he was involved with the dub of the OVA. The dub of the OVA was alternatively released under the title "The Magical Princess Gigi" by Celebrity Home Entertainment, as well as using "The Magical World of Gigi" title when it was released as part of the UK's Channel 5 video line.

Official Release

However, in March 2015, William Winckler Productions announced that due to a deal with Production REED (formerly Ashi), the unreleased Minky Momo dub would finally see a widespread release. The first four episodes of Gigi were merged into a compilation film titled "Minky Momo, The Fairy Princess of Dreamland" , and a second film titled "The Brat Prince's Great Strategy" was released shortly after.

Despite the Minky Momo branding, the dub is clearly the Harmony Gold version and Momo is named Gigi. Unfortunately, the opening and closing sequences were edited out from the episodes for the purpose of creating the film, so there are still some portions considered lost (and the dub cast currently unknown).

William Winckler Productions has stated that they intend to re-release all of the Harmony Gold dub in compilation film format, and had claimed that all 63 episodes will be utilized, presenting a possibility that all of the series had been dubbed (unless this statement was in error).

Later-released compilation films sourced from this dub include:


As of May 2015, the 52 confirmed episodes of Harmony Gold's dub have been released in these 13 compilation films. No further episodes have appeared on Amazon, suggesting that the "63 episodes" comment was assumption or in error.

Character Name Changes

  • Momo -> Gigi
  • Sindbook -> Bonkers
  • Mocha -> Coco
  • Pipil -> Yum-Yum
  • The Kingdom of Fenarinarsa -> The Kingdom of Fairyland

The "Gigi and the Fountain of Youth" OVA dub had some alternative localization choices, with Pipil receiving the name "Tweet" and Mocha keeping his name. Gigi's parents also had different names between the adaptations, being named "Robin" and "Daisy" in the series but "Robert" and "Mildred" in the OVA.

However, Channel 5's description of the OVA utilizes the names for Gigi's pets that were used in the series dub: "Gigi is a princess in the Kingdom of Fairyland and has been sent to earth by her father, the King. She carries a magic wand and can transform herself into a Supergirl who can perform marvellous deeds. With her mischievous partners, Bonkers the Dog, Yum-Yum the Bird and Coco the Monkey, she sets out to make ordinary people's dreams come true. There's plenty of action and laughter in the Magical World of Gigi. "

While its basis has never been officially confirmed by anyone in production of the dub, it is interesting to note that Momo's dub name "Gigi" corresponds to the nickname of Jehan "Gigi" Agrama (daughter of Frank Agrama), an associate producer at Harmony Gold that worked on both the dub of the series and the OVA.

International Titles

  • France: Gigi la princesse magicienne/Il était une fois ... Gigi!/Le monde magique de Gigi
  • Italy: Il magico mondo de Gigi
  • Mexico: Las aventuras de Gigi/El mundo mágico de Gigi
  • Netherlands: Unknown

The French and Italian versions originally used the same title theme (Le monde magique de Gigi/Il magico mondo de Gigi), which was composed by Haim Saban and Shuki Levy, as opposed to the English theme by Ulpio Minucci. The French theme was performed by a singer named Cynthia, while the Italian dub used a singer named I Sorrisi.

Although, the French dubbing would use a new opening theme (performed by Marilyn Lahcene) in its later airings, circa 1986.


Some of these international versions have been made available on DVD, but have had their opening and ending themes (plus title cards) either substituted with the Japanese originals, or in the particular case of the French version, have had a new "Gigi" logo overlaid on the opening theme to replace the one used by Harmony Gold.

Production Crew

This information is taken from the opening credits of the French  "Gigi" dub that used this version as their basis, as well as the Copyright Encyclopedia website.

  • Producers: Frank Agrama, Al Hill Jr., Ahmed Agrama
  • Associate Producer: Jehan "Gigi" Agrama
  • Screenwriter: Robert V. Barron
  • Theme song lyrics: Jehan Agrama, Arlon Ober
  • Opening theme score: Ulpio Minucci

Little is known about the voice cast of the TV series. The actor Jan Rabson has attested to having worked on it and claimed he had voiced at least three different characters[11]. Richard Epcar[12] and Ellyn Stern[13] have also listed a "Gigi" title in their voice acting resume, although it is not clarified if they are referring to the OVA (where they did not appear to be credited) or the TV series.

Update

As of January 4th 2016 part of the dub has been found. A YouTube user (DazRetro) has uploaded 5 episodes of the English dub. The description on the video says "The Magical Princess Gigi was shown on Channel 10 Melbourne Australia back in 1987 and was the only country in the world to broadcast the English dub. Videos were salvaged from VHS tapes my sister recorded back in the day for my Niece. Now I hope the whole world can enjoy a few episodes that have seem to be lost." These videos are available for viewing on his channel >https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkuAzlVyF2AuyKlNG4hqjug

References

  1. Copyright for Gigi theme song at Copyright Encyclopedia. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  2. A post about the history of the dub by Australian anime historian Kelly Patrick Lannan. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  3. Interview with Al Hill Jr., a producer behind the series, 1986. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  4. Australian TV schedule archives, TelevisionAU. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  5. TelevisionAU archives. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  6. Minky Momo. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  7. Archived Usenet postings, Googlegroups. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  8. The New Straits Times archived paper, GoogleNews. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  9. Archived Usenet post from 1993, Googlegroups. Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  10. Copyright Encyclopedia entry on "The Magical World of Gigi". Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  11. Interview with Jan Rabson, The Gaming Liberty. Retrieved November 25, 2013
  12. Richard Epcar's acting and directing resume (Lists him as a "Lead Voice" in a "Gigi" project for Harmony Gold). Retrieved November 25, 2013.
  13. Ellyn Stern voice resume (also listed for a "Lead Voice" in "Gigi"). Retrieved November 25, 2013.

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