First postwar animated film returns

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) The Fukuoka City Public Library said Wednesday it has restored to its original length the first animated film made in Japan after World War II.

A complete version of “Princess of Baghdad” had not existed for years.

The library will show the 48-minute-long movie based on the Arabian Nights on Saturday and Sunday at its theater.

A Fukuoka resident donated an almost complete version to the library in 2004. Since then, the library has worked with the National Film Center in Tokyo to restore the film to its original length.

Before the resident came forward, the only copy confirmed to exist was a 37-minute version kept at the NFC.

“It’s a monumental work — the first (Japanese-made animation film) since World War II — but very few people know it exists. Thus this is a valuable film,” a library official said. “We want as many people to enjoy it as possible.”