Chronology of Animation 1981
Return to 1980
United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)


January
The Pied Piper of Hamelin (tvsp), Mark Hall /Cosgrove-Hall. (Great Britain)
(model animation)

January
Kaitei Daisenso--Ai no Nisen Miles ("The Great Navy Battle: 20,000 Miles of Love") (tvsp), Tatsunoko.
(drawn animation)

Kazoku Robinson Hyouryuuki Fushigima Shima no Flone [家族ロビンソン漂流記ふしぎな島のフローネ] ("Robinson Family Lost at Sea: The Marvelous Island of Flone"; "Swiss Family Robinson") (tv), Yoshio Kuroda /Nippon Animation.
(drawn animation)

Saikyo Robo Daioja [最強ロボ ダイオージャ] ("Ultimate Robot Daioja") (tv), Nippon Sunrise.
(drawn animation)

Yasei no Yobigoe Hoero Buck [荒野の叫び声 吠えろバック] ("The Call of the Forest: Bark, Buck!") (tvsp), Kozo Morishita /Toei.
(drawn animation)


February
American Pop (f), Ralph Bakshi /Bakshi.
(drawn animation)

American Pop image
American Pop
Faeries (tvsp), Lee Mishkin and Fred Hellmich /MHV and Friends Production.
(drawn animation)

Pink Panther in "Pink at First Sight" (tvsp), Bob Richardson /DePatie-Freleng.
(drawn animation)

Michael Maltese (writer, storyboard artist) (February 6, 1908-February 22, 1981) dies of cancer in Los Angeles, California.


February
Pigeon Street (tv)/(tvss), Peter Lang. (Great Britain)
(drawn animation)

Lev Atamanov (Lev Konstantinovich Atamanov, Лев Атаманов) (February 21, 1905-February 12, 1981) (director, producer) dies. (Soviet Union [Russia])

February
Hashire Melos ("Run Melos") (tvsp), Tomoharu Katsumata /Toei.
(drawn animation)

Time Bokan Series--Yattodetaman ("The Time Machine Series: Yattodetaman") (tv), Hiroshi Sasagawa /Tatsunoko.
(drawn animation)

Sanae Yamamoto (Yamamoto Sanae, Yamamoto Zenjiro) (director, producer, animator) dies.


United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)
March
The Soldier's Tale (tvsp), Robert Blechman /R. O. Blechman Production.
(drawn animation)


March
Archibald le magi-chien ("Archibald the Magic Dog") (tv), Jean Chalopin and Bruno Bianchi /DIC. (Belgium/France)
(drawn animation)

Le vacanze del signor Rossi ("Mr. Rossi's Vacation") (f), Bruno Bozzetto /Bozzetto. (Italy)
(drawn animation)

March
Doraemon: Nobita no Uchu Kaitakushi [ドラえもん のび太の宇宙開拓史] ("Doraemon: Nobita's Space-Pioneering History") (f), Hideo Nishimaki /Shin'ei.
(drawn animation)

Hakucho no Mizumi [白鳥の湖] ("Swan Lake") (f), Kimio Yabuki /Toei.
(drawn animation)

Hello! Sandybelle [ハロー!サンディベル] (tv), Toei.
(drawn animation)

Hyakuju Ou Golion [百獣王ゴライオン] ("King of Hundred Beasts Golion") (tv), Katsuhiko Taguchi /Toei.
(drawn animation)

Kaibutsu-kun--Kaibutsu Land e no Shotai ("Little Kaibutsu--Invitation to the Island of the Monsters") (f), Shin'ei.
(drawn animation)

Kido Senshi Gundam ("Mobile Warrior Gundam") (f), Nippon Sunrise.
(drawn animation)

Ogon Senshi Gold Lightan [黄金戦士ゴールドライタン] ("Golden Warrior Gold Lightan") (tv), Koichi Mashimo /Tatsunoko.
(drawn animation)

Ohayo Spank! [おはよう! スパンク] ("Hello Spank!") (tv), Shigetsugu Yoshida /TMS.
(drawn animation)

Ojamanga Yamada-kun ("Troublemaker of Cartoons, Little Yamada") (sf), Erald.
(drawn animation)

Time Bokan Series: Time Patrol Tai Otasukeman ("Time Machine Series: Time Patrol Team Rescueman") (f), Tatsunoko.
(drawn animation)

Unico [ユニコ] ("The Fantas(t)ic Adventures of Unico") (f), Toshio Hirata /Madhouse.
(drawn animation)


April
The Berenstain Bears' Easter Surprise (tvsp), Mordicai Gerstein and Al Kouzel /Perpetual Motion Pictures.
(drawn animation)

It's Magic, Charlie Brown (tvsp), Phil Roman /Mendelsohn-Melendez.
(drawn animation)

Misunderstood Monsters (tvsp), Sam Weiss and Seth Pinsker /Bosustow Entertainment.
(drawn animation, some live action)
contains Creole (tvss); The Reluctant Dragon (tvss), Sam Weiss; and Beauty and the Beast (tvss)

Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City (tvsp), Hal Silvermintz /Perpetual Motion.
(drawn animation)


April
The Woofits (tvss), John Marsden /Yorkshire. (Great Britain)
(drawn animation)

April
Ai no Gakko Cuore Monagatari [愛の学校クオレ物語] ("School of Love: Heart's Story") (tv), Eiji Okabe /Nippon Animation.
(drawn animation)

Dr. Slump Arale-chan [Dr. スランプ アラレちゃん] (tv), Toei.
(drawn animation)
(1981-1986)

Furiten-kun [フリテンくん] ("Little Furiten") (f), Taku Sugiyama and Kazuyuki Okaseko /Knack Productions.
(drawn animation)

Fusen no Dorataro [フーセンのドラ太郎] ("Dorataro the Hobo") (tv), Nippon Animation.
(drawn animation)

Jarinko Chie [じゃりン子チエ] ("Jarinko the Brat") (f), Isao Takahata /Knack Productions.
(drawn animation)

Mechakko Dotakon [めちゃっこドタコン] ("Mechanical Boy Dotakon") (tv), Takeshi Shirato /Kokusai Eigasha.
(drawn animation)

Meiken Jolie [名犬ジョリィ] ("Jolie the Great Dog"; "Belle and Sebastian") (tv), Kenji Hayakawa /MK Productions.
(drawn animation)

Mister Giants--Eiko no Sebango 3 ("Mister Giants: The Glory of Number 3") (tvsp), Tsuchida.
(drawn animation)

Mitsugoro no Dobutsu Nikki--Donbe Monogatari ("The Diary of the Animals of Mitsugoro: Donbe's Story") (tvsp), Eiken.
(drawn animation)

Shin Taketori Monogatari Sennen Jouo [新竹取物語 1000 年女王] ("The New Story of Taketori: The Queen of a Thousand Years"; "Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years") (tv), Nobutaka Nishizawa /Toei Doga.
(drawn animation)

Tiger Mask Nisei [タイガーマスク二世] ("Tiger Mask II") (tv), Kozo Morishita /Toei.
(drawn animation)

Toshi Shun (tvsp), Dax.
(drawn animation)

Wakakusa Monagatari Yori Wakakusa no Yon Shimai [若草の四姉妹] ("Young Grass Story: Four Sisters of Young Grass"; "Little Women") (tv), Kokusai Eigasha.
(drawn animation)


United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)
May
Dennis the Menace: Mayday for Mother (tvsp), Bob Richardson, David Detiege, Cullen Houghtaling, Art Leonardi, Nelson Shin, and Art Vitello /DePatie-Freleng.
(drawn animation)

May
Crac! (ss), Frédéric Back /Radio-Canada. (Canada)
(drawn animation)
Academy Award: Best Short Subjects, Animation


Crac imageCrac
May
Helen Keller Monogatari--Ai to Hikarino Tenshi [ヘレンケラー物語 愛と光の天使] ("Helen Keller's Story: The Angel of Love and Light") (tvsp), Fumio Ikeno /Studio Oka.
(drawn animation)

Lupin tai Holmes ("Lupin vs. Holmes") (tvsp), Toei.
(drawn animation)




June
Lotte Reiniger (Charlotte Reiniger) (June 2, 1899-June 19, 1981) (animator, director) dies in Dettenhausen. (Federal Republic of Germany [Germany])

June
Sugata Sanshiro [姿三四郎] (tvsp), TMS.
(drawn animation)


United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)
July
The Fox and the Hound (f), Wolfgang Reitherman and Art Stevens /Disney.
(drawn animation)

Stephen Bosustow (Stephen Reginold Bosustow) (November 6, 1911-July 4, 1981) (producer, writer) dies in Los Angeles, California.

July
Heavy Metal (f), Gerald Potterton. (Canada)
(drawn animation)


Heavy Metal imageHeavy Metal
July
Ashita no Joe II ("Tomorrow's Joe II") (f), TMS.
(drawn animation)

Captain (f), Eiken.
(drawn animation)

Dr. Slump & Arale-chan Hello! Wonderland (ss), Toei.
(drawn animation)

Greek no Boken ("The Greek Adventures") (f), Shunmao.
(drawn animation)

Kido Senshi Gundam--Aisenshi ("Mobile Warrior Gundam--Warriors of Love" or "Mobile Suit Gundam II") (f), Nippon Sunrise.
(drawn animation)

Kyofu Densetsu--Kaiki! Frankenstein ("The Frightening Legend of Frankenstein") (tvsp), Yugo Serikawa /Toei.
(drawn animation)

Sengoku Majin Goshogun [戦国魔神ゴーショーグン] ("Demon God of the War Torn Land Goshogun"; "Macron 1") (tv), Kunihiko Yuyama /Ashi Productions.
(drawn animation)

Sirius no Densetsu ("The Legend of Sirius"; "The Sea Prince and the Fire Child") (f), Masami Hata /Sanrio.
(drawn animation)

July
Lao Fu Zi [老夫子] ("Older Master Cute") (f), Choi Chi Chung, Tse Kan To, and Wu Chu Yue. (Hong Kong)
(drawn animation)




August
Akuma to Himegimi ("Beauty and the Beast") (sf), Toei.
(drawn animation)

Bremen 4--Jigoku no Naka no Tenshitachi ("Bremen 4: The Angels from Hell") (tvsp), Yasuhiro Imagawa /Tezuka.
(drawn animation)

Doraemon: Boku, Momotaro no Nanna no Sa!? [ドラえもん ぼく桃太郎のなんなのさ] ("Doraemon: What Am I For Momotaro?") (f), Shin'ei.
(drawn animation)

Nijuichiemon Uchu e Irashai ("Nijuichiemon Welcome to Space") (f), Shin'ei.
(drawn animation)

Natsu e no Tobira ("The Door to Summer") (f), Toei.
(drawn animation)

Sayonara Ginga Tetsudo 999: Andromeda Shuchakueki [さよなら銀河鉄道999 アンドロメダ終着駅] ("Adieu Galaxy Express 999: Andromeda Terminus") (f), Rintaro /Toei.
(drawn animation)

Tokaido Yotsuya Kaidan ("Monster Tales of Yotsuya in Tokaido") (tvsp), Telecom.
(drawn animation)

Yuki ("Snow Fairy") (f), Tadashi Imai /Mushi.
(drawn animation)

August
Grendel, Grendel, Grendel (f), Alexander Stitt. (Australia)
(drawn animation)

United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)
September
Blackstar (tv), Filmation.
(drawn animation)

Goldie Gold and Action Jack (tv), Ruby-Spears.
(drawn animation)

The Heathcliff and Marmaduke Show (tv), Ruby-Spears.
(drawn animation)
contains Heathcliff (tvss), Marmaduke (tvss), and Dingbat and the Creeps (tvss)

The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam (tv), Filmation.
(drawn animation)
contains Hero High (tvss) and Shazam (tv)

The Kwicky Koala Show (tv), Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)
contains Kwicky Koala (tvss), Dirty Dawg (tvss), Crazy Claws (tvss), and The Bungle Brothers (tvss)

The Popeye and Olive Show (tv), Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)
contains Popeye (tvss), Private Olive Oyl (tvss), and Prehistoric Popeye (tvss)

The Puppy Saves the Circus (tvsp), Rudy Larriva /Ruby-Spears.
(drawn animation)

The Smurfs (tv), Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)
(1981-1989)

Space Stars (tv), Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)
contains Teen Force (tvss), Astro and the Space Mutts (tvss), Herculoids (tvss), and Space Ghost (tvss)

Spiderman and His Amazing Friends (tv), Marvel.
(drawn animation)

The Tarzan/Lone Ranger/Zorro Adventure Hour (tv), Filmation.
(drawn animation)
contains Lone Ranger (tvss) and The New Adventures of Zorro (tvss) (the Tarzan component was a repeat of older shows)

The Trollkins (tv), Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)


September
Danger Mouse (tv)/(tvss), Brian Cosgrove and Brian Trueman /Cosgrove-Hall. (Great Britain)
(drawn animation)
(1981-1992)

September
Manga Mitokomon [まんが水戸黄門] ("Animated Mitokomon") (tv), Kazuyuki Okasako and Yoshikata Nitta /Knack Productions.
(drawn animation)

Danger Mouse imageDanger Mouse
Postman Pat (tvss), Ivor Wood /Woodland Animations. (Great Britain)
(model animation)
the first of several Postman Pat series

Ulysse 31 // Uchu Densetsu Ulysses 31 [宇宙伝説ユリシーズ31] ("Space Legend Ulysses 31") (tv), Bernard Deyries and Tadao Nagahama /DIC and TMS (France/Japan).
(drawn animation)

Willo the Wisp (tvss), Nicholas Spargo /Nicholas Cartoon Films. (Great Britain)
(drawn animation)

Ninja Hattori-kun [忍者ハットリくん] ("Little Hattori the Ninja") (tvss), Hirsohi Sasagawa /Shin'ei.
(drawn animation)
(1981-1987)

Shin Dokonjo Gaeru [新ど根性ガエル] ("New Frog with Guts") (tv)/(tvss), TMS.
(drawn animation)

Maria Yamamoto (Yamamoto Maria 山本麻里安) (September 11, 1981- ) (voice actress, singer) born in Tokyo.


October
The Flintstones: Fred's Final Fling (tvsp), Oscar Dufau and Ray Patterson /Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)

The Flintstones: Jogging Fever (tvsp), Ray Patterson /Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)

The Flintstones: Wind-Up Wilma (tvsp), Carl Urbano and Geoffrey Collins /Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)

Laverne and Shirley in the Army (tv), Ray Patterson /Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)

Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown (tvsp), Phil Roman /Mendelsohn-Melendez Production.
(drawn animation)


October
FilmTecknarna Animation studio founded by Jonas Odell, Jonas Dahlbeck, and Stig Bergqvist in Stockholme. (Sweden)

October
Anime Oyako Gekijo [アニメ親子劇場] // Superbook ("Animated Parent and Child Theatre") (tv), Masakazu Higuchi /Tatsunoko and Christian Broadcast Network. (Japan/United States)
(drawn animation)

Bokura Mangaka Tokiwaso Monogatari ("We Who Make Manga: The Story of Tokiwaso") (tvsp)/(edu), Toei.
(drawn animation)

Dash Kappei [ダッシュ勝平] (tv), Tatsunoko.
(drawn animation)

Ginga Senpuu Braiger [銀河旋風ブライガー] ("Galactic Whirlwind Braiger") (tv), Kokusa Eigasha.
(drawn animation)

Honey Honey no Sutekina Bouken [ハニーハニーのすてきな冒険] ("Honey Honey's Wonderful Adventures") (tv), Takeshi Shirato and Yoshio Nitta /Kokusai Eigasha (Toei Doga).
(drawn animation)

Jarinko Chie [じゃりン子チエ] ("Jarinko the Brat") (tv), Isao Takahata /TMS.
(drawn animation)

Maicchingu Machiko-sensei [まいっちんぐマチコ先生] ("Shame of Teacher Machiko", "Shame of Miss Machiko") (tv), Masami Anno /Pierrot.
(drawn animation)
(1981-1983)

Rennyo to Sono Haha ("Rennyo, A Priest and His Mother") (f), Kihachiro Kawamoto.
(model animation)

Rokushin Gattaj God Mars [六神合体ゴッドマーズ] ("Six Gods Combination God Mars") (tv), TMS.
(drawn animation)

Taiyô no Kiba Dougram [太陽の牙ダグラム] ("Fang of the Sun Dougram") (tv), Nippon Sunrise.
(drawn animation)
(1981-1983)

Urusei Yatsura [うる星やつら] ("Those Obnoxious Aliens") (tv), Mamoru Oshii and Kazuo Yamazaki /Studio Pierrot and Studio Deen.
(drawn animation)
(1981-1986)

Wanwan Sanjushi // D´Artacán y los tres mosqueperros [ワンワン三銃士] ("Woof-woof Three Musketeers"; "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds") (tv), Nippon Animation and BRB Internacional. (Japan/Spain)
(drawn animation)


United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)
November
Daniel Boone (tvsp), Geoff Collins /Hanna-Barbera.
(drawn animation)

No Man's Valley (tvsp), Bill Melendez /Melendez.
(drawn animation)

A Tale of Four Wishes (tvsp), Sam Weiss /Bosustow Entertainment.
(drawn animation, some live action)



November
Hana no Kakaricho ("The Rampant Foreman"), TMS.
(drawn animation)

Manzai Taikoki [マンザイ大閣記] ("The Funny Story of the Shogun") (f), TMS.
(drawn animation)


December
A Chipmunk Christmas (tvsp), Phil Monroe /Bagdasarian Productions.
(drawn animation)

The Leprechaun's Christmas Gold (tvsp), Arthur Rankin, Jr. and Jules Bass /Rankin-Bass.
(model animation)

December
Raccoons on Ice (tvsp), Kevin Gillis and Paul Schibli /Atkinson Film-Arts. (Canada)
(drawn animation)

December
Minoie (f), Jean Jabely and Philippe Landrot /Dovidis. (France)
(drawn animation)

Pelle Svanslös ("Peter-No-Tail") (f), Stig Lasseby and Jan Gissberg /Team Film, Sandrews, Treklövern, and Svenska Filminstitutet. (Sweden)
(drawn animation)

Vuk ("Vuk: The Little Fox"), Attila Dargay /Pannoniafilm. (Hungary)
(drawn animation)

December
Chisana Love Letter Mariko to Nemu no Ki no Kodomatchi ("Little Love Letter: Mariko and the Orphans") (tvsp)/(edu), Now Kikaku.
(drawn animation)

Shunmao Monogatari--Tao Tao [シュンマオ物語 タオタオ] ("Shunmao Story--Tao Tao") (f), Shunmao.
(drawn animation)

Uchu Senshi Baldios [宇宙戦士バルディオス] ("Space Warrior Baldios"; "Space Warriors: Battle for Earth Station S-1") (f), Ashi Pro.
(drawn animation)


United States The Americas (excluding U.S.) Europe, the Middle East, and Africa
Japan
 
Australasia (excluding Japan)
no date
The Creation (ss), Will Vinton /Vinton.
(clay animation)

Gentle Ben (tv), Gentle Ben Animation Company.
(drawn animation)

no date
The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin (ss), Janet Perlman /NFB. (Canada)
(drawn animation)

no date
Bananaman (tvss), 101 Productions and Flicks Films. (Great Britain)
(drawn animation)

Cocoshaker (tvss), Jean-Charles Meunier /Films Orzeaux and Gilles de Nanteuil Production. (France)
(drawn animation)

Dilemma (ss), John Halas /Halas & Bachelor. (Great Britain)
(cgi animation)

Fehérlófia ("Son of the White Mare") (f), Marcell Jankovics /Pannoniafilm. (Hungary)
(drawn animation)

Fútbol en acción ("Football in Action") (tv), BRB Internacional (Nippon Animation (Japan)).
(drawn animation)

Maria Mirabella [Мария, Мирабелла] ("Maria and Maribella"; "The Magical Forest") (f), Viktor Dudkin, Ion Popescu-Gopo, and Lev Milchin /# Moldova Film and Soyuzmultfilm. (Romania/Soviet Union)
(drawn animation, some live action)

Mesek Matyas Kiralyrol (tv), Pannoniafilm. (Hungary)
(drawn animation)

Quick et Flupke (tvss), Graphoui. (Belgium)
(drawn animation)
(1981-1986)

Taina Tretyei Planety [Тайна Третьей Планеты] ("Alice and the Mystery of the Third Planet") (sf), Roman Kachanov /Soyuzmultfilm. (Soviet Union)
(drawn animation)

Yakari (tvss), Atelier Graphoui. (Belgium)
(drawn animation)
(1981-1983)

Klacto Animations founded by Oscar Grillo and Ted Rockley in London. (Great Britain)


no date
Flank Breeder (ss), Bruce Currie. (Australia)
(drawn animation)

San ge heshang [三个和尚] ("The Three Monks") (ss), A Da /Shanghai Animation. (China)
(drawn animation)

KoKo Enterprises founded by Myong Ok Jeon. (South Korea)


Note: Unfortunately I lack the time or resources to help people find copies of animated films and television programs. I have put together a web List of Online Video and Book Stores that will be useful to find copies in the United States. There are other similar stores on the Internet around the world that might be able to supply the DVDs, LDs, or video tapes that are desired. Check my Animation on the World Wide Web pages for links to animation studios and other Internet resources that may have further information. I am not involved in trading materials from my own collection. I am still waiting to see most of the programs in this Chronology and would be happy to find sources for many of them.

Because of these circumstances I will not respond to requests for help to find these types of materials.


Continue to 1982 Last update: February 9, 2012
Comments to: Richard Llewellyn
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