22 user

Swan Lake (1981)

Sekai meisaku dôwa: Hakuchô no mizûmi (original title)
A prince falls in love with a princess cursed to change into a swan by day, but their love is threatened by the sorcerer who keeps her imprisoned.


Kimio Yabuki


Hiroichi Fuse

Watch Now

With Prime Video



Learn more

More Like This 

Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A mermaid falls in love with a human prince, which leads to tragedy.

Directors: Tomoharu Katsumata, Tim Reid
Stars: Fumie Kashiyama, Mariko Miyagi, Tarô Shigaki
Twelve Months (1980)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young girl meets the Spirits of the Twelve Months when she is sent out during a winter snowstorm to collect galanthus, a flower that blooms in April.

Director: Kimio Yabuki
Stars: Shinobu Ôtake, Ai Kanzaki, Joan Shepard
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young girl must spend six years making sweatshirts out of poison ivy in order to save her six brothers which have been turned into swans by an evil sorceress.

Directors: Yûji Endô, Nobutaka Nishizawa
Stars: Tôru Furuya, Kaneko Iwasaki, Akira Kamiya
Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A boy with a mythical sword wants to protect a Norse village from an evil ice wizard and his minions, who destroyed his family's village. However, the villagers don't fully trust him and a mysterious girl with a dark secret befriends him.

Director: Isao Takahata
Stars: Mikijirô Hira, Etsuko Ichihara, Eijirô Tôno
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An adaption of the classic tale of a girl's dreams turned reality when her new toy turns out to be a young man placed under a curse.

Director: Paul Schibli
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Megan Follows, Peter O'Toole
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A power hungry sorcerer transforms a princess into a swan by day in this tale of everlasting love.

Director: Richard Rich
Stars: Jack Palance, Howard McGillin, Michelle Nicastro
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A prince of the sea and a child of fire engage in a tragic forbidden romance.

Director: Masami Hata
Stars: Tôru Furuya, Mami Koyama, Keiko Han
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A small poor boy lives with his caring grandfather in a small Flemish village in the 19th century Belgium, has a lovable pet dog, loves art and dreams of becoming a famous painter one day. Based on a famous Flemish novel.

Directors: Yoshio Kuroda, Doug Stone
Stars: Makoto Tsumura, Sakura Tange, Brady Bluhm
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two kittens go on a metaphysical journey on a magical railroad train.

Directors: Gisaburô Sugii, Arlen Tarlofsky
Stars: Mayumi Tanaka, Chika Sakamoto, Junko Hori
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

This is the classic story of the young boy Aladdin who is tricked by and evil wizard to go inside the cave that holds a great treasure and there is an old lamp that he needs to bring to him... See full summary »

Directors: Yoshikatsu Kasai, Kasai Yoshinori
Stars: Kazuo Kamiya, Keiko Suzuka, Kikuo Kaneuchi
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin are best friends who wish they could be together forever. However Christopher Robin needs to go to school. Christopher Robin has trouble telling Pooh ... See full summary »

Director: Karl Geurs
Stars: Jim Cummings, John Fiedler, Ken Sansom
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A young boy has to make a voyage to a distant lake to save his mother, who has been turned into a dragon.

Directors: Kirio Urayama, Peter Fernandez
Stars: Kazuo Kitamura, Sayuri Yoshinaga, Jun'ya Katô


Cast overview, first billed only:
Keiko Takeshita Keiko Takeshita ... Princess Odette (voice)
Tarô Shigaki Tarô Shigaki ... Prince Siegfried (voice)
Asao Koike Asao Koike ... Rothbart (voice)
Yôko Asagami Yôko Asagami ... Odille (voice)
Yoneko Matsukane ... Hans (voice)
Fuyumi Shiraishi ... Margarita (voice)
Taeko Nakanishi Taeko Nakanishi ... Queen Mother (voice)
Akira Murayama Akira Murayama ... Benno (voice)
Mugihito Mugihito ... Adolf (voice)
Jôji Yanami ... Minister (voice)
Chiyoko Kawashima Chiyoko Kawashima ... Catherina / Rosanna (voice)
Seiko Nakano Seiko Nakano ... Francine (voice)
Takuo Nody Takuo Nody ... (voice)
Christopher Atkins ... Prince Siegfried (voice)
Pam Dawber ... Princess Odette (voice)


The hero, Prince Siegfried, is out riding one day with his friends when he spies amidst swans on a lake a particularly eye-catching one with a crown on its head, the familiar Princess Odette. The princess is charmed by an evil wizard Rothbart who is crazy about marrying Odette. Handsome Prince Siegfried together with two merry squirrels struggle to defeat the evil wizard to complete this classic fairy tales. The movie features original Tschaikovsky music. Written by Lucky-16

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


G | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Movie Circus [Japan]





Release Date:

23 July 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Swan Lake See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Has two different existing English-translated versions. On DVD, both are only available for purchase online in bootleg-copy formats, as there was never an official American DVD release for either. On VHS, one of the English-translated versions was released in America officially, but still has a reputation for being very hard to find, at least in its original form (not a bootleg copy.) See more »


[first lines]
Margarita: Oh, Hans. Isn't she beautiful?
Hans: Huh?
[he runs up to Margarita]
Hans: Did you say something to me, Margarita?
Margarita: I'm talking about that swan with the crown.
Hans: Huh?
Margarita: Isn't she just magnificent?
See more »


Referenced in Final Fantasy II (1988) See more »


Swan Lake
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conducted by Stefan Soltesz
Performed by Wiener Symphoniker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Beautiful, captivating and heartfelt-almost like a dream come true!
31 January 2010 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

I grew up loving the immortal, timeless story of "Swan Lake" and I still love it to this day. I also adore the ballet by Tchaikovsky, that is just as magical and as enchanting as the story it is based upon. Then there are two movie versions that I saw, one was the 1994 film "The Swan Princess" by Richard Rich, while charming and a childhood favourite it isn't the Swan Lake that I love. Then there is this 1981 anime, which follows the story more closely while putting its own spin on it. The result is a beautiful, captivating and heartfelt film, that while it has its minor fault is definitely better than "Swan Princess".

I really do need to mention the beautiful artwork of "Swan Lake". This film, like Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (also based upon the fairytale and another one of Tchaikovsky's ballets) does have a gorgeous stylised look, with convincing character features, breathtaking background art and lavish colours. There are stunning images of Odette in swan and human form and the haunting images of Rothbart's castle. In regards to the lip-synching, it was good in most parts but there were other parts where it was sloppy. While Odette's monologue about where she came from and how she came to meet Rothbart was beautifully written and sad, the lip synching was a lot of the time behind the speaking so it was a little distracting.

Tchaikovsky's music as always is absolutely outstanding, I heartily concur with the reviewer who said that it is the heart and soul of the film,for me it is by far the best asset of the film, and the main reason why I wanted to see it. Of course it is quite melancholy, but it is also enchanting, charming and haunting. So many standouts, including the adorable Dance of the Baby Swans, the heart-rending finale and the beautiful and haunting Pas De Deux(here done as Siegfried following Odette in a very effective scene). But I would also like to give special mention to the music accompanying the scene where Siegfried meets Odette for the first time in swan form, it is so gorgeous and really adds to the atmosphere.

I have already said how good the story is, and I also thought the dialogue was not at all bad. I particularly loved Odile calling Siegfried "a dreamboat on wheels", and Rothbart's dialogue in the climax is delicious. It avoided being clichéd which was gratifying, as much as I like "Swan Princess" some of the dialogue is clichéd there.

I also love the characters, and the voice acting was strong. The Media Home Video dubbing is indeed awful, but the one I am more familiar with and much prefer is the Samuel Goldwyn Co. one. This is more superior, because it suits the dark, enchanting and sombre tone of the film better. Christopher Atkins is appealing as Siegfried, and portrays him as handsome, headstrong and somewhat naive. Odette isn't the feisty and vivacious woman she is in "Swan Princess", instead she is beautiful and pure yet fragile and delicate. Pam Dawber brought some vulnerability into Odette, and it worked wonders. Kay Lenz is brilliant as Odile, who is possibly my favourite character, because she is so cool and seductive. And David Hemmings positively relishes the role of Rothbart; instead of the really sinister and imposing villain he is in the ballet or the threatening yet humorous one he is in "Swan Princess" he is a bit of both here. His climax scene see him at his most frightening, and his scenes with Odile, which accentuates his flaws as awkward and reluctant to hurt Odette because he does genuinely love her border on hysterical. Then there are the squirrels Hans and Margherita, who are both engaging and don't interrupt the flow of the story too much.

In conclusion, this is a brilliant anime, that I recommend strongly. If you love anime or if you love the music of Tchaikovsky, I promise you are in for a treat! 9.5/10 Bethany Cox

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed