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Twelve Months (1980)

Sekai meisaku dôwa: Mori wa ikiteiru (original title)
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.


Kimio Yabuki (as K. Yabuki)


Samuil Marshak (story) (as Samuel Marshak), Yasuko Miyazaki (as Tomoe Ryû) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Shinobu Ôtake Shinobu Ôtake ... Anja (voice)
Ai Kanzaki Ai Kanzaki ... Queen (voice)
Joan Shepard Joan Shepard ... (voice)
Tokuko Sugiyama Tokuko Sugiyama ... Stepmother (voice)
Mariko Mukai Mariko Mukai ... Stepmother's Daughter (voice)
Ichirô Nagai ... Professor (voice)
Masaji Amamori Masaji Amamori ... Prime Minister (voice)
Daisuke Ryû ... Officer (voice)
Kiyoshi Kobayashi ... January (voice)
Corinne Orr ... (voice)
Katsuji Mori ... April (voice)
Masato Yamanouchi Masato Yamanouchi ... Soldier (voice)
Hidekatsu Shibata Hidekatsu Shibata ... (voice)
Kôji Yakusho ... Young Soldier (voice)
Pierre Cache Pierre Cache ... (voice)


Anya, an orphaned girl, lives with a cruel old woman and her daughter in their small house by the woods. On New Year's Eve, the queen announces that she wants galanthus brought to her on New Year's Day; she will reward him or her who can bring her the flowers with a basketful of gold coins. The old woman and her daughter hear this news and send Anya during a terrible snowstorm into the woods to collect the flowers. Anya has no option but to obey and is sure that she will die in her attempt to find the flowers, a mission that seems impossible; In the woods, Anya meets the Spirits of the Twelve Months and in reward for her kindness and good nature, the Spirit of April proposes helping the girl by presenting her with one hour of spring during which she can pick the flowers and return home safely. When this is done, the Spirit of January makes the girl promise that she will never tell anyone about this encounter, and the Spirit of April gives her one more gift, a magic ring that will ... Written by Frederick Irizarry

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Japanese | English

Release Date:

15 March 1980 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Ana e o Anel Mágico See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Toei Animation See more »
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Did You Know?


Wise Man: It's a trick and I won't be tricked, but I *have* been tricked.
Capt. Rustov: Wise Man, are you all right?
Wise Man: But I knew it had to be a trick so I really wasn't tricked. It's winter. It's got to be winter, and that's no trick.
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Version of The Twelve Months (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Changing Of Seasons.
11 November 2017 | by Dawalk-1See all my reviews

This is a movie based on a story/fairy tale that I hadn't known nor heard of before. The only reason I became aware of this was because of a video recommendation I received on Youtube. I decided to check out this one and I'm very glad I did. On the copy that I watched, I saw that the opening credits are still in the non-Hepburn form of Japanese rather than English and there was no mention of whether this was the original Japanese or Russian dub with English subtitles, or not. Since I didn't see any English subtitles, I presumed this must be an English dub then (although I know it's possible for videos of original Japanese dubs of anime can still be uploaded without English subtitles). I was kind of hesitant not to keep it on mute at first, because I didn't know what dub to expect. But then I heard for myself it is a copy of the English dub. I know that not all English dubs of anime have been perfect, but fortunately this just so happens to be one of the better dubbed ones and it is so very well done. I wonder why can't more anime be dubbed into English more perfectly or if there are any that turn out imperfect, then why aren't there, at least, more alternate English dubs?

Anyway, without any further ado, to the points made about this. This is a wonderfully extraordinary tale about a Russian girl named Anja who is tasked by her stepmother and stepsister to go out searching for spring wildflowers called galanthus, despite them not being available in the midst of winter. This is so they can try to be the ones to bring them to a young queen at her demand and then receive a reward for it. But after getting caught in a snowstorm, Anja falls unconscious and later wakes up, becoming drawn to a light from a bonfire and discovers twelve spirits known as thew twelve months, whole represent the whole year and the four seasons: Spring, summer, autumn, winter, which they have the special ability to change at will and control the climate, and weather, associated with them. They agree to help Anja by switching from winter to spring for a moment so that she can obtain the galanthus. She is then given a ring as a present and it is requested that she must promise not to share how she managed to obtain them to anyone. But her stepmother and stepsister are determined to find out for themselves, as well as the queen. Will any of them succeed in their goal?

Anja is a great heroine and the best character in the whole movie. But the others are great too, like the stepmother and stepsister who scheme to find out the secret of how Anja achieved the galanthus. The voice work in the English version is well done. The character designs are normal, the art style is nice, as well as the layouts and backgrounds. The music is just right. The reviewer before me said that at first it may not be appealing enough to those outside the children's demographic. But I agree and believe it's appealing enough for all ages, as I consider it to be one of the most perfect, family films ever made. At barely over an hour, I thought the movie would've been longer than that, but to me, at least, it feels maybe slightly longer if I don't pay attention to the running time. But that's not because it's slow paced, the pacing is moderate. So I'm not saying it's boring, nor drudging, nor a chore to sit through at all. My exposure to the story was through this adaptation and I enjoyed it. Recommended, because it's still much better than the majority of what commonly airs nowadays.

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