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Ultraman: The Adventure Begins was an animated movie joint produced by Hanna-Barbera and Tsuburaya Productions in 1987. The movie was titled Ultraman USA (ウルトラマンUSAユーエスエー Urutoraman Yū Esu Ē) for its Japanese release in 1989. The movie was intended as a backdoor pilot for an animated series, but no such series ever emerged. However, the costumes based on the three main heroes (the Ultra Force) were made for use in stage shows in Japan.

Plot

Scott, Chuck, and Beth, a trio of stunt pilots, experience a strange burst of light during a stunt show. In spite of their planes crashing as a result, they emerge unharmed. They are soon contacted by an agent from outer space (whose secret identity is the groundskeeper of a Pebble Beach golf course), who informs them that they've become the host forms of three alien warriors who've arrived to protect the planet from a group of monsters from the planet Sorkin. The three pilots become the members of a group called the Ultra Force headquartered within Mount Rushmore. They are equipped with futuristic fighter ships, and when in particularly great danger they automatically assume the forms of the alien warriors. After defeating the final Sorkin monsters, the warriors remain on Earth to protect it from further danger.

Characters

Ultra Force

Others

  • Walter Freeman (Voiced by Stacy Keach, Sr.; Kōhei Miyauchi in Japan) - An elderly man in his late 60s who forms the Ultra Team. He explains to the heroes the true cause of their accident and the origins of their powers. His relation to the Ultra-Beings and how he knows about them is never revealed.
  • Dr. Susan Rand (Voiced by Lorna Patterson; Rihoko Yoshida in Japan) - A young scientist from the Federation for Extraterrestrial Research (or F.E.R. Labs). He has sympathy towards the Sorkin monsters fought by the Ultra Force. She gets romantically connected with Scott.

Ultras

Robot Trio

  • Ulysses
  • Samson
  • Andy

Sorkin Monsters

Original Concept

An early pilot film treatment from 1986 had a working title of "The Evil That Men Do: An Ultra Adventutre" with a different premise and cast of five Ultra characters although the main one was still referred to as Scotty, perhaps a holdover from the earlier U.S. adaptation of Ultraman Joneus which was also helmed by screenwriter Jeff Segal.

Cast

Staff

  • William Hanna - Executive Producer
  • Joseph Barbera - Executive Producer
  • Noboru Tsuburaya - Executive Producer, Producer, Original Story
  • Jeff Segal - Creative Producer for Hanna-Barbera
  • Kelly Ward - Creative Producer for Hanna-Barbera
  • John Eric Seward - Writer
  • Ray Patterson - Supervising Director
  • Mitsuo Kusakabe - Director
  • Iwao Takamoto- Creative Design
  • Floro Dery - Key Character Design
  • Al Gmuer - Key Background Supervisor
  • Kazuo Iimura - Character Design
  • Akira Furuya - Background
  • Gordon Hunt - Voice Director
  • Andrea Romano - Animation Casting Director
  • Kris Zimmerman - Talent Coordinator
  • Noriyoshi Matsuura - Sound Director
  • Larry C. Cowan - Editorial Supervisor
  • Joe Sandusky - Editorial Supervisor
  • Naoyuki Masaki - Film Editor
  • Shinsuke Kazato - Music
  • Toshikazu Tokura - Ultraman Theme Music
  • Hidetoshi Kimura - Musical Producer
  • Kazuo Kogure - Musical Director
  • Jayne Barbera - Executive in Charge of Production

Music

Opening Theme
  • Sky High Hero (スカイ・ハイ・ヒーロー)
    • Lyrics: Yū Aku
    • Composition: Toshikazu Tokura
    • Arrangement: Shinsuke Kazato
    • Artist: Shinichi Ishihara Feat. Koorogi '73
Ending Theme
  • Race Against Time (時の中を走りぬけて Toki no Naka wo Hashirinukete)
    • Lyrics: Yū Aku
    • Composition: Toshikazu Tokura
    • Arrangement: Shinsuke Kazato
    • Artist: Shinichi Ishihara Feat. Koorogi '73

Soundtrack

The music was composed by Shinsuke Kazato and released by Nippon Columbia. The soundtrack was released as a Limited Edition printing of 5,000 copies. Kazato would go on to compose the Soundtrack to Ultraman Great, and both works feature the same main theme.

Gallery

Trivia

  • This movie marks the last Ultra Series production of the Showa era.
    • Although it was first produced and premiered during the Showa period, the era had changed to Heisei by the time the movie was available in Japan. Hence, Tsuburaya Productions officially recognizes this film as the first "Heisei" Ultra Series production, as verified in magazines from 2019.
Shows and Films
Showa Series Ultra Q | Ultraman | Ultraseven | Return of Ultraman | Ultraman Ace | Ultraman Taro | Ultraman Leo | Ultraman 80
Heisei Series Ultraman Tiga | Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Cosmos | Ultra Q: Dark Fantasy | Ultraman Nexus | Ultraman Max | Ultraman Mebius | Ultraseven X | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle | Ultra Galaxy Mega Monster Battle: Never Ending Odyssey | Neo Ultra Q | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S | Ultraman X | Ultraman Orb | Ultraman Geed | Ultraman R/B
Reiwa Series Ultraman Taiga | Ultraman Z
Rebroadcast Shows Ultraman Retsuden | New Ultraman Retsuden | Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle | Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle | Ultraman New Generation Chronicle | Ultraman Chronicle: ZERO & GEED
Outside of Japan Ultraman: The Adventure Begins | Ultraman: Towards the Future | Ultraman: The Ultimate Hero
Original Video and TV Special Ultra Fight | Ultraman vs. Kamen Rider | Ultra Super Fight | Ultraman Nice | Heisei Ultraseven | Ultraman Neos | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Idemitsujin | Ultra Zone
Showa Movies Ultraman: Monster Movie Feature | Ultraman, Ultraseven: Great Violent Monster Fight | The 6 Ultra Brothers vs. The Monster Army | Ultraman (1979) | Ultraman: Great Monster Decisive Battle | Ultraman ZOFFY: Ultra Warriors vs. the Giant Monster Army | Ultraman Story
Heisei Movies Ultra Q The Movie | Revive! Ultraman | Ultraman Zearth | Ultraman Zearth 2 | Ultraman Tiga & Ultraman Dyna | Ultraman Tiga, Ultraman Dyna, & Ultraman Gaia | Ultraman Tiga: The Final Odyssey | Ultraman Cosmos: The First Contact | Ultraman Cosmos 2 | Ultraman Cosmos Vs Ultraman Justice | ULTRAMAN (2004) | Ultraman Mebius & the Ultra Brothers | Super 8 Ultra Brothers | Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie | Ultraman Zero The Movie | Ultraman Saga | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special | Ultraman Ginga Theater Special: Battle Royale | Ultraman Ginga S The Movie | Ultraman X The Movie | Ultraman Orb The Movie | Ultraman Geed The Movie | Ultraman R/B The Movie
Reiwa Movies Ultraman Taiga The Movie | Shin Ultraman
Spin-Offs Andro Melos | Ultraman Tiga Gaiden: Revival of the Ancient Giant | Ultraman Dyna: The Return of Hanejiro | Ultraman Gaia: Gaia Again | Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Hikari Saga | Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Armored Darkness | Ultraman Mebius Gaiden: Ghost Rebirth | Ultra Galaxy Legend Gaiden: Ultraman Zero vs. Darklops Zero | Ultraman Zero Gaiden: Killer the Beatstar | Ultra Zero Fight | Ultra Fight Victory | Ultraman Orb THE ORIGIN SAGA | Ultra Fight Orb | Ultra Galaxy Fight: New Generation Heroes
Other Series Captain Ultra | Mighty Jack | Operation: Mystery | Mirrorman | Redman | Triple Fighter | Emergency Directive 10-4·10-10 | Iron King | Fireman | Jumborg Ace | Mirror Fight | Army of the Apes | Pro-Wres no Hoshi Azteckaiser | Dinosaur Expedition Born Free | Dinosaur Great War Izenborg | Dinosaur Squadron Koseidon | Denkou Choujin Gridman | Superhuman Samurai Syber-Squad | Mirrorman REFLEX | Bio Planet WoO | Mirror Fight 2012 | Ultraman The Prime | Ultra Science Fantasy Hour
Anime The☆Ultraman | Ultraman Kids | Ultraman Graffiti: Wild! Ultra Country | Ultraman: Super Fighter Legend | Ultra Nyan | Denkou Choujin Gridman: boys invent great hero | The・Ultraman: Jackal vs. Ultraman | Kaiju Sakaba Kanpai! | Kaiju Girls | SSSS.GRIDMAN | ULTRAMAN (2019) | Kaiju Step Wandabada | KAIJU DECODE | SSSS.DYNAZENON
Outlaw Space Warriors 2000 | Project Ultraman | Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman | Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman
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