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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 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

The Ultra Force

  • Scott Masterson (voiced by Michael Lembeck; Tōru Furuya in Japan) - The story's young protagonist. Transforms into Ultraman Scott.
  • Chuck Gavin (Voiced by Chad Everett; Shinji Ogawa in Japan) - The toughest and oldest of the team and the de-facto leader of the Ultra Team. Transforms into Ultraman Chuck.
  • Beth O'Brian (Voiced by Adrienne Barbeau; Hiromi Tsuru in Japan) - The cool-headed female of the team. Transforms into Ultrawoman Beth.

The Robot Trio

A group of support robots built to assist the Ultra Force. Their true names were too long for the team to remember, so they were given nicknames by Scott (who came up with "Ulysses" and "Samson") and Beth (who came up with "Andy"). The initials in their names form the letters "USA".

  • Ulysses: The thin and effeminate robot in yellow. His true name is Combot Model MF842.
  • Samson: The big and strong robot in blue. His true name is Combot Model BA666
  • Andy: The pint-sized robot in red. His true name is Utiloid Model ZQ14582. In charge of the Transportation System.

Supporting Characters

  • 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.

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 Joeneus 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

Theme Songs

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.

Other appearances

  • Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends The Movie (2009), Ultraman USA along with other M78 Ultra Warriors fight against the evil Ultraman Belial. This marks their second ever live action appearances onscreen, after the Shinseiki Ultraman Densetsu featurette.

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.

Gallery

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 | Ultraman Retsuden | Neo Ultra Q | New Ultraman Retsuden | Ultraman Ginga | Ultraman Ginga S | Ultraman X | Ultraman Orb | Ultraman Zero: The Chronicle | Ultraman Geed | Ultraman Orb: The Chronicle | Ultraman R/B | Ultraman New Generation Chronicle
Reiwa Series Ultraman Taiga | 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 Royal | Ultraman Ginga S The Movie | Ultraman X The Movie | Ultraman Orb The Movie | Ultraman Geed The Movie | Ultraman R/B The Movie
Reiwa Movies 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
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
Outlaw Space Warriors 2000 | Project Ultraman | Dragon Force: So Long Ultraman | Dragon Force: Rise of Ultraman
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