This will only excite about three dozen people, but those three dozen souls will be stricken mute with wonder and paralyzed by glee. Twenty-five years later, there is actually going to be a sequel to Mysterious Cities of Gold, the 39-episode cartoon that debuted in 1982 as a US-Franco-Japanese co-production. Using Japanese animators and DIC and Studio Pierrot writers and talent, I guess you could say this was a forebear of the current “world style” of comics and animation.

The show has run on Nickelodeon and other channels sporadically since, (when last we looked it was on Netflix) but retains a magnetic nostalgic appeal for those who saw it at an early age—including such folks as FMB, with whom we watched it last winter. The story involves three kids in 1532, Esteban, a Spanish boy, and Zia and Rao, two South American natives, who go to the New World in search of a city of gold. The animation was very limited—did we mention DIC was involved—and the voice acting unconvincing in spots, but the story and the imagination on display were so ambitious that it’s very easy to get swept in the storyline as Esteban retraces the steps of his father as the party discovered lost tribes and strange civilization after strange civilization—inevitably leaving them in rubble, but hey, cartoons do rubble very very well. The show was accompanied by a stone cold killer of an ’80s synthesizer track in all its glory. Watching it in the present day, The Beat could not help but feel the real mystery of the show was the child voice actors, never heard from again, but living on in syndication immortality.

Anyway, a NEW series is on its way! Once again from DIC and Studio Pierrot—apparently it picks up right where the first season left off, 30 years ago, as Estaben, Zia, and Tao go off to Asia in search of more adventure….and more destroyed lost tribes, to be sure. Each episode will once again be accompanied by documentary featurettes at the end of each episode. We’re sure a few people reading this are going to be swept back to their childhoods by these NEW stills:





  1. HOLY HELL!!!
    my mouth is agape and i eagerly await this soooooo much.

    this is better news than even my being able to ride a bike for the first time in 5 years this past week.
    exponentially better!

  2. Time for me to close up shop. You told me the exact title of this cartoon (I was SO little) and that it’s on Netflix.

    Good-bye world. Tell my mother that I lov–

  3. I knew about this follow-up, but until recently I thought that it had either already been completed or had died on the vine.

  4. YaY! ^^

    Sadly I have to agree I’m of a few obsessed from youth fans, however I know the series was translated into a score of other languages and so there is ample opportunity for a potentially powerful international impact? The exception actually being Japan, because the series never went well there? They actually reanimated it and redid the intro theme into a Jpop song in order to capture the Japanese audience and the end result didnt go super well. It was lost in the myriad of regular anime in Japan I guess.

    The series soulfully inspired tourism to Peru and other S.American countries from various people I have talked to in the past fan sites.

    It was released in a time in America where politics deemed cartoons as evil mind mushing devices on children and attempts were made to rid the TV from American life. This series was perhaps the most educational cartoon ever made especially considering the actual documentary at each episode end tying relative facts into the scenes from the animation! The irony was that when it aired on Nickelodeon the documentaries were cut off
    (probably due to their risky national geographic attributes) to make room for commercials! Yay American commercialism and stupidity. ~_~



    I am excited.

  6. I watched this when it was on Nickelodeon. The theme song kicks all kinds of butt. Glad to see an animated sequel is going to happen. They do sell the DVD of the original series, although the special edition is a little hard to get, without paying an extrodinary amount of dough.

  7. To reply to Dan Morris above, I too remember with fondness of the Spartacus cartoon…. which was bizarre enough and little-known enough that I have sometimes wondered if it was all a fever dream I had in 1984.

  8. @Aaron, that’s exactly how I remember both shows. I think back on them and wonder, can they really have been that weird and wonderful? I’m almost scared to check.

  9. The complete original series and OST are available in PAL and NTSF DVD!
    The DVDs are quality and the extras are lovely and to see all the documentaries for the first time, YaY! It’s worth the money if you love them -pass it on to your kids.

    Sadly no “Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea” yet, but DandD and David The Gnome and various other wonderful ones can be bought. I’m for Heidi and Belle and Sebastian too, they’re out there! I dunno if NTSF and English or not, but they’re out there.

  10. I also thought that maybe I made it up!

    But it’s there. Watch it on Netflix streaming, it’s actually good! I even remembered that strange theme song, ahhhhh!

  11. Man, the old show had the best theme song! Wonder if they’ll use it in the new one:

    “dooloo doo da doo,
    ay ay ay,
    dooloo doo da doo,
    ceeties of golllld”

  12. Oh I can only hope they use the theme song, it is ICONIC to the show!

    Also, if anyone readint this is an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, I really recommend this show. Think of Estaban as this show’s Aang, Tao as Sokka and Zia as Katara (albeit whinier).

  13. Just wanted to mention that you’re misinformed about the production companies behind this new series. The sequel is not produced by DiC and Studio Pierrot at all. The current rights to The Mysterious Cities of Gold is held by Movie Plus Group, a company owned by Jean Chalopin (founder of the original DiC studio and one of the leading creative forces behind the series); and the actual production work on the new series is being done by a French cartoon studio named Blue Spirit (of course with input from Chalopin and others from the original crew). No Japanese studio is involved in the production at all, even though Chalopin originally wanted to bring Studio Pierrot back for the sequel. But that was ten years ago… the sequel project has been struggling to get financed for many years.

  14. A fewyears ago this show had all been lost.until recently it had never been reproduced and there were limited original copies.about fiver tears anno myself with about ten thousand other people signed a petition to have this show re released onto DVD.yesterday I found it on net fix and now i’m proud to say that I an watching it for the first time since I wasa child.its so exciting

  15. This is the best news EVER!!! I laughed when the article said only about 3 dozen people will be excited over this, but from the comments it looks like I’m not the only one who loved this show. I remember watching it as a kid and since then it has been my favourite show (I’m 26 now). I could not be more excited to see that it is making a comeback!!!

  16. I watched it on Nick after school in the 80s. I bought the DVD set on Amazon a few years ago. It’s a shame that it’s not still available. But, if the sequel is as popular as the original series, hopefully the original DVD is available for purchase again.

    It’s funny that everybody also remembers Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sun. The Spartakus song was also very good. It has a sort of electronica-ska feel to it. Check it out on YouTube. Search for “Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea Opening Theme (Full Version)”.

  17. I remember watching this on NICK with my Son years ago. He was little at the time of course. I really enjoyed watching this with him. The story line was brilliant and the characters were very likable. Mendoza was my favorite character as he really did care about the children.

    I often wondered why they never made this into a film or a mini series using this story? With all the junk being released these days, a movie version of this would have been welcomed. Although I imagine Hollywood would have ruined the magic of it, so it’s probably a good thing that they didn’t.

  18. I am so happy for this.

    I will be honest, I know about this months ago, however, I decided to sit on it. I was worried that this was going to be a complete bomb. However I Have to admit I am very impress so far (form the ones I have seen so far).

    Please understand that I am one of those dozens of people that been this show back in the 1980’s. When it was on Nickelodeon in the 3:30 time slot, I would run home to catch the ending (as I was in school until 3:45pm). On a side note, I was not happy when it got moved to 6am).

    This was a very dark series that was very underrated at the time and the original series would still be light years ahead of what is on television now.

    Do I want Nickelodeon to be apart of this in any way? No.

    If it comes back to the States, and I hope it does, I want the respect it deserves and the push it never had.

  19. I *loved* watching this show with my brothers back in the 80’s….I don’t clearly remember how old we were at the time, but I do remember the 3 of us yelling the song at the top of our lungs! I can’t wait to see the new “Cities of gold” with my own 3 children:)

  20. Sequel[edit]
    Main article: The Mysterious Cities of Gold (2012 TV series)
    Three new seasons of 26 episodes each are in production, picking up the storyline where the 1982 series left off. Unlike the original series, this sequel is produced entirely in France; as a co-joint venture between the French television channel TF1, the Belgian channel La Trois, the French animation company Blue Spirit and Jean Chalopin’s company Movie-Plus Group.[17] The first of the new seasons sees the series move to China. The design of the characters are more or less the same, although some subtle changes have been made to their physical appearances. Jean Chalopin and Bernard Deyries act as creative consultants on the new series, with Chalopin concentrating particularly on the scripts (which are written by Hadrian Soulez-Lariviere from Chalopin’s own draft for the sequel) and Deyries focusing particularly on the graphical aspects. New background music is composed by Noam Kaniel.[18] A 45-minute special, consisting of the first two episodes of the new series, was released on December 9, 2012 on TF1. The series started its regular airing during the first half of 2013. Like the 1982 series, each episode has a summary of the previous episode, a teaser to the next and a small documentary at the end.[19] The voices for the English-language version were recorded in Paris under the direction of voice director, Matthew Géczy.[citation needed]. The sequel received a premiere on the Kix (UK and Ireland) channel in the United Kingdom on November 9, 2013 before a daily airing due to start on November 11, 2013.

    Feature film[edit]

    This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (May 2011)
    In March 2007 Movie Plus Group acquired the rights to the series from NHK and announced that they would be producing a full length feature film reprising the original story, with the intention of looking at a sequel if the film proved successful. The film entered production in 2008; however, in mid-2009, the Movie Plus Group removed all mention of the project from their website.

    Video games[edit]
    Two games has been produced by Ynnis Interactive. The first, The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Flight of the Condor, was released in 2013 only for iOS users on Apple devices.[20] The second was titled The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths and was made in 2013 for PC after a successful Kickstarter campaign.[21] Then the game has been released in 2014 for iOS, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

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