Doraemon: In A Thrilling Solar Car (partially found anime short film; 1992)
Doraemon is a popular and long-running anime series based on the manga of the same name by Fujiko F. Fujio. Its best-known adaptation originally ran from April 2nd, 1979, to March 18th, 2005, while a reboot, that began airing a month after the first series' conclusion, is still airing to this day. A total of 39 feature-length Doraemon movies have been released, with a 40th feature-length Doraemon film to be released on August 7th, 2020, as well as numerous short films.
One of these short films, titled In A Thrilling Solar Car (Japanese: トキメキソーラーくるまによん), was a movie screened in Japanese movie theaters in 1992 alongside the theatrical runs of the feature films, Doraemon: Nobita and The Kingdom of Clouds, and 21-Emon: To Space! The Barefoot Princess. It is estimated to be 5 to 10 minutes long.
One of the main Doraemon cast members, Shizuka, does not appear in the short film, instead being replaced with the recurring side-character, Dorami. The main song for the film is titled Harmony of the Stars (Japanese: 星のハーモニー), performed by Japanese singer Yuko Hara.
The short film may have performed very well in Japanese theaters, as one year later in 1993, a life-size and fully operational version of the solar car and a build-able model-kit version of it were made for a separate special event. There was also a 4-minute long short film to go alongside the promotion, unrelated to In a Thrilling Solar Car, titled Doraemon: The Sun is A Friend ~Go! Solaemon~, which is publicly available.
While little is known about the film, it is described in a magazine ad as a music show featuring popular characters created by Fujiko F. Fujio, with the music of Yuko Hara. It features Doraemon, Dorami, Nobita, Suneo, and Gian, in some sort of chase through time, as well as Little Ghost Q-Taro characters Q-Taro and U-ko, and Perman characters Mitsuo and Booby. Gonsuke, who originally appeared in 21-Emon and Umeboshi Denka, but later appears in Doraemon, also appears. A brief history of cars is shown in the film, and that perhaps, in the future, there will be pollution-free cars that run entirely on solar energy.
The only surviving material from this short film are a magazine with screenshots of the movie, a movie book for Doraemon: Nobita and The Kingdom of Clouds and 21-Emon: To Space! The Barefoot Princess which features a smaller advertisement for this short film, the opening song for the film, "Hoshi no Harmony", another song named "Tokyo Love Call" (Japanese: 東京ラブコール/Tōkyō Rabukōru), and a rare 45-second Japanese TV preview for the film containing brief clips of the movie. It has never received a home media release on DVD or VHS, despite the films it ran alongside receiving home media releases. Some storyboards for the short film have also been found. It was screened again on February 15, 2020, during the month-long event Doraemon Movie Festival 2020 alongside 21-Emon: To Space! The Barefoot Princess, though no copies of the short film are currently available for viewing outside of movie theaters.
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