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Spirit of Wonder: The Movie

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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(Sep 16, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Brand new adventures awaits those who seek a new 'Spirit of Wonder'. As young boys, Cooper, Gordon, and Shepherd were enchanted by the theories of life on Mars published by Percival Lowell. Forming a group club called the "Scientific Boys Club" the trio will embark upon their long-time dream of traveling to Mars! And while the town of Bristol may be small, it’s always exciting! What'll happen when the town's very own Miss China is shrunken to the size of a pea? Take a new voyage with two very special short stories "Shrinking of Miss China" and "Planet of Miss China."

The classic anime release of the early 90's is back as a brand new feature!
A whimsical journey that will spark adventure and a new spirit of wonder!
Spirit of Wonder manga available from Dark Horse Comics
Contains 2 BONUS OVA episodes of Miss China
Genre: Action/Adventure

Interactive Animated Menus
Dolby Digital Surround Sound
English/Japanese Language
English Subtitle Option

Miss China Mini Poster
Art Gallery


Spirit of Wonder is not a feature, but a pair of linked 1992 OVAs based on Kenji Tsuruta's manga, combined with two shorts involving the voluptuous restaurant owner Miss China. The fragmentary plot evokes the stories of Jules Verne and boys' science-fiction novels from the original "Tom Swift" series to the juvenile yarns of Robert Heinlein. The overage delinquents of the Boys' Club dream of going to Mars and finally achieve their goal in 1958, using the unorthodox physics of the brilliant, endlessly patient Miss Windy. Light oscillating through "ether" powers their dirigible-like ship across interplanetary space. The graceful lines and pastel colors in this disjointed but visually- rich sci fi adventure recall the look of European graphic novels. Unfortunately, Spirit of Wonder is marred by a weary sexism that was already a cliché in 1992. (Rated 16 and older: violence, nudity, risqué humor, alcohol use) --Charles Solomon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Deem Bristow, Brandon Burton, Chafûrin, Brad DeMoss, Kevin Derkash
  • Directors: Mitsuru Hongo
  • Writers: Michiru Shimada, Taliesin Jaffe, Tsuruta Kenji
  • Producers: Kiyoshi Sugiyama, Masahiro Okamura
  • Format: Animated, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Bandai
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AC8OO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Spirit of Wonder: The Movie" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Terry on January 6, 2012
Format: DVD
I love it! As an older adult, I'm delighted with the calm pace of the story, the lack of adolecent hyperactivity which taints recent film. I think of these characters, they are authenitc, deep and complex. I like the art; it's accurate to life, modest in color, almost perfect! The people really look like people, similar to studio Ghibli's work.
The leading role in this film is a delightful young lady. She has difficult men to manage, a home to maintain. Still she belives in the science she has single-handedly advanced, aspects of physics which her cohorts have "disproved", wrecking her professional reputation. This is, put simply, the sailing of the solar wind! And that's what this gal and her retired professors do! Not being a physicist or aerospace engineer, I love it and can't see it lacking in any way to some propulsion like ion drive. Oh, how I would love to fly to Mars in a dirigible! To explore the canals Pecival Lowell mapped, the romance of Ray Bradbury's lonely Martian cities! Mars paitently awaits people with the courage and ambition to explore her... I wonder how many of you have forgotten the gutsy barnstormers of the past? It was not so long ago that great men built their own flying machines, unconventional machines like gyrocopters and even high-altitude dirigibles and flew! Perhaps to me Tsuruta Kenji's story is real, while in your mind it is impossible; that is the twist of the tale, and adds to why I love it. With the demise of NASA, building our own rockets truly is the future. Let's go!
I just wanted to note that there is another film called Miss China's ring, released earlier, in 1996 or 1997. I believe that sub-story , with Miss China shrinking in size, has been included in this disc.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Spirit of Wonder has one two episode story about the Scientific Boys Club and their plan to visit Mars. the club has only three members, Cooper, Gordon and Shepherd. Jack is the son-in-law of one of the members and Windy is his wife, the daughter of Gordon. She also happens to be the mind behind the theory of ether currents. In other words without her knowledge going to Mars isn't going to happen.

There is also two shorts featuring China and friends. SHE is the main character of the manga and, frankly, I don't know why she has become a side show.

At first I thought China's voice actress was Carrie Savage but it turned out to be Carrie A. Daniels (Angel Tales). Jim is played by Crispin Freeman (Hellsing, Howl's Moving Castle) while Windy is played by Tricia A. Dickson (Read Or Die, Hellsing) and Jack is played by Justin Gross (I MY ME! Strawberry Eggs, Ikki Tousen).

The stories have humor and a touch of old fashion Victorian scientific romance but are too short. The extras don't make up for the lack of material.
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Format: VHS Tape
In a small town lives a girl named Miss China, the owner of the local tavern and her friends. In an unexplained phenomenon, a message appears on the night of a full moon and she wants to know how it got there.
The story around Miss China's Ring includes many different stories rolled into one. The movie features the story of three characters and leaves viewers hanging, giving the impression that more characters and different stories will be told if this series progresses. The character designs are very well drawn and could be closely compared to the Disney style of animation. The movie does not contain any adult situations and because of that, I feel that this title is safe for the whole family to enjoy END
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