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HISTORY

The film begins with the following quote from Isaac Asimov: "We speak of Time and Mind, which do not easily yield to categories. We separate past and future and find that Time is an amalgam of both. We separate good and evil and find that Mind is an amalgam of both. To understand, we must grasp the whole."
       The 7 Oct 1987 HR announced that Miramax Films would produce and distribute Light Years, an American adaptation of the French animated film, Gandahar, for $5.5 million. Science-fiction novelist Isaac Asimov was set to adapt the screenplay. According to a 6 Nov 1987 NYT brief, Miramax planned to release the film in Dec 1987, to qualify for Academy Award consideration. However, Light Years did not open until 28 Jan 1988.
       The film was a critical and commercial failure. Several reviews, including the 2 Feb 1988 LAT, 5 Feb 1988 HR, and 15 May 1988 NYT, criticized its incoherence and subpar animation. The 1 Jun 1988 DV cited a cumulative domestic box-office gross of $370,698.
       The 5 Feb 1988 HR review noted that the “Daffy Duck” short film, The Duxorcist (1987), was shown with Light Years. ...

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The film begins with the following quote from Isaac Asimov: "We speak of Time and Mind, which do not easily yield to categories. We separate past and future and find that Time is an amalgam of both. We separate good and evil and find that Mind is an amalgam of both. To understand, we must grasp the whole."
       The 7 Oct 1987 HR announced that Miramax Films would produce and distribute Light Years, an American adaptation of the French animated film, Gandahar, for $5.5 million. Science-fiction novelist Isaac Asimov was set to adapt the screenplay. According to a 6 Nov 1987 NYT brief, Miramax planned to release the film in Dec 1987, to qualify for Academy Award consideration. However, Light Years did not open until 28 Jan 1988.
       The film was a critical and commercial failure. Several reviews, including the 2 Feb 1988 LAT, 5 Feb 1988 HR, and 15 May 1988 NYT, criticized its incoherence and subpar animation. The 1 Jun 1988 DV cited a cumulative domestic box-office gross of $370,698.
       The 5 Feb 1988 HR review noted that the “Daffy Duck” short film, The Duxorcist (1987), was shown with Light Years.

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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
1 Jun 1988
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Dec 1987
---
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 1988
pp. 18-19
Los Angeles Times
2 Feb 1988
p. 6
New York Times
6 Nov 1987
---
New York Times
15 May 1988
p. 56
Variety
21 Oct 1987
p. 15
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Isaac Asimov presents
A Miramax Films Release
Original version co-produced by Col, IMA, SON, Films A2
In association with Revcom Television
With the participation of the Centre National de la Cinematographie,
Ministere de la Culture et de la Communication
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir, American version
Created by
Asst dir, French crew
Asst dir, French crew
PRODUCERS
Prod, American version
Assoc prod
Assoc prod, American version
Exec prod
WRITERS
Orig adpt
Adpt for the screen by
Created by
Orig screenplay translation
PHOTOGRAPHY
Cam op, French crew
Cam op, French crew
ART DIRECTOR
Graphic research, French crew
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Ed, French crew
Assoc ed, French crew
Assoc ed, French crew
MUSIC
Orig mus
American version mus comp and arr by
American version mus comp and arr by
American version mus comp and arr by
Mus prod by
Mus prod by
Mus eng
2d eng
Mus dir, French crew
Mus rec at, French crew
SOUND
Re-rec eng
Sd des
Post prod sd services
Sd des, French crew
Sd eff, French crew
Mixing, French crew
Mixing, French crew
VISUAL EFFECTS
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech dir
Creative consultant
Creative consultant
Creative consultant
Creative consultant
Prod dir, French crew
Prod dir, French crew
Prod dir, French crew
ANIMATION
Anim des
Dir, South Korean crew
Principal des, South Korean crew
Cam op, South Korean crew
Cam op, South Korean crew
Cam op, South Korean crew
Cam op, South Korean crew
Cam op, South Korean crew
Cam op, South Korean crew
Backgrounds, South Korean crew
Backgrounds, South Korean crew
Backgrounds, South Korean crew
Backgrounds, South Korean crew
Ed, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Anim, South Korean crew
Tech supv, South Korean crew
Dir of prod, South Korean crew
COLOR PERSONNEL
Colorist, French crew
SOURCES
LITERARY
From the novel Metal Men Against Gandahar by Jean-Pierre Androvan (Paris, 1969).
LITERARY SOURCE AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Gandahar
Release Date:
28 January 1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 28 Jan 1988; New York opening: 14 May 1988
Production Date:
winter 1987
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Animation
Duration(in mins):
80
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
France, Canada, United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

The peaceable, nature-loving people of Gandahar are attacked by the Men of Metal, who turn Gandaharians into stone by shooting lasers from their fingertips. In the capital city of Jasper, Queen Ambisextra responds to the threat by consulting with the wise Blaminhor and the Council of Women, who choose Ambisextra’s son, Sylvain, to investigate the threat. In search of the Metal Men, Sylvain encounters the Deformed, a race of mutants resulting from a failed experiment by Gandaharian scientists, who have been banished to live underground. Sylvain has never heard of the Deformed, and apologizes for assuming they were his enemy. The Chief of the Deformed assigns Shayol to accompany Sylvain on his mission. Above ground, Shayol tells Sylvain that the Deformed were once able to see the future, but have since lost that power. They now live by a prophecy they cannot understand: “In a thousand years, Gandahar was destroyed and all its people killed. A thousand years ago, Gandahar will be saved, and what can’t be avoided will be.” Shayol cannot explain what the prophecy means, but it is why the Deformed always speak in both past and future tense. Metal Men approach and turn Sylvain into stone. He wakes up inside a pod, that is also carrying Airelle, a beautiful Gandaharian woman. The two are saved by a large creature that mistakes the pod for its egg. The creature kills their Metal Men captors, breaks the egg open, and frees them. Airelle joins Sylvain in spying on the Metal Men. At a fortress by the sea, Metal Men send pods through a portal. After the pods go in, more Metal Men emerge from the other side. ...

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The peaceable, nature-loving people of Gandahar are attacked by the Men of Metal, who turn Gandaharians into stone by shooting lasers from their fingertips. In the capital city of Jasper, Queen Ambisextra responds to the threat by consulting with the wise Blaminhor and the Council of Women, who choose Ambisextra’s son, Sylvain, to investigate the threat. In search of the Metal Men, Sylvain encounters the Deformed, a race of mutants resulting from a failed experiment by Gandaharian scientists, who have been banished to live underground. Sylvain has never heard of the Deformed, and apologizes for assuming they were his enemy. The Chief of the Deformed assigns Shayol to accompany Sylvain on his mission. Above ground, Shayol tells Sylvain that the Deformed were once able to see the future, but have since lost that power. They now live by a prophecy they cannot understand: “In a thousand years, Gandahar was destroyed and all its people killed. A thousand years ago, Gandahar will be saved, and what can’t be avoided will be.” Shayol cannot explain what the prophecy means, but it is why the Deformed always speak in both past and future tense. Metal Men approach and turn Sylvain into stone. He wakes up inside a pod, that is also carrying Airelle, a beautiful Gandaharian woman. The two are saved by a large creature that mistakes the pod for its egg. The creature kills their Metal Men captors, breaks the egg open, and frees them. Airelle joins Sylvain in spying on the Metal Men. At a fortress by the sea, Metal Men send pods through a portal. After the pods go in, more Metal Men emerge from the other side. The Collective Voice addresses the Metal Men, assuring them that the decadent Gandahar will soon be destroyed by the “great beginning.” The Metal Men are instructed to remove their heads and “disconnect” overnight before making contact with their master. Sylvain and Airelle sneak onto the Metal Men’s ship, which sails to a large brain in the middle of the ocean. Sylvain feels his mind being read as he and Airelle are sucked into the center of the brain, which identifies itself as Metamorphis. It claims not to understand why the Metal Men consider it their master, although sometimes it believes it has given them orders. Still, Metamorphis does not want to see Gandahar destroyed. It sends Sylvain and Airelle back to land on a flying beast made of its flesh. Blaminhor studies the beast and determines it is made of the same substance as the Metal Men. He studies Gandahar’s archives and finds that, like the Deformed, Metamorphis is the result of a scientific experiment gone awry. Blaminhor produces a potion that Sylvain can use to kill Metamorphis. Sylvain goes back to the experimental brain, which tells him that the portal at the Metal Men’s fortress is the “Door of Time,” allowing passage to the future. Some of the Metal Men’s captives are sent there, for unknown reasons. Metamorphis fears the Metal Men are creating a future in which it will rule over a land of killers. Sylvain wants to kill Metamorphis now, but the brain urges him to wait 1,000 years. Until then, it will be too strong for Sylvain to destroy. Sylvain is put to sleep in a pod at the bottom of the sea. Meanwhile, the Men of Metal attack Jasper. In 1,000 years, Sylvain’s sleeping pod floats to the surface of the sea and he is washed ashore. He awakens to find everything in Gandahar replaced by machines, except the Deformed, who were cast aside by Metal Men just as they were cast aside by Gandaharians. Sylvain and the Deformed join forces, and pass through the Door of Time. Sylvain discovers that Metamorphis, now ailing, created the Metal Men to save itself. Using the Door of Time, they have been capturing Gandaharians from the past to refresh Metamorphis’s ailing cells, and have devised a generator to provide it with energy. Still in possession of Blaminhor’s potion, Sylvain swims inside Metamorphis, now jaded and power-hungry. The brain claims it never told Sylvain to kill it, and envelops Sylvain with its tentacles. Just then, the Deformed destroy Metamorphis’s generator, and the tentacles lose power. Sylvain injects it with the potion, and escapes. The remaining Gandaharian captives join Sylvain and the Deformed as they move through the Door of Time, and return to the idyllic Gandahar of the past.

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Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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