Hat tips to Blogtown commenter Mandingo who reminded me of this lost classic, and a perfect candidate for Saturday Morning Cartoon! It's the 1966 Japanese import Kimba the White Lion, originally known as Jungle Emperor, and based on the manga of the same name. It tells the story of a young lion who—after his awesome dad and mom are killed thanks to a-hole hunters—vows to return to the jungle to bring peace, love, and understanding. (Kind of the like the Elvis Costello of animated lions.) You got some Jungle Book in here, you got A LOT of Lion King in here, and sure.... you got some Bambi in here as well. But the animation is truly a sight to behold: exciting at one turn, moody and thoughtful at another. And LOVE that theme song!
Intrigued? Check out and enjoy part one of episode one of Kimba the White Lion, "Go, White Lion"! And as always, if you have a suggestion for Saturday Morning Cartoon, I suggest you give it up.