I'd appreciate any help identifying this animated film.

The main portrayal is of an island society that hunts huge whale-like creatures, using boats and harpoons. When a member of this society dies, he tumbles down an immensely deep hole, where he undergoes reincarnation into one of the whales.

This film was from Japan and I saw it in the early 1990s, I think, on a VHS collection from some animation festival or other. It was in color and I do not remember there being any language in the film.


I believe Skywhales is what you are looking for. It is a British animated short film in 1983 directed and written by Phil Austin and Derek Hayes, and it is included in the British Animation Collection Volume 1 DVD.

You can view this animated short on Youtube.

A scene during the hunt, where the main character flew towards the skywhale and stabbed it with a harpoon.


The scene where everyone returned from the hunt. You can see a bunch of flying ships anchored on the port.


The main character died and went to throw himself down a hole inside a building.


As he dropped down the hole, he turned into cocoon, then emerged from it as a skywhale.


The characters in this animated film speak some sort of nonsensical language. You probably mistook it for Japanese.

  • Yes! Begorrah! That's the one. I didn't mistake the language for Japanese (I'm deeply involved in East Asian languages) but I did misremember the message as Japanese. I last saw this picture more than twenty years ago, and am really gratified that you've been able to identify it for me. Mar 29 '15 at 9:26
  • I'm surprised to see that none of the British Animation Awards DVDs are available in the US on Amazon or Netflix. I found the first two volumes on sale here: britishanimationawards.com/dvd_bac.htm, and there are private sellers on amazon.co.uk, too. Mar 29 '15 at 9:39

You very likely watched Macross Dynamite 7:

During his journey, he stops on a planet named "Zola", which is inhabited by a race of humanoid marsupials called the Zolan. While staying there, he becomes involved in a battle between galactic space whale poachers and the Zola Patrol (Zola's equivalent of a police force). After being injured, he is taken into the care of a young Zolan girl named Elma Hollie, who has a sister, Liza, that works for the Zola Patrol. Her father, Graham Hollie, is also a whale poacher. Graham and his wife Maria Hollie, a very popular singer on Zola, would go hunting whales in their Valkyrie, and Maria would also sing to the whales while they hunted. However, Maria lost her life and Graham lost an arm after encountering the legendary Great White Galactic Whale. After the event, Graham swore revenge on the Great White Whale for taking his wife and his arm and underwent Macronization to become large enough to take it on.

It's not exactly reincarnation. But it's close. The OVA was released between '97 and '98.

  • Interesting, but that isn't what it was. There was no language or named characters in the film at all. Aug 22 '13 at 20:06
  • @brannerchinese Fair enough. How do you know that the film was from Japan? Could it have been from elsewhere? Aug 22 '13 at 20:57
  • I remember pretty clearly that it was from Japan. Aug 22 '13 at 22:20

Here is the short:




Leopoldo Zambrano Enríquez.

  • Welcome to Anime & Manga! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Memor-X
    Apr 16 '16 at 5:38
  • Welcome to Anime & Manga! A few more tips to get you started. The answer seems to be correct but it doesn't look very helpful if you just throw around stuff like that even if it is correct. This community serves as an authentic resource so we have to preserve that. Try adding more description to your answers from now onwards. Just a little description would do that would at least satisfy the questioner. For questions already answered, it is not a very good idea to post exactly the same thing again. So improving upon this answer would be a good start and you're all set to go.
    – Alchemist
    Apr 16 '16 at 6:02

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