Esteban & Zia in search of the 7 Cities of Gold

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08/28/05 - updated 01/07/07

[Update - August 2008: this project was abandoned after the released of the three episodes on DVD. The rights of the series and its official sequel now belong to the company MoviePlus (Jean Chalopin). In France, the company Kaze gets the rights for marketing the first series in DVD. In UK, the first series DVD set is released by Fabulous Films company.]

Zia, in MCoG2 As already said (see MCoG 2) two projects for the MCoG sequel are being developed! To sum up, the first project is from Jean Chalopin and Bernard Deyriès, writers and directors of the first series (MCoG 1). It is therefore the official sequel, called MCoG 2. The first images were presented at the Japan Expo 2003 in France and are available in the section MCoG 2 (more information will be available shortly and added when available).

Zia, in NAEZThe second project, which concerns us here, emanates from AK Video. This is a series of 26 episodes of 26 minutes each, originally titled The New Adventures of Esteban and Zia (NAEZ). Today, the official name is Esteban and Zia in search of the 7 Cities of Gold (in french: Esteban et Zia à la recherche des 7 Cités d'Or). This series was co-produced by the french companies AK Video and BenJ Productions. Unlike MCoG 2 project, the NAEZ series only gets the rights of the book of Scott O'Dell: The King's Fifth (see here). Consequently, it is not really a sequel, because only few characters of the series are mentioned in the bok (e.g. Esteban, Zia, Mandosa). You will not find any reference to Tao, the Great Condor, the medallions, or any other specific details of the first series MCoG 1. We must therefore consider this as a series work based on the work of Scott O'Dell. The bad side of the NAEZ project is that the producers desperately want to make us believe that this is THE official sequel, WHAT IT IS NOT for the reasons discussed above.

Esteban, in NAEZConcerning the cartoon itself, I can not tell you much about the story and there is no release date as I write this article. As you can appreciate, the design of NAEZ is very different from that of MCoG 1. At least it will avoid confusion ... Maybe more appropriate to today's generation? (I'm part of the old 80s generation!). The design is not unpleasant at first but some scenes are more disappointing (see here). Regarding the animation, I confess to being very disappointed! And I chew my words. The animation is very jerky and not up to what we can expect from a cartoon of 2005 ... The animation reminds me Spartakus and the Sun Beneath the Sea (Les Mondes Engloutis in French), although 20 years separate them! I invite you to discuss in the forum, where a topic is dedicated to the NAEZ!

According to my information, the generic of this cartoon has been composed by Jean-Jacques Debout! For non french people, he is the husband Chantal Goya, very famous in France. He is also the author of other french lyrics (Captain Future...). The credits were recorded in July 2005 and are performed by two young artists Jennifer and Ryan. Below are the covers of the CD credits. The lyrics available here.

The CD credits of NAEZ by Ryan et Jennifer The CD credits of NAEZ by Ryan et Jennifer

To conclude, you must consider this cartoon apart from the first series. Do not compare it neither to the original series nor to the official sequel MCoG 2: can we also consider making the comparison? What annoys me is the fact that they try to make us believe this series is the official sequel: "They have grown up and their heads are full of their children's dreams: discover the Cities of Gold"... I hope these few lines will help avoid confusion. Fresh news of official sequel MCoG 2 are available here! About the NAEZ series, Jean Chalopin said: "We all know that this is unfair competition, aiming to capitalize on the successful of the Cities of Gold series without respect for any content, nor the copyright holders." No comment.

The CD credits of NAEZ by Ryan et Jennifer The trailer of NAEZ

The DVD of this series have finally been released in December 2006. Only the first three episodes are available as a feature film of 83 minutes. Two sets are available: a regular edition (20 €) and a collector edition (40 €) with some addons. I did not bought the DVDs! So I can not tell you much more! The production of future episodes has been cancelled, since MoviePlus company now gets all the rigths.

The images of the series are available here, les credits here and the trailer here.

Esteban et Zia à la recherche des 7 Cités d'Or - Regular DVD set Esteban et Zia à la recherche des 7 Cités d'Or - Collector DVD set

[ MCoG 1 ] [ MCoG 2 ] [ MCoG 3 ] [ MCoG 4 ]
[ The manga ] [ The film ] [ The video games ] [ NAEZ ]

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