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Space Family Carlvinson

Entry updated 23 October 2023. Tagged: Film.

Japanese Original Video Animation (OVA) (1988). Original title Uchū Kazoku Kārubinson. Doga Kobo. directed by Kimio Yabuki. Written by Michiru Shimada, based on the Manga by Yoshitoh Asari. Voice cast includes Toshiko Fujita,Tesshō Genda, Akira Kamiya, Yuko Mizutani, Mayumi Shō and Yuji Mitsuya. 44 minutes. Colour.

We meet a space-travelling troupe of Alien theatrical actors, who include Mother (Fujita), a spindly-limbed hamster-like blob; Father (Genda), a Robot; Tah-Kun (Kamiya), a skeletal creature with an exposed brain, Andy (Mitsuya), a space-suited eye with mechanical legs (see Cyborg) and the only humanoid, the pointy-eared Beruka (Mizutani). Whilst en-route to a venue six-light years away, another Spaceship almost collides with theirs, then crashes on the planet Anika. They go to help but find only one survivor, a human baby named Corona (Shō) (see Children in SF). The local police perform a quick investigation, commenting the dead parents are from a previously unknown civilization: when the actors ask about the baby the officer replies "out of my jurisdiction" and departs. The actors decide to stay on the planet to raise the child, expecting that eventually someone will come looking for her. The crashed ship's Computer holds data on Corona's home planet – as actors they will play the role of her family and ensure she experiences her planet's culture: "The big drama is about to begin."

Five years later, after having rescuing Corona from three-metre dragonflies, they decide it is time she started something called "kindergarten", so set one up with the local Anikan children. They also receive a response to their missing person broadcast which says, "I am coming for Corona." After an argument with Mother, Corona runs away from home, to be beamed aboard a spaceship by the message's sender. This turns out to be a motherly alien, who – having learnt Corona is parentless – wants to look after her. However, despite their argument, she wants to stay with Mother and Father, whom she loves and who love her, so the alien returns her to them.

Though there is a fake-out opening with Tah-Kun to makes it appear we are in for a Horror film, Space Family Carlvinson is a slight but charming Anime about a human child and her found family of aliens on a Pastoral planet, with the recreation of Earth's culture including a stove, cuckoo clock, vintage radio and an athletics meet. The animation is fairly simple, but with some nice touches; Father can attach himself to a giant robot body, thus becoming a kind of Mecha. Aside from the punny title there is little similarity to the castaways of Johann David Wyss's The Swiss Family Robinson (1812): the aliens have a working spaceship and Anika is a civilized planet. [SP]


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