Film historian Jay Leyda discussed the origins of the compilation film in his work Films Beget Films.


A compilation movie, or compilation film, a term used by reviewers of Japanese anime, is a feature film that is mostly composed of footage from a television serial. These typically compress the plot of a story arc from about eight to thirteen broadcast hours to a bit more than two hours without commercials. Additional animation may be added that is either of a superior quality to that made for television or which changes story details, often making the ending lead to a sequel not suggested in the original show. Such films may be put on video or DVD, recently even without being shown theatrically.

A compilation movie is often the most available source for the content of the TV series for persons outside the range of broadcasting. Release rights to other countries are often given for compilation movies well before the entire serial is similarly released. A compilation movie does not contain the characterization developed through the series, but it does not have filler material or extraneous plot.


Examples of compilation films include the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex films The Laughing Man and Individual Eleven, Space Battleship Yamato and the first three Mobile Suit Gundam films. The series Maison Ikkoku also derived a compilation film. Dragon Ball derived several compilation films, each shorter than an hour. Most of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation series were made into compilation movies during the 80's by ITC Entertainment under the package title of Super Space

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