The Mysterious Cities of Gold (太陽の子エステバン Taiyō no ko Esuteban?, "Esteban, Child of the Sun"; French: Les Mystérieuses Cités d'or), is a French-Japanese animated series co-produced by DIC Entertainment and Studio Pierrot. The series premiered in Japan on NHK on 29 June 1982 and ran weekly for 39 episodes until its conclusion on 5 February 1983. Set in 1532, the series follows the adventures of a young Spanish boy named Esteban who joins a voyage to the New World in search of the lost Cities of Gold and his father.
The French version, edited to have different characterization and music, was first aired in Luxembourg on 13 May 1982 by RTL Télévision and in France on 26 September 1983 by Antenne 2, and was subsequently redubbed and distributed in many different countries throughout the world. It is licensed for English language home video release in the United Kingdom, Australia, and North America by Fabulous Films.
In 2007, an animated feature film version of the story was announced by Jean Chalopin's company Movie Plus Group, but plans for the film were later shelved. On Chibi Japan Expo in Paris, Jean Chalopin announced that three new seasons of 26 episodes were planned with a release starting in 2011.[unreliable source?] The time for the release was later pushed back to 2012, with the two first episodes premiering on the French channel TF1 on 9 December of that year. During the spring of 2013, the new series started airing regularly.