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When bad weather causes her to slip her moorings and drift out to sea, the British schooner Sloughi is left in the hands of the 15 schoolboys on holiday. Without officers or sailors on board, the French boy Briant manages to organize the group and beach the ship on a deserted island they name Cherman after their school. The upper-class British boy, Doniphan, begins to argue with Briant about who should be in charge, and problems are multiplied a hundredfold when a 16th castaway washes up on the shore-a schoolgirl called Kate.
Deux Ans de Vacances, Jules Verne's low-rent copy of Swiss Family Robinson, remains immeasurably more popular in Japanese than in English. This TV movie included a young design assistant called Rumiko Takahashi, whose growing success with Urusei Yatsura would make her rich and unlikely to work in animation again.
In 1987, the story was remade as another TV movie to cash in on the popularity of the Hollywood movie Stand By Me (which also featured several boys going exploring and getting mildly upset). Directed by Masayuki Akehi, the new version featured Maria Kawamura, shortly to find fame as Jung Freud in Gunbuster, as the troublesome Kate. This second TV movie was released in English as Story of 15 Boys, a pedantically faithful translation of the Japanese title suggesting the U.S. distributor knew little of Verne's original. See also Video Picture Book and Vifam.