A brother and sister discover the digital world is more than 1s and 0s when a living creature arrives out of the family computer. The adventures of a group of children start with the appearance of a Digital Monster in the real world.
Digimon: The Movie is a 2000 American film adaptation of the first three Japanese Digimon films distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film used footage from the films Digimon Adventure (1999), Our War Game!! (2000), and Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!! / Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals (2000).
In comparison to the original films, Digimon: The Movie had a significant degree of editing, with more than 40 minutes of scenes from the individual Japanese versions cut out to save time and several plot changes.
Okay, I know some people are going to be like "WTF STRAIGHT 10's!? THATS SO UNREALISTIC YOU ANIME NOOB!" Whatever. In my eyes, this is the perfect animated film. I'm 17, and still hook up my VCR just so I can watch my retro VHS copy of this film. Everything about this movie just oozes with epicness and win. The artwork is gorgeous, the score for this movie is fantastic, the dubbing is easily one of the best for any anime and the story is perfect. In Japan, this movie is actually 3 seperate short movies but I guess when they released it in North
American theaters they edited all 3 together to great a story arc. I still have my soundtrack for this movie, and it still remains my favorite motion picture soundtrack. Even the freakin Digimon theme song is amazing. Though a little outdated, this movie has already imbedded itself as a classic. I will show this movie to my own kids one day, they will probably say THIS IS LAME but whatever. The characters are very well developed, and the first part of the film reminds me of a Godzilla movie. You have to see this movie if you haven't already. If you have seen it, watch it AGAIN and AGAIN, but I'm sure if you love it as much as I do, then you already are =)
Ah Digimon, a childhood favourite for many. But as we all know how we perceive shows now and how we perceive shows as a child are completely different. So how is this childhood classic seen from a supposedly more critical individual?
As you first start the movie you are immediately hit with the nostalgic Digimon theme song: “Digimon, Digital monsters, Digimon are the champions!”, a dangerously catchy tune that will have you humming it for ages afterwards. For a twenty-minute movie not much else can be said about sound except if you watch the English dub, they surprise the viewer by using some well known
upbeat American songs.
This is supposed to be a prequel to the anime series. Being such a short film you can’t expect to know who all the characters are or what the main bulk of the story is unless you are familiar with the show. Having said that it does deliver the premise quite well at the beginning of this film with the simple sentences: “Did you know that there are two worlds? Our world and the digital world.” From that you immediately thrown into the Digimon world and all its glory. This particular story only follows two of our ‘Digidestined’; Hikari and her elder brother Tai, just normal children in an otherwise normal city. This is where the series actually starts as they encounter their first Digimon and all the things that come with it.
For viewers who are familiar with the Digimon franchise this is a fulfilling re-watch, which questionably enough comes to be heart-warming. For viewers who are yet to discover the Digiworld this is a good introduction to the real show -- Digimon: Digital monsters, which is set four years after the events of this film. Digimon Adventure has genuinely been an enjoyable movie; childhood favourite or not - as it delivers reasonable voice acting without sounding childishly lame; sophisticated execution for a show primarily aimed for children and decent animation for an anime from 1999. If you have 20 minutes to spare check it out -- either to remember the Digimon days or to embark on Digimon days to come.
As they say in the theme song: “Digimon, Digital monsters, Digimon are the champions!”
Digimon is a great series that has sadly gone under a lot of people's radars, and its track record in recent years doesn't help (though it's been picking up). However, when one thinks of Digimon, when they're not comparing it to Pokémon and claiming it's a rip-off, they think of the first two seasons, particularly the first with the original eight children and their Digimon. They also may remember the movie, which Saban Entertainment tried and failed to piece together three separate movies into one and make them related to one-another (even though they had a reason for why, but it's not justifiable). The Digimon
Adventure movie is one of the more well-remembered ones next to “Our War Game”, and it helps that it's the first to be seen—and the first before the main series started. It serves as a prologue to the television series, although American audiences didn't get to see it until the movie was released in the fall of 2000.
(This review will go back and forth between the sub and the dub, and will seem to be slightly biased as I prefer one over the other, and yet for a better reason than “It's nostalgic”.)
Story (7): A young Tai Kamiya (Taichi Yagami) wakes up in the middle of the night to find his sister, Kari Kamiya (Hikari Yagami) in their father's office staring at the computer where an egg comes out of it. It hatches the next morning into a cute black creature that doesn't trust them at first, but warms up to them, getting the strength to grow into a pink creature with long ears named Koromon, and later that night into a large dinosaur-like creature that goes unnamed (although it is Agumon). It escapes with Kari into Odaiba where it causes slight havoc before a larger egg appears in the sky and hatches a large parrot (also unnamed, but is known as Parrotmon). What happens lays the foundation of their fate as DigiDestineds years later.
As it's a 20-minute-long prologue, not much story can be told, and yet it works well as a prologue. Its job was to introduce the characters to the audience and get them familiar with the little rules laid out from the start—even though, unfortunately, those rules change somewhat in the TV series, but it's nothing major. It can stand on its own, though it's hard to tell if it really can stand on its own after having seen the TV series before seeing the prologue.
Art/Animation (9): There's really not much to say about this part. Directed by Mamoru Hosoda, his touch in the art and animation department is everywhere in this 20-minute film. Colors are muted, the animation is very fluid despite the flat appearance due to lack of shading, and the detail ranges from minimalistic to out-right gorgeous. It's more realistic-looking and has better care to it than the TV show itself, save for one episode, and it shows in both the character and monster designs, and in the monster behavior.
Sound (6 for sub, 8 for dub): I'm pretty sure Toshiko Fujita and Kae Araki are talented voice actresses and were good choices for Tai and Kari. However, I found them okay in this film, and I don't know if it's because of the script or because they're just voicing young children. Compared to the dub, the script's fairly simplistic with the characters. Joshua Seth and Lara Jill Miller were more passionate with their characters, even when attempting to sound like young children (with various results). The script in the dub had more dialogue than in the sub as well as more humor due to Saban being known for dubbing Digimon as a gag dub. Even in scenes where the characters aren't talking dialogue is added, but it's usually more for a quick joke and gives a more light-hearted feel throughout, even though in tense scenes it remains tense.
The sound-effects were also more emphasized in the dub than in the sub, particularly with Kari's whistle, which I personally feel was a good decision they made as the whistle in the sub was too quiet for my tastes, personally. (This is probably justified if the whistle's more of a toy, but some parts of the whistle blowing I didn't like—but that's my own personal problem.) The soundtrack is TERRIBLY limited in the sub to one song, “Bolero”, until the credits, and that I feel is the worst part of the movie. The dub may have used rock songs during the movie, and even used the Digimon theme song by the end, but the music was at least more appropriate for the scenes. I personally don't find Parrotmon descending from the sky ominous when “Bolero” is playing. They tried to do a reprise of “Bolero” when Greymon and Parrotmon were fighting, but because it's still “Bolero”, it's distracting. Playing the Digimon theme song in the dub was more effective in giving the impression the fight's cool and action-packed.
Characters (7 for sub, 8 for dub): The characters in the prologue are young and fairly simple, and thus their personalities somewhat change and further develop by the time they age about four-to-five years. The Tai we all know is not yet a leader, he's just being a big brother to his baby sister, and Kari has a sense of curiosity. The other characters appear at the end, but they're more like background characters at this point. The dub takes it slightly further by having the characters act somewhat the same as they did in the TV series, with Tai snarking and cracking jokes throughout.
Koromon is an interesting case. While I can't speak for the original, the dub implies the Koromon in the TV series is the same as in the prologue, and yet their personalities are entirely different especially when he Digivolves. However, while this Koromon was indeed a different Digimon, it just happens to be the same Digimon Tai wound up with. Considering it was supposed to be a one-shot at first, it shows, and it causes a slight snarl in whether-or-not Koromon had indeed met Tai and Kari prior to them entering the Digital World. Even so in both versions, Koromon is friendly to Tai and Kari after warming up, he's just happier and more chatty in the dub. The dub goes further with Koromon by having him speaking slightly as Agumon and Greymon, yet gruff and almost primitive even though in the original, he only roars and growls to emphasize how animalistic he is, but still has some intelligence. Even Parrotmon speaks in the dub, yet is silent in the original.
Enjoyment (7 for sub, 10 for dub): I will be honest that while I liked seeing the scenes that the dub had cut out, because of the dialogue, some lack of sound-effects, and the terrible use of soundtrack, I found the sub a bore, if not hard, to watch. The dub may unfortunately be overlooked as a whole because it's part of the terribly-put together Digimon movie, but as its own separate entry, it is better dubbed and more fun to watch. Kari's narration may take away from it, but when easily-ignored, the dialogue isn't bad. It's your typical Saban's gag dub script, and I feel the cheesiness works. But it's all based on personal taste, as some people don't like the gag dub approach and feel it's a terrible dub, while others like the gag dub and can go back and forth as to whether it was a good dub or not.
So take your pick as to what you want to watch. It's good either way, the differences are just vastly noticeable and varies from person to person. I personally will continue to watch the dub even though I won't easily forget the cut scenes and will quietly muse how the dub would've handled those scenes if Saban had been allowed to keep it uncut.
I really, really, really wanted to like this. The version that i got on VHS back in the early 2000 showed parts of this short film with a retrospective narration and the action scene in the end amazed me because of how cool it was. Re watching the full japanese version of it now was rather a big disappointment. This short film only has 1 orchestrated song and its so out of place with the atmosphere of the film it completely ruined the experience (for me at least), i guess it was sorta of what Watanabe, Cheru was going for but it still did not
go well with the film. The music was also way to loud in comparison with the movie thus being even more distracting. I mean what where they thinking, its the same song played 4 times, its so repetitive it ruined the experience.
Look at the top ten most successful anime at the American box office and its... almost all Pokemon, other toy/card game show adaptations, and Studio Ghibli films. But what other anime films have managed to make money in their limited releases?