Years after a young boy in America loses one of his Digimon friends, an evil viral Digimon successfully kidnaps the original Chosen Children. Their younger friends must race against time with their Digimon partners to discover the source of this new menace, and perhaps solve a years-old mystery.
Likewise with most anime movies, it seems, Digimon movies tend to split fans on whether-or-not they should be considered or treated as canon. When it comes to the original series, “Our War Game” and its supposed-sequel “Revenge of Diaboromon” get the most debate, but no one seems to really question about the Zero Two movie—well, technically twin movies, “Digimon Hurricane Touchdown!!” and “Supreme Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals”. There's probably a good reason for that, but it would depend on the fan.
This movie has the unfortunate luck to be the last part in the English dub of the Digimon movie, and thus labeled a black sheep.
“Our War Game” is admittedly hard to top, but when Saban Entertainment made the attempt to link that movie to this, things got messy and more confusing rather quick. I have to at least throw them a pity bone that they had their reasons for why they did this, and they made do with what they had. Nothing they could've done would've made this any better, although it definitely could've been a lot worse. Both versions of the movie have problems, it's just the English dub gets bashed more even though I personally feel they at least made it slightly more tolerable. I'll explain when I get there.
Note: the English dub definitely has a different plot than the original does, but I will bring up both versions here, even if it's to point out differences.
Story (6): A young American boy named Willis (a dub rename from “Wallace”) has twin Digimon, Gummymon and Kokomon, but the latter vanishes under mysterious circumstances while they're playing in a field of flowers at a summer home in Colorado. Years later, the DigiDestined are taking a much-deserved break after the defeat of the Digimon Emperor when Kari and T.K., visiting Mimi in New York, witness her disappearance. The other five of the original DigiDestined still in Japan also vanish, being spirited away by a corrupted Kokomon, now Endigomon. After running into Willis and Terriermon's confrontation with Endigomon, T.K. and Kari begin their long travel across America to Colorado, and they tell Davis and the others to meet them there. The trio also run into Willis, and have their own run-ins with the corrupted Digimon, who has been chasing after the boy without recognizing the grown-up Willis, all while going on hitchhiking road trips to Colorado in the hopes to confront and calm the increasingly-berserk Digimon. In the meantime, the disappeared DigiDestined have found themselves in a cold, presumably-nonexistent environment and are slowly decreasing in age as a delusional Kokomon searches for his friend among them.
The movie is really nothing more than a road trip across America to the West with the occasional scuffle with Endigomon before having the final, climatic battle in the second half. It honestly doesn't feel like a Digimon movie with this sort of plot/execution, even though it's not a bad idea to show corrupt Digimon, especially one that's partnered with a DigiDestined. It's just that unfortunately (whether this is a good thing or not), we don't get an explanation for why Kokomon became corrupted. The dub, in attempt to link this with “Our War Game”, explained in Willis' exposition that the DigiEgg that came out of the computer had been infected with the same virus that corrupted Diaboromon, and Kokomon caught it, even though Endigomon in actuality came to being because of its loneliness. It's lame, but it's at least an explanation for why Kokomon had gotten spirited away in the dub.
Speaking of what the dub did, remember how I said I felt Saban made it a little bit more tolerable, even IF the pacing felt a jumpy? Well, that's because most of the padding was removed—and “Hurricane Touchdown!!” has more padding than the “Golden Digimentals”. Looking at the original, most of it could've been left in, especially when it came to the six DigiDestined disappearing into the void and when Willis and Davis are talking in the forest (although that moment in the dub just feels like a funny Davis moment, and I secretly love those), but it must not have “fit in” with the “virus link”, or they just HAD to put in the Angela Anaconda short and felt no more could be added to the duration. Even so, some of that padding didn't add much to Willis and Terriermon's characters even though some of that padding was them talking about things that don't really go anywhere. Slow moments are fine, but when it goes nowhere, it's hard to sit through, and they could be cut from the film and nothing would be lost. And to briefly point this out, the hitchhiking was rewritten to be the result of “relatives of Yolei” running into them, since hitchhiking has become discouraged, at least in America (and I imagine in 2002 it was still common even in the countryside which is where most of the film takes place, but it was slowly being more and more frowned upon).
The second half of the “Golden Digimentals” are what people remember most when thinking back to this film, and it's truly the most memorable part, mainly when the final evolved form, a corrupted Cherubimon, comes in. The fight scenes aren't bad, probably could've been more balanced out between the Digimon, though they at least showed how much difficulty there was when it came to fighting Cherubimon. But that's not what everyone remembers, no. It's the deus ex machina involving Angemon and Angewomon briefly Warp Digivolving to their Mega levels for the sake of activating the Golden DigiEggs; I don't know how, but they do. So in the movie, we got to see Magnamon again, and that's cool, but at least in the series, there was build up to it. There was nothing in this film that at least foreshadowed the Golden DigiEggs to come into play (unless you want to stretch it out and say “Well, Cherubimon's a Mega!”). But who cares, it's Magnamon, and he and Rapidmon save the day!
Oh, and while we occasionally cut back to the original six DigiDestined in the nothingness, even getting to see them as young children (back to the same age as when they witnessed the Greymon and Parrotmon battle at Highton View Terrace), we don't see them again after Kokomon checks them out. Apparently they went back to normal after all was over and done with, but we don't even get an after credits scene of them. So I'm just going to assume they were all erased from existence. Thanks a lot, movie.
Art/Animation (8): This was the visual red flag in the English dub that it was an entirely different movie. The previous two were all directed by Mamoru Hosoda, whose art-style is distinctive. That's not to say Shigeyasu Yamauchi's is all bad, it's still smooth, and the characters are animated rather well. The style was just indeed vastly different, and somewhat jarring, but with the movies by themselves, it fits fine. There are no complaints here about how it looks, and the sceneries all look nice with either the majority or all of the backgrounds done in watercolor. I can't say for sure if it fits the Colorado/Midwestern look, or at least back in 2002, but it's definitely not Japan, nor the Digital World.
Sound (6): The English dub's soundtrack mostly consists of pop/rock songs, it's standard Saban dub-fare. Whether those songs fit the movie or not rests entirely on the viewer; I personally don't care for them in most cases. The original score consists mostly of Western-style atmospheric music that's remindful of Trigun. And that was distracting, to be honest, as it never goes beyond this style. I get it, the setting's in America, particularly in the Midwest-further-West, and it has a nostalgic feel to it. However, when that same piece of music is being used for the fight scenes, it was hard to tell if it fit the mood. There was one moment near the end where a song does come in while the Digimon are proclaiming they'll always protect their partners and Magnamon and Rapidmon release Cherubimon, but I can't tell you if it works, especially when the music style is still the same.
At least the song during the ending credits is by Ai Maeda, and she was stellar as always. That song fits better than the “Kids in America” cover in the English dub.
Characters (6): While Davis is in more of the movie than the others, the DigiDestined and their Digimon are the same as in the series, so the only ones really worth mentioning here are Willis, Terriermon, and Kokomon. To get Willis out of the way, he's boring, both in the original and in the dub, even though there's apparently character development that I couldn't catch. There's nothing to his character that makes him really stand out other than he had twin Digimon and he lives in America where he goes back-and-forth between Japanese and English (in the original—it's rare for him to slip into Engrish territory, actually, have to give the voice actress credit for that). He did crack more sarcastic quips in the dub, but that's to be expected with Saban, and he doesn't stand out from that, either. Willis also had this thing for Yolei and apparently Kari because I guess he likes Japanese girls? He had a Japanese girlfriend, but that was his only reasoning, even though that was how he learned Japanese (which is funny because at least one time on the phone to his mother, he was speaking Japanese when he normally spoke English). Oh, and Terriermon kept making remarks he's a momma's boy even though we can see that each time he calls her up. We can assume he's the same age as Davis and the others, so why his mother let him travel by himself is beyond me.
Terriermon is your typical Digimon partner, always saying he'll be by Willis' side no matter what, and that he'll always protect him. Voiced by Aoi Tada in the original and Mona Marshall in the dub, they're both good performances and probably the best in the film (and weirdly coincidental, they both would reprise their roles as another Terriermon in Tamers). What makes him a little different is he's a twin, so he would talk about Kokomon here and there in trying to assure Willis that he did nothing wrong, and that it was no one's fault Kokomon became corrupt. Like with the other Digimon, Terriermon's pretty much Willis' foil, so I suppose they balance each other out fine. Keeps Willis from being a nobody, that's for sure.
Kokomon is the antagonist who came to be probably not of his own free will, but from his loneliness. Well, at least when he was Endigomon, he was lonely, it's not known how it extends to when he was still Kokomon. He just all of a sudden gets corrupted, and he has no memories but of him playing with Willis as a child. Apparently he was kidnapping anyone with a Digivice in the search for Willis, but we only get to see the original six DigiDestined get spirited away by him (or by whatever's actually possessing him). He Digivolves up into his Mega level during the course of the second half when he becomes threatening, consumed by a “dark heart”, as Kari mentioned. This could make for an interesting villain, or at least a lackey of whatever was the true evil behind it all, but when you pit him up again Diaboromon, he's not as threatening, or even as memorable outside as Cherubimon. He suffers this in the English dub because of it, whether he deserves it or not. But by himself, he's okay, albeit tragic.
Enjoyment (5): Even with the cheesiness of the Saban dub, I don't care for this one. The original may only be an hour long total, but from the way I kept looking at the clock the entire time, it felt longer due to its padding and slow moments. I don't hate it, I just don't like watching it in either version. I know it's not a good idea to compare it to “Our War Game”, however, the English dub didn't really give much of a choice in that regard. And considering the twin films aren't considered canon to the timeline, nothing will be missed, let alone gained. Sure, there was a CD drama that DID take place in the same “canon”, but I have no personal interest to seek that out even if things get explored more.
Really, this was more for Digimon fans than the average movie-goer, and that could've been the biggest contributor to why the English dub of the movie doesn't have good reviews (ignoring the splicing of the three movies). I found “Revenge of Diaboromon” a better Zero Two movie than this, to be frank, but there are still fans who do like this film, and I can't take that enjoyment away from them. I just personally couldn't really get into it, and I'd more-or-less advise a “skip if you want to” than a recommendation.
Out of all of the Digimon movies, this particular one is probably my favorite. The fighting scenes are great, the plot is delivered well, and the music is... Passable, at least. It is, of course, much better than the thirty minute version of it from "The Catastrophe," as many call it.
However, I have ONE small problem with it. Unlike the horrid English version, the original never really gives you a sense of closure. It doesn't explain entirely why Chocomon went crazy, or, if it did, It was too confusing for me to understand. And the fact that it's named after something that happens late in
the movie, and doesn't seem to have a really supreme effect on anything is also a bit confusing. All in all, though, It was-No, IS a great movie.
I’m one of those few people that prefer 02 over Adventure. Maybe it’s because I saw it first, maybe it’s because of what a deep and complicated character Ken was. Anyway, you can imagine that I was very happy when I saw there was a film (and I mean film length film not a double episode wannabe film). Of course, I knew how horrid dub is, so I watched the subbed version. More golden Digimentals, must be amazing, right? As long as one of the doesn’t go to a new character that was never mentioned before, sure. Too bad that happened here.
This was a
huge let down. If for nothing else then because it had a lot of promise and could have turned out truly epic if done right. Or if done at all. We get a build up for a very dark story and if you manage to sympathise with a character you’ve never seen before, it’s actually very dark and sad. Then you keep wondering how the hell did that happen since what is happenning could in no way be natural. Well, don’t expect anyone to tell you anything directly.
By the way, the dub version actually gave it a slight reasoning and it shortened the film by a half so it might not be as bad. Well, ignoring hinting at couples that make no sense and scenes that... well, make even less sense.
I’m not a huge fan of the art in this film. It felt kind of… lazy but it wasn’t bad.
Not a complaint, though nothing really epic or amazing, kind of boring. Basically, 02 bgm. If there was something new, I missed it what doesn’t really make it a good music.
We get our 02 characters minus Ken (since it’s set before his arc ends) plus a new character, you’ve never heard of before (unless you watched the dub). The new character Willis/Wallace wasn’t a highlight. Most of his screentime (and there’s a lot of it) he spends either being depressed and shouting at digimon to stop fighting (not at the right one either) or travelling and constantly calling his mommy… or both. I really couldn’t feel with him, I found him very annoying and stupid. He also somewhat prefers one of his Digimon a lot (even before he disappeared) what also isn’t a really likeable trait. Especially when the less liked one keeps risking his life for him through the whole film and never complains.
This was very boring and since Wallace takes about 50% of screentime (25% gets Daisuke and 25% the rest) the only entertainment I got was at the end. The ending battle and scenes were amazing and truly worth wasting my time with the film.
This wasn’t bad but for me it takes the place of the worst Digimon film (I haven’t seen any Savers films yet). It had much promise, I just wish it got explained properly how and why it happened. They could have also made Wallace a bit more likeable. Not to mention cut about 40% of the film that everyone just spends traveling (no kidding) and nothing really happens. Aside from that, it was fun to watch.
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?
Mamoru Hosoda makes heartfelt, beautifully-animated films that appeal to all ages. His latest, The Boy and the Beast, is coming soon to theaters in America and Australia! Learn how he got to the point where many have called him "the next Miyazaki."