Digimon: The Movie
Nimoy and Buchholz first rearranged footage from Digimon Adventure, Our War Game!, and Digimon Hurricane Landing!! / Transcendent Evolution!! The Golden Digimentals to outline the overall plot of Digimon: The Movie. As Nimoy and Buchholz noticed that Digi-eggs were a recurring image in all three films, they used that to connect their narratives. After editing the footage and sending it to post-development, they began writing the script for the film. Originally, Nimoy had Tai narrate, but as Tai did not make an appearance in the third part of the movie, he changed it to Kari.
Digimon: The Movie
Digimon: The Movie opened at #5 in the box office (being shown in 1,825 theaters) and earned $4,233,304 on the opening weekend. The film's run ended on December 3, 2000 at #56 drawing in a weekend gross of $19,665 grossing a total of $9,631,153 domestically. The movie also drew in $1,567,641 in the UK after its release on February 16, 2001 and $2,200,656 in Germany the same year. It earned a total of US$16,643,191 (equivalent to $26,200,000 in 2021), making it a minor box office success compared to its budget of $5 million.
The film received generally negative reviews by critics. According to the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 24% of critics have given the movie a positive review based on 41 reviews, with an average rating of 4/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Digimon is better than Pokemon, but it's still a predictable movie with mediocre animation." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 20 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Lawrence van Gelder of The New York Times describes the film as "noisy and ill-conceived", as it focused too much on "morphing monsters" and too little on "storytelling talent" and animation. Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail gave the film two stars, noting that the "scenes alternate between kitschy cuteness and spectacular violence, with only a nod toward plot, character development, and motivation". Paul Trandahl from Common Sense Media gave the movie three stars, complimenting the film's visuals, but cited criticism in its lack of emotional attachment towards the characters and the plot alienating parents and newcomers.
In January 2022, for the release of Belle, Mamoru Hosoda expressed that whenever he promotes a new project abroad, he now meets many people who grew up with Digimon and who talk about the movie, "seen in many countries", and that these meetings are "a pleasure [...] a very nice experience".
Flawlessly directed by Jeff Nimoy and Bob Buchholz, the cast of this movie should truly be Hollywood royalty. They all bring their A-Game to this film and we get the complete range that most actors try their whole lives to reach. From the quiet tender moments between Terriermon and Willis to the gut busting Izzie and Tai scenes in the second film, these actors were having a blast.
Thankfully, come the year 2000, Saban and North American theatrical distributor 20th Century Fox had their choice of three Japanese Digimon films to present to American audiences: Digimon Adventure (1999), Digimon Adventure: Our War Game (2000), and Digimon Adventure 02 (2000). Which movie did they pick to localize into English? Why, all three of course: Frankensteined together into one barely coherent plot spread across eight years.
As any Godzilla fan will attest, these types of monster movies are not without their pleasures, but enjoying them requires that you buy into the fantasy worlds they create. For the unconverted, and for many parents, the movie is likely to induce a state of total confusion.
The movie excels in visual extravagance, and compared to the TV series it has more action and lots of new Digimon characters. However, it fails to build any kind of emotional involvement with the characters, human or otherwise. The protagonists are given little to do other than explain the latest crisis then cheer on their respective Digimon.
When I watched this movie as a kid it was the freaking best! It was the best because I LOVED the TV show. I will admit. I was more of a fan of Digimon than I was Pokemon. I liked it because it was more adult and there were romances. Watching this movie now, I am pleased to say it still hits the same way.
To this day I think all of the actors they picked for this movie/show is amazing. They all do such a wonderful job at bringing these characters to life. As well as connecting with their inner teenager. Because of this all of the characters are believable and you feel for them. Even the actors who do the voices for the Digimon are awesome.
Digimon: The Movie received widespread negative reviews from western film critics. The review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports a "Rotten" critic approval rate of 24%, and characterizes the critical consensus as deeming it "[...] a predictable movie with mediocre animation." Its status as an edit of multiple other films did not factor into the critical conversation.
The Movie was commercially successful. It grossed a total of over USD $16 million worldwide: 57.9% of it (over USD $9.5 million) domestically in the United States of America, over 91 days in 1,823 movie theaters; and 42.1% of it (over USD $7 million) in international markets, including over USD $1.5 million in the United Kingdom and over USD $2 million in Germany.
Digimon Adventure: The Movie is a combination of previous Digimon works, all cut, edited, and reworked in a way that would appeal to western audiences. Cody, Jack, and I will be watching the original versions, which are bound to be better in their unaltered forms, but this movie is still a lot of fun. It serves as a decent entry point, and the creativity on display ultimately makes up for any of the film's shortcomings.
It's pretty rare that a movie made for younger audiences will involve a plot that extends across two casts of characters of a period of more than at least 10 years. Digimon dares though, and the story of its first movie is all the better for it. The tale begins back at the childhood of Tai and Kairi and their first-ever encounter with Digimon. It then jumps to several years later when Tai and Kairi are teenagers, where a mysterious new virus Digimon has entered the internet and threatens to set off nuclear bomb codes around the world. This leads to an online chase and a huge battle that sets the precedent for thrilling action for the rest of the film.
With all of this talk of a complicated plot that spans decades and includes two casts of characters, one would be forgiven for thinking that this is not the place to start with the franchise. That is not the case. The movie actually handles the topic of newcomers to the series with aplomb, making sure to give quick explanations of who people are without dwelling on the finer details for too long. It also helps that the characters have extremely distinct personalities and their interactions range from friendly to competitive, letting the audience pick up on personality traits through their actions instead of additional exposition.
Lastly, the starting point of the movie with Tai and Kairi at a younger age is the perfect entry point for newcomers. It introduces basic facts about Digimon and gives viewers a solid understanding of how these monsters can Digivolve. It's especially effective because at this point the characters know just as little about Digimon as the audience does. From there, with each new story beat that arrives the mythos of the series is fleshed out in a way that makes this a great action-adventure film anyone can jump in and enjoy. This is Digimon's very best offering.
Finally, we started recording. I did the directing, and Bob and Terri sat behind me in the control room. If they wanted something different from a take, they would just chime in freely. We recorded in the Saban building in Westwood. The biggest difference between the show recordings and movie recordings was FOOD! Screen Actors Guild had all kinds of rules for movies, and we had a luscious spread every day, plus meals. Joshua Seth (Tai) and I still talk about how the food felt like we finally arrived in Hollywood!
JO (vo): Well, it's not exactly the movie. Angela Anaconda was owned by Fox as well. They wanted to promote two turds with one bomb. Wasn't just shown in theaters for a quick gag, either. It kicks off every copy of the movie. This is seriously part of the flick. This is their best foot forward, people.
JO (vo): One problem this movie and the TV show unfortunately share is their propensity for bad jokes. Not just unfunny jokes, but ones that don't make any sense when you start to think about them. Some are so bad, they created plot holes in the story.
JO (vo): Yeah, most of the footage they cut together to make this movie was directed by Mamoru Hosoda, (a picture of him shown) a unique and talented anime director who later went on to direct The Girl Who Lept Through Time and Summer Wars. His Digimon work was really excellent, and even in this choppy American recut, a lot of the sweetness and emotion of the original shines through...
JO (vo): Matt and T.K. send in their Digimon, but the baddie digivolves to his most powerful Mega state, Diaboromon...which is totally supposed to be Diablomon, but in case it wasn't obvious, the folks who dubbed this movie are not terribly perceptive. Now they have a real fight on their hands.
NC (vo): So through a confusing bunch of exposition...er, maybe not confusing. Boring is a much better word...a whole bunch of shit is thrown at us about a Digimon cloning himself, taking over all the phone lines, operating the computers of the world. Did I also mention he launches nuclear weapons on the side, too? We're not even halfway through this movie, and already they're throwing this shit at us! How are you gonna top nuclear weapons about to destroy the world? 041b061a72