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Digimon: The Movie
85 Minutes
Akiyoshi Hongo
Toei Animation Company
Saban Entertainment
20th Century Fox
Fox Kids
This movie slaughters Pokemon in every way.

ANIMEfringe Reviews:
Digimon: The Movie
By Adam "OMEGA" Arnold

"I'm trying to save the world and your reading fan mail?" - Tai

For a first day showing the audience sure was thin in my area. Kind of nice to have a semi-privet screening. At any rate, it's a weird feeling to know you are the only otaku in the audience, I'm sure the six parents that were actually with their kids thought I was some kind of pedophile or at least a really strange teenager with a Sailor Moon t-shirt on. Or maybe it was just the fact that I was taking down notes in the dark.

The theater goes dark, and after fifteen long minutes of crappy previews the screen lights up with an Angela Anaconda short about the kids fighting over supremacy over seeing Digimon: The Movie, complete with speed lines and giant monsters. For those not in the know, Angela Anaconda is a funny show on Fox Family that uses a cut-out photo animation style, trust me it's good. Anyway, the 20th Century Fox logo shins through the theater and the "Digi Rap" begins to play. Digimon: The Movie has begun.

Highton View Terries, Japan, 8 years ago. Kari and Ty one night have a Digi-Egg appear from their computer. The next morning the egg hatches and they have to raise it just like I raised my own Digital Monster long ago. Boy does the poop bring back memories. At any rate, this all leads to the cute Botamon digevolving into Greymon to battle Parrotmon in fight that forever tied all the Digi-Destined together.

The second story is set four years later, just after the conclusion of the first season. Izzy discovers a virus that causes a Digi-Egg to hatch that unleashes an eminsly powerful Digimon known as Diaboromon. The spider-like creature jumps onto the Internet and starts consumming all the information it can find and finally takes control of the phone systems of the world in a plot that would make the Jobe from the Lawnmower Man think twice.

The guts of the segment involves Izzy and Tai playing phone tag to get a hold of their friends so they can give them a fighting chance to defeat this enemy as the whole world watches from their computers and cheers on the kids via e-mail that is doing nothing but slowing down their connection. Inter-connectivity is the key, and the new kids are all apart of the angst filled event of a lifetime. Oh, and if you've ever had the privilege of seeing the infamous ‘blue-screen of death' that Windows is so famous for, then there is a joke in this portion of the movie just for you.

Finally, the last section of the movie is set in the present as the Willis story that has been intricately woven through the movie comes to a head. All the Digi-Destined from the second season take center stage and must put an end to a threat that has been growing. To say anything more would be to ruin the plot. I will give you one hint, Kokomon tells Willis, "Go back to the beginning."

The movie in its simplest form is an amalgamation of three interconnected stories with Kari's voice over acting as the frame that ties the parts together. Saban has actually taken the three separate Digimon movies and combined them into one package. Quite well in fact. Not having the privilege to see the originals, I must say that the movie is constantly moving and keeps you on the edge of your seat with either a brutal battle or some hilarious comedy.

Comedy is definitely one thing that this movie has plenty of. There is always some off the wall comment that just seems like it fits. It's very seldom that I ever laugh at anything, especially not Trigun. But, it became very apart that I was having a good time when the little girl in the row in front of me, about five or six years-old, turned around and looked at me. She turned back around and said to her mother, "Mommy he's funny. He's laughing."

Anyway, if you haven't guessed by now, this movie is pretty important to the mythology of the series. It bridges the gap between the first season and the second season of Digimon, but more importantly it gives a lot of much-needed characterization to the Digi-Destined themselves. Mostly the focus is on Tai, Kari, Izzy, Davis, and Willis, but all the characters get some screen time and a bit of information that helps give a glimpse at where the series is heading.

The most recognizable difference between the first season and the movie has to be the art style used. It is even more skewed towards simplicity in the movie than in the second season of episodes. But, this doesn't detract from the feelings that are meant to be portrayed on the screen. The tears still fall and the face lines still show up clear-as-day on the Digi-Destined's faces. In a way the human characters have designs similar to those in Tenchi In Tokyo with the Digimon having more intricate details and colors. This is especially evident in the battle scenes where the environmental damage has nearly the quality that someone would expect to see in an episode of DragonBall Z. But, clearly the thing I was most in awe over was the fact that the backgrounds in the second segment move just like those in the Adolecence of Utena movie. Clearly, this is one of the coolest blending of styles.

Few movie soundtracks have ever inspired me to run right out of the theater to pick up the OST. Well, needless to say, this movie was on the those few. And boy is the CD good. Get this, there are 12 tracks all from the movie and I'm not talking just from the credits, either. Plus, I was thrilled to find that nine of songs are from the TV series (ie: this is the first time the English songs have seen a CD release). Those nine tracks (four listed and five hidden) are well worth the price, but as an added bonus you get eight other songs that you've more than likely heard on a radio station that plays the current hits. We're talking nothing but the hits from groups like Fatboy Slim and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. But, most of all this is one of the few soundtracks to actually have Barenaked Ladies' song 'One Week' on it. Heck, the American Pie soundtrack didn't even have that one on it and it was one of the key BGM sounds in that movie. Pretty cool, huh?

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