Even though Animal Crossing games have been around since 2001 and people have loved the wonderful franchise very much. Animal Crossing: The Movie opened in theatres in Japan on December 16, 2006, and managed to earn around 1.7 billion yen at the box office. For the most part, the movie is like watching someone play the game.
The Animal Crossing movie is known by two names: Animal crossing: The Movie and Dobutsu no Mori. Retaining the theme of the video game the movie centres around an 11-year-old self-reliant girl named Ai moves to a village populated by Anthropomorphic animals. There she works, makes new friends and strives hard to accomplish her dreams.
This highly successful animated film based on an animal crossing video game was directed by Joji Shimura and produced by Nintendo, OLM, Inc. it’s a very straight forward movie that was never released outside of Japan and Nintendo of America currently not thinking about an English release. Although the adventurous can find subtitled and dubbed version online.
Dobustu no Mori is the story of a young girl who moves to a village in summer. The village is far away and surrounded by animals. She begins to live her life away from her family and hometown while working at Tom Nook’s shop “Nook’s Cranny”. She works as a delivery person under the supervision of Tom Nook. As a natural part of her job, she comes to know all her animal neighbours. Ai befriends the residents and starts finding anonymous messages in the bottles that outline miracle will happen at the winter festival only in case if pine trees are planted in a particular place of the village.
She half believes and assumes that those messages were from alien, therefore, she starts planting a tree in a very specific location in the village. The film continues and later in the year, her friend Sally moves away to pursue a career in fashion design. After knowing this Ai becomes heartbroken and ends up at museum café, crying when K.K Bossa plays, the songs remind her of her best friend sally. After a quiet time, finally, a year passed away and winter rolls around. The tree she had planted are fully grown and are decorated with Christmas lights. A UFO flies around the town and land in the forest. A spaceship that crashes lands in the middle of the forest is occupied by the guy named Johnny, who planted the bottles to make an entrance as alien. He asks the villagers for help to find out the pieces of a spaceship. Ai and her friends search for pieces of Johnny’s UFO, but one piece is blocked by a boulder in the cave. A Lot of drama happened after that. As we don’t want to spoil too much of the movie, we will leave to you to explore what happens next!
This 2006 Japanese animated film is broadly based on the popular video games series. It is also considered as the best video game adaptation, getting not only the core essence correct but directly translating different key element. The movie is so similar to the game including the populated village and the characters such as the hedgehog Able sisters, the owl Blathers and elderly tortoise Tortimer. While watching the movie fans might think of actually playing one the franchise game either it’s a New Horizon or pocket Camp.
As movie feels like a detached version of playing a game, looks like it is specially designed to make viewers thinks, “Hey, I can do that”, “OH, right, I remember that character”. Though the village is exhibit quite realistic, the characters included are entirely 2D replicas of their 3D game models. In short, with faint touches of a kid movie, watching the Dobustu no Mori feels like watching someone else play an Animal crossing game. Considering how hard it can be to adapt a video game that has a plot, undoubtedly this is the film’s biggest achievement.
Obviously, after reading the detail Animal crossing is not the movie to be missed out. But the question arises how does one actually go about watching this Masterpiece? Well, the answer is not pretty much straight forward. We have got bad news on that front.
Unfortunately, the movie is only available in Japanese and Nintendo has yet to release the film in the English version, or to make a follow-up in the form of anime series or sequel. That’s why an official English version of the movie is currently not available anywhere to stream right now. However, if you spend some time searching around the internet, you can find a fan-dubbed version to enjoy!