I give this short, 20 minute prequel to Digimon...an 83/100!
Ah, Digimon, a favorite for a lot of us kids during our childhood. Thanks to a certain part of this franchise called Digimon Tamers, I am officially on an epic Digimon high, so much so that I'm even making a fan fic! The best part, I've gotten 23 chapters written yet I've written and outlined ideas for at least 90 chapters! Anyway, Digimon came around the same time as Pokemon. Unlike Pokemon, Digimon has a more concrete and set in stone storyline regarding monsters, and also unlike Pokemon, Digimon can digivolve and de-digivolve as well. Also unlike Pokemon, Digimon focuses on issues that Pokemon doesn't even bother to touch. Themes like death (not to a detailed degree), divorce, friendship, etc. I've always loved these two anime, even as a kid and I still do, even now.
Exactly how did Digimon come into the world again? Well, it all started with this movie, Digimon Adventure, which is named after the first season. This 20 minute movie is simply about Tai and Kari as young kids who witness a DigiEgg come out of their computer. Later, it hatches into a Botamon and they take care of it. After that, it digivolves into Koromon. They don't know that he's a Digimon and that he's from the Digital World (well, they did kinda make them know in the edited dub version). But then he digivolves into a HUGE Agumon, way bigger than the Agumon in the TV series. Agumon goes on a rampage, and as Tai searches for Hikari, a DigiEgg about a THOUSAND times bigger than theirs floats in the sky and a Parrotmon falls out and causes trouble. Agumon, who digivolves into Greymon, and Parrotmon get into a fight. After some scrapes, they defeat each other...but they both disappear.
Yeah. I just recited the entire movie in that summary. I'm not ashamed, because there really isn't much to spoil in this movie. Nothing really big happens. However! The movie DOES have a LOT of impact on the series itself (which is revealed in some episodes). But unlike the TV series, the movie is animated differently. As you can tell, this is one of Mamoru Hosoda's earlier works. He did the other Digimon movies, along with the movies The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Summer Wars (my personal favorite). Characters are constantly moving, even when they're doing the smallest things (I especially liked how the scene where Koromon is being chased by the cat was animated), and in some places its a lot darker than it should be.
Okay. This may seem like weird nitpicking, but I HAVE to point this out. Ever since I started watching anime, I've noticed something REALLY weird. Lately, I've seen anime portray little kids (by little I mean kindergarten aged) as being too smart for their age. This is especially the case in anime like Hanamaru Youchien, Nanaka 6/17, and Kimi to Boku. Seriously, they make kids use words like reasonable and pity and have them be knowledgeable about love triangles and lewd stuff! How stupid is that?! I didn't know that stuff when I was four or five! I couldn't even talk right around then because I was still severely autistic and in early intervention! Thankfully enough, this Digimon movie portrays young Tai and Kari wonderfully and, best of all, realistically. They're not too smart or too obnoxious. They're just two little children seeing something new in life every day, playing kid games and doing kid things. Yes! Way to go, Digimon!
In terms of the music, I might have to be a bit critical. Now I confess that I LOVE classical music, especially Maurice Ravel's stuff. Did you know the producers of this little movie actually used one of Maurice Ravel's pieces as the BGM for this movie? They used the Bolero (I can't believe I thought this was a musical instrument!). While I do love this kind of move and while I do love Ravel, I don't think the Bolero was a good choice for the ENTIRE movie. I just feel it's been played in weird parts, like in the battle scenes between Greymon and Parrotmon. It didn't fit! I kinda wanted something more dramatic and bombastic. Not to say the song is bad or anything (that award goes to the Durarara OST), I just feel the producers could've used more dramatic pieces for the fight scenes.
I think I already talked a bit about the characters in the 4th paragraph, but all I talked about was how great and realistically they were portrayed as little kid. In terms of them in general, Tai is still the kind and overprotective brother and Kari is still the sweet and curious little sister. Yes, they're adorable. The story itself is simple enough, and the movie's not trying to be anything it isn't. That's the job of the TV series. The movie shows that you don't have to be epic or complex to draw in an audience. Nowadays, most anime movies related to long running franchises are either recaps, silly side-stories, or just plain marketing stunts to get kids to buy toys. Most movies don't take risks. This movie, however, does, and way before the series even made a name for itself. You HAVE to give this movie credit for trying.
All in all, this is a cute but haunting 20 minute prequel to Digimon that certainly has a lot of things to love about it, even with its simple story.