Dōbutsu no Mori (film)

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Dōbutsu no Mori
Film poster depicting a cartoon forest with characters. There is a pear tree, a pine tree, and an apple tree. Anthropomorphic cat appears behind the pear trunk, a human boy in a ninja costume and a human girl appear from the branches of and behind the trunk, respectively, of the pine tree, and an anthropomorphic white elephant appears from behind the apple trunk. Some simple buildings can be seen in the background. A present attached to a balloon and a U.F.O. appear floating in the sky. This can be seen at the end of the film.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jōji Shimura
Produced by Bunshō Kajiya
Written by Aya Matsui
Based on Animal Crossing and Animal Crossing: Wild World
Starring Yui Horie
Misato Fukuen
Fumiko Orikasa
Yū Kobayashi
Naoki Tatsuta
Kenichi Ogata
Shun Oguri
Yūichi Kimura
Music by Kazumi Totaka
Tomoki Hasegawa (arrangements)
Cinematography Kōji Yamakoshi
Edited by Toshio Henmi
Production
company
Distributed by Toho (in association with Nintendo)
Release dates
  • December 16, 2006 (2006-12-16) (Japan)
Running time 87 minutes
Country Japan
Language Japanese
Box office ~¥1.7 billion ($16,216,000)[1]

Dōbutsu no Mori (Japanese: 劇場版 どうぶつの森 Hepburn: Gekijōban Dōbutsu no Mori?, lit. "Animal Forest: Theater Version") is a 2006 Japanese animated film directed by Jōji Shimura and based on the Animal Crossing video game series, specifically Wild World. It was produced by OLM, Inc. and distributed by Toho in association with Nintendo. The film opened in theaters in Japan on December 16, 2006, where it went on to earn an estimated ¥1.7 billion (approximately $16,216,000) at the box office.

The film retains the theme of the video games, and centers on a child named Ai who moves into a village populated with animals where she works to make new friends and find her own dreams. Dōbutsu no Mori was not released outside Japan, and Nintendo of America has no plans for an English release.[2]

Plot[edit]

The film opens with Ai, a young girl, moving into the Animal Village during the summer. After being put to work by Tom Nook to deliver goods, Ai befriends four of the village's residents, Bouquet, Sally, Alfonso, and Yū, participating in several activities. Ai begins to find a series of anonymous messages in bottles that state that a miracle will occur during the upcoming Winter Festival if pine trees are planted in specific points of the village. Ai complies with the messages and begins planting the trees, half-believing that the messages may have been placed by aliens.

During autumn, Bouquet scolds Ai for not attending Sally's farewell party, which comes as a big surprise. Ai becomes heartbroken, learning that Sally has moved away to embark on a career in fashion design. Ai ends up at the museum café, and ends up crying when K.K. Bossa plays (a song that reminds her of Sally). Bianca scolds Ai, and tells her that she should be happy as a friend for Sally. Ai then responds by saying that she is happy, but she is instead sad that Sally never told her anything, and leaves the café. Sally sends a letter of apology to Ai, explaining that a goodbye would have been too upsetting, and encourages her to embark on her own personal journey. Bouquet apologizes to Ai for her harsh reaction.

Winter comes, and all the pine trees that Ai has planted have fully grown and are decorated with Christmas lights. A spaceship crash-lands in the middle of the forest, and Gulliver, a seagull, emerges. Gulliver, who had planted the bottles in order to make an entrance dressed as an alien, asks the villagers to help locate some of the pieces that broke off his ship during the descent. Ai, Rosie, Yū, and Alfonso head towards a cave, where Yū claims to have seen one of the pieces fall. The entrance, though, is blocked up by a large boulder (from a recent event). Though the team tries to move the boulder, it eventually turns out it is too heavy for them to move. Sally then appears and helps unseal the cave.

The five retrieve the missing piece and return to Gulliver, who they discover had already obtained them all. The missing piece turns out to be an injured UFO, one of a larger group that was attracted to the village due to the pattern formed by Ai's lit-up pine trees. The injured UFO reunites with its group, and as they depart, create a constellation in the night sky resembling Ai. Ai then wins the Winter Festival contest for the best decoration, leaving her feeling for the first time as a true member of the village.

Characters[edit]

Character Description Voice cast
Ai The naïve female human protagonist of the film who moves into the Animal Village. Yui Horie
Rosie the Cat A frank female cat who befriends Ai. She has a tendency to praise her own wares. She discovers a Seismosaurus fossil in the village cave. Misato Fukuen
Sally the Elephant A female elephant who dreams of becoming a designer. Despite her large and intimidating appearance, she is a kind and gentle person, and befriends Ai along with Bouquet Fumiko Orikasa
A human boy who lives in a neighboring village. His hobbies include cosplaying (usually as a pirate or a ninja) and collecting insects and fossils. Yū Kobayashi
Halberd Crocodile A mischievous male crocodile who is friends with Yū. Takatoshi Kaneko
Apollo the Eagle A calm male eagle whom Bianca seems to admire. Masaki Terasoma
Bianca the Wolf A lovely female white wolf who seems to admire Apollo. She has a passion for ladylikeness. It is heavily implied throughout the movie that she and Apollo were once a couple. Yurika Hino
Champ the Monkey A muscular male monkey who likes to weight-train, and does so throughout the movie. He is Saruo in the Japanese language release of the video games. Yasuhiro Takato
Cesar the Gorilla A male gorilla who is skilled in enka. He is good friends with Cyrano. He is Araso in the Japanese language release of the video games. Kazuya Tatekabe
Cyrano the Anteater A male anteater who is skilled in chanson. He is good friends with Cesar. He is Sakurajima in the Japanese language release of the video games. Yūji Ueda
Hopper the Penguin A male Rockhopper penguin who likes to fish. He always fishes at the same place. He is Tux in the Japanese language release of the video games, where he is a lot grumpier than how he was portrayed. Hisao Egawa
List of characters in the Animal Crossing series
Tom Nook A male tanuki that owns a shop in the Animal Village. He likes to make new villagers work at his store as a part-time job. He is known as Tanukichi in the Japanese games. Naoki Tatsuta
Tortimer An old tortoise, and mayor of the village. In the film, he is worried about his upcoming re-election, even though he is the only candidate. He is known as Kotobuki in the Japanese games. Kenichi Ogata
Pete the Mailman A male pelican who delivers letters around the Animal Village. He is Pelio in the Japanese language release of the video games. Akio Suyama
Pelly the Pelican A female pelican who works in the Animal Village City Hall during the daytime hours. She is a tender and kind person, unlike her older sister Phyllis. She is Peliko in the Japanese language release of the video games. Otoha
Phyllis the Pelican A female pelican who works in the Animal Village City Hall during the nighttime hours. Unlike her younger sister Pelly, she is a foul-mouthed and bitter person. She is Pelimi in the Japanese language release of the video games. Yūko Mizutani
Blathers the Owl A male Ural Owl who works at the Animal Village Museum. He cannot stop talking about dinosaurs once he starts talking about one. To obtain a Seismosaurus fossil is his dream. He is Fūta in the Japanese language release of the video games. Unlike in the games, he is not nocturnal. Kappei Yamaguchi
Celeste the Owl A female owl who runs the observatory in the museum. She is Fūko in the Japanese language release of the video games. Unlike in the games, she is not nocturnal. Mika Kanai
Brewster A male Columbidae who runs the kissaten in the museum's basement. He is Masuta in the Japanese language release of the video games. Takaya Hashi
Totakeke (K.K. Slider) A male street musician dog. He is named and modeled after musician Kazumi Totaka. He is referred to as both Totakeke and K.K. Slider in the video games. When he sings K.K. Bossa during the fireworks festival, he sings it in Animalese (the animals' oral language), like in the games. Shun Oguri
Mr. Resetti A male mole who is in charge of the illumination in the Village. He is Reset in the Japanese language release of the video games, where he serves a different purpose. He appears if the player resets the game without saving, and lectures them not to. Yūichi Kimura
Wendell A male walrus painter who is frequently hungry and sorrowful. He is Seiichi in the Japanese language release of the video games. Junpei Takiguchi
Mabel The younger of the two Able Sisters, who are hedgehog tailors. She is Asami in the Japanese language release of the video games. Mari Adachi
Sable The older of the two Able Sisters, who are hedgehog tailors. She is Kinuyo in the Japanese language release of the video games. Saori Hattori
Crazy Redd A male fox who runs a suspicious black market. He is Tsunekichi in the Japanese language release of the video games. Tetsuo Sakaguchi
Pascal A male sea otter. He is Rakosuke in the Japanese language release of the video games. Takashi Miike
Gulliver A male astronaut Common Gull who flies around the Village in a UFO, and also speaks English. He is Jonni in the Japanese language release of the video games. In the original game, he was a sailor that washed up on shore once a week, giving the player a rare piece of furniture. In Wild World, he flies a UFO like he does in the film, which the player can shoot down with a slingshot. Afterwards, the player must gather the pieces of the ship just like in the movie. Gulliver rewards the player with a piece of space-themed furniture with the completion of this task. Wataru Takagi
Kapp'n A male taxicab-driving kappa. He is Kappei in the Japanese language release of the video games. In the original game, he operates the ferry that takes the player to Animal Island. In Wild World, he drives the cab that first takes the player to the village, like in the film. Mitsuo Iwata
Other characters Dr. Shrunk, Lyle, Katie, Kaitlin, and Saharah are all seen during the fireworks festival, but have no lines.

Production[edit]

Dōbutsu no Mori was first announced in a May 2006 issue of the online Japanese magazine Hochi Shimbun, with a theatrical release date set for the following December.[3] The movie entered production due to the success of Animal Crossing: Wild World, released for the Nintendo DS the previous year, which had shipped over 3 million copies in Japan alone. Jōji Shimura was attached to direct, having previously worked on manga-to-film adaptations such Shin Angyo Onshi and Master Keaton. Some of the Animal Crossing series staff assisted with production, and worked to give the movie the same wide audience appeal as the video games themselves.[3]

Those who ordered advanced tickets before the film's debut were eligible to receive vouchers which could be redeemed for hard-to-obtain gold tools in Animal Crossing: Wild World.[4] In October 2007, Nintendo of America made a statement that they had "no plans" to bring the film to North America.[2]

Music[edit]

Music for Dōbutsu no Mori was contributed by Animal Crossing series composer Kazumi Totaka and arranged by Tomoki Hasegawa, with the film featuring numerous themes from the games. The film's official theme song is "Mori e Ikō" (森へ行こう Let's Go to the Forest?) by Taeko Onuki, which plays over the end credits.[5] An official soundtrack album was released in Japan on December 13, 2006 by VAP containing 46 tracks from the movie along with five bonus songs from Animal Crossing: Wild World.[6]

Home media[edit]

Dōbutsu no Mori was released on region 2 DVD in Japan on July 25, 2007 by VAP.[7] First-print copies also included an Animal Crossing-themed carrying pouch.[7]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Dōbutsu no Mori debuted in Japanese theaters as the third highest-grossing film of its opening weekend behind Letters from Iwo Jima and Eragon, earning approximately ¥246 million ($2,085,729).[8] By the end of 2006, the movie had a total revenue of ¥1.526 billion ($12,915,432), becoming the 30th highest-grossing film that year in the region.[9] The film had lifetime earnings of approximately ¥1.7 billion ($16,216,731) by the end of its theatrical run in 2007, making it the 17th highest-grossing film of that year when combining it with its December 2006 box office total.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b 2007年度興行成績ランキング (in Japanese). Rakuten. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b RawmeatCowboy (October 30, 2007). "No plans to bring Animal Crossing move to North America". GoNintendo. Retrieved April 30, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b Groenendijk, Ferry (May 15, 2006). "Nintendo announces Animal Crossing film". Video Games Blogger. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  4. ^ 金の釣竿と金の斧と金のパチンコと (in Japanese). Aiko de Show. December 14, 2006. Retrieved September 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ 劇場版 「どうぶつの森」 / 主題歌 (in Japanese). doubutsunomori-movie.jp. Archived from the original on January 22, 2007. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "CD: Animal Forest: Movie Edition - Original Soundtrack". Toho World. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "『劇場版どうぶつの森』、2007年7月25日DVDリリース&レンタル開始" (in Japanese). Retrieved September 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Japan Box Office, December 16-17, 2006". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 15, 2006. 
  9. ^ "2006 Japan Yearly Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]