Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie -

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  • Audio Rating: A+
  • Video Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: B
  • Extras Rating: B
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 86
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cardcaptor Sakura

Cardcaptor Sakura The Movie

By Abraham Chinchilla Jr.     April 26, 2002
Release Date: March 26, 2002

The Review!
Cardcaptor Sakura has been a favorite series of mine. Surprisingly, this is my first Cardcaptor Sakura DVD (I have collected a few of Pioneer's subtitled VHS a year ago)! After watching this disc, I can't say I'm not impress with the disc. Let's see!

We get four audio tracks! The tracks are: Japanese DD 5.1, Japanese DD 2.0, English DD 5.1, and English DD 2.0. I watched this disc in it's original Japanese language (DD 5.1) and the audio was spectacular! No drop outs and the music score of course was great. I checked a few scenes in English, the sound was good, but I can't say the same for the English dub and the new music score. Other than that, we have a great Japanese track!

This film has quite a bit of dark scenes, so artifacting could be spotted in some of those scenes. Though for the brighter scenes we have a beautiful transfer. Did I mention the video is Anamorphic? The animation is as great as usual, and now we have a good transfer to present this film's beauty.

The cover art is presented in a clear Scanavo case, which works nicely since the cover is reversible. While the front cover does have a nice image of Sakura in a Chinese outfit, the back seems quite poorly done. The summary acts as if this movie takes place at the end of the entire series (after the "Sakura Card" season) of the DUBBED version! For those who are first watching the series, the back summary includes a few spoilers, so look out! But, why did I give the packaging a high rating? Here's why:

The reversible side is beautiful, and I prefer it much more over than the front, and it's obvious because I now have it reversed. The artwork is from the Japanese release, and Pioneer even included the Japanese logo. The back is done more better than the front, but we still have the spoiler-ish summary. The insert is a four-page booklet. The front page has the Chinese outfit Sakura, the two middle pages have cast listings for the Japanese and English versions, and the back has a chapter listing.

Limited to only to the first pressing, a Limited Edition "Translucent" pencil board is included. The Chinese outfit Sakura is featured again, but this pencil board shows me how beautiful this image also is. The disc has a blue image of Sakura (from the reversible side). Overall, the packaging is fantastic.

The menus are okay, but seem simple. The main menu begins with a close up of Chinese outfit Sakura zooming out, with Hong Kong scenes in the background. The language selection is done nicely, the English 2.0 audio is the default though (would of expected the 5.1 to be default). The scene index was a surprise. Out of the few Pioneer discs I have seen, I've never seen animated menus done for the scene index. What I mean is that the scene shots are not still or static, but actually play. The extras menu is done alright, but all the commercials are devided into more submenus (Movie trailers, and TV spots). Pioneer could of simply listed all theatrical trailers and TV spots on one menu.

Aside from the really neat pencil board, the extras on the disc are minimal. We get two Japanese theatrical trailers, four Japanese TV spots, and the English trailer. The Japanese trailers are fun to watch, but I say, stay away from the English trailer...

You should be familiar with at least the first season of the TV series (episodes 1-35/36) before watching this film. The movie was excellent, in my opinion, and it's fun to watch. The story is great, fun, and sad. A usual "magical girl" story, but those are always fun to watch!

The film starts out with Sakura attempting to capture another Clow Card. The blue shadowy figure begins to fire multiple arrows at Sakura as she flies through the Elemtary school. Shaoran, luckily, saves her and Sakura gets her chance to capture the card. Sakura calls out Windy to weaken the blue figure. Sakura calls out an incantation and locks the figure back into it's original form of a card. The card is called "Arrow". Tomoyo is seen recording Sakura as usual, and Meiling throws a fit about Shaoran not getting the card. Kero-chan congratulates Sakura, and she blushes.

Sakura begins to have dreams in which she sees a woman in the shadows (this isn't the same woman as seen at the Tokyo Tower in the series). She begins to wonder who the woman is.

The next day at school, Sakura recieves her report card. She is relieved to find that she passed. Tomoyo got good grades as usual, Shaoran is also relieved to have gotten passing grades, and Meiling is upset since she still needs to work on her Japanese. Sakura and Tomoyo prepare for Winter vacation and stop by "Twin Bells" to look for notebooks to do their vacation homework. Sakura makes her purchase and recieves a chance to draw a ball for prizes. When Sakura reaches into the box, she feels something and a ball floats into her hand. She pulls it out to reveal a gold colored ball. The owner looks at the prize chart and they discover that Sakura has won the grand prize trip to Hong Kong!

Sakura and Kero-chan are excited about going, since Kero-chan use to be in Hong Kong along with Clow Reed and the Clow Cards. Sakura remembers that her father will be on a business trip though, but he gives her permission to go with Touya along with Tomoyo. Touya says that Yukito doesn't have any plans, so he'd be able to go as well. Sakura becomes very happy.

After arriving in Hong Kong, the group look around Hong Kong. On a tour of "Bird Street" Sakura senses something and finds her somewhere similar to what she had visited in her dream. Shaoran appears and is able to save Sakura. Soon, Sakura and Tomoyo are reunited with Shaoran and Meiling.

They all go to Shaoran's house, where Sakura and the others are able to change into Chinese outfits. Sakura and Tomoyo also meet Shaoran's four wacky sisters. They begin to admire Sakura and Tomoyo. Once Yukito and Touya walk in, they go all over them as well. As soon as Shaoran's mother walks in, Shaoran stands up straight. As the sisters give a cute face to Shaoran's mother, she walks to greet Sakura. She knows Sakura has great power and possesses the Clow Cards, so she lets them stay for the night. Shaoran's mother also warns Sakura that her power may be attracting an evil force.

As the film goes along, we learn more about the shadowed woman in Sakura's dream. This movie was very good and well animated, as how the series is also animated, but it seems to give me a more "theatrical" feel to it. The music is still great with a few background tracks that have returned from the series. If you have enjoyed the Cardcaptor Sakura series so far, you should really watch this.

The English dub on this disc is horrible, and it drives me to the point of wishing it was never on this disc. I was able to stand the dub for the series, but the dub for the movie is so changed from the original. The story is completely ruined, so don't waste your time!

Review Equipment
32" RCA TV, APEX AD-1500 DVD Player, SONY LBT-D170 Compact Hi-Fi Stereo System


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