The Tamagotchi take another step into their plans for world domination with the release of this way too cute movie.
What They Say
On Tamagotchi planet, Mametchi, an illustrious inventor, has just finished his new creation – a Forwarding Machine. But on its first trial run, the mischievous Kuchipatchi somehow manages to throw the machine’s aim off course, which results in a child from Earth, Tanpopo, being transported to the Tamagotchi Planet. While the little girl is thrilled to see her favourite Tamagotchis in person, she soon realises that she can't get home. Mametchi's mum and dad assure her that they will be able to invent a rocket which will take her back to the exact time she left and so, relieved, Tanpopo manages to enjoy the time she will spend living with Mametchi on Tamagotchi Planet until she can return home. But as a series of strange events threaten the planet, Tanpopo and her friends find themselves responsible for much more than her return to Earth...
As the audio is only in English, I listened to the 5.1 Dolby Sound (2.0 Stereo also available). It’s a fantastic transaction where the English dub go through in Dolby Surround sound, a lot of work has gone into this and the way it feels and comes through on the speakers, you can hear every cute little moment that comes through. Everything has been done in top quality (the dubbing of the songs in particular was quite impressive and how it comes out) – however as there are no subtitle options and there is no Japanese track, I can’t judge it by the way it transits from there – however there was no distortion between flaps and audio or pauses within the video so it was more than acceptable for me.
The widescreen effect on the movie combined with the flow moving of colours and no visible distortion effects makes Tamagotchi: The Movie a very pleasant viewing experience. Almost every moment of the movie flows through wonderfully with a vibrant palette of colour – no slowdown or visible effects means that you can just let your eyes enjoy the fantasy world – this is combined with the visual CGI effects which actually help the whole experience as it’s actually hard at first to identify between them when you see the shots of Tamagotchi World with a runny nose for example, it just flows through naturally. Great stuff.
No packaging was supplied with this test disc.
The menu is fairly straight forward with basic set up with play, chapter selection, set up and special features on the bottom under a background shot of Tampopo, Mametchi and various other Tamagotchi’s. It’s straightforward and colourful, but the issue I have is the lack of set up for subtitles. I do understand that as it’s English only that may be deemed unnecessary, but for those of the hearing impaired, that makes it no real way to enjoy the film. This is a basic requirement for almost all DVDs nowadays and disappointed Manga Entertainment didn’t include it.
The only extra is a Japanese trailer of Tamagotchi: The Movie with a dubbed voiceover of the basic plot, whilst you hear the characters in Japanese (with subtitles) – it’s as confusing as it appears but it’s the only chance you get to hear the characters in Japanese so it’s worth it just for that brief moment if you’re not a dub fan.
The Tamagotchi craze is not something I’ve been privy to, so basic knowledge was all I had. I went into it expecting a kid’s movie with hints about their merchandise and just a lot of cute.
Which I did get, but I got more fun out of it than I expected.
We’re quickly introduced to the two leads – Mametchi, a young scientist like Tamagotchi who has completed his latest invention on Tamagotchi World, whilst on Earth, we’re introduced to Tampopo, a young girl about to deliver an item to her mother – both characters linked with the fact they are about to become older siblings. Two of Mametchi’s friends, Memetchi and Kuchipatchi who resemble a light bulb and a frog compared to the teddy bear like Mametchi, visit to see his new invention, a Forwarding Machine, which is able to created warps within time – however, after a few mishaps between his friends, the machine goes haywire and in an unusual twist, manages to teleport Tampopo from Earth to Tamagotchi World. Needless to say, all parties are surprised – the Tamagotchi’s with a human on their world, and Tampopo shocked to see her favourite characters on Earth come to life.
When they realise the problem and that Tampopo can’t return to Earth, Mametchi’s parents save the day by informing her they can create a rocket for her to return home. Tampopo also seems to be an exception in the anime world as a stranger in a new universe, she is accepted wherever she goes, as the town prepares for the King of Tamagotchi’s World birthday. Lots of fun moments as Tampopo goes to the same school as Mametchi, and we learn why Mametchi invented the machine – he’s afraid of the dark and wanted to create a small sun for himself so not to be a embarrassment to his soon to be born brother or sister. It’s definitely kid’s logic, but as the whole thing is a kid’s movie, the ideology works, as does the fact Tampopo is readily accepted into an unusual society.
It leads to a fun little sequence (almost Benny Hill like) when the two of them are babysitting the egg which will become Mametchi’s sibling, and after the two take their eye off the ball (or egg in this case) the egg goes on a bouncy journey through Tamatown, but is eventually in danger of breaking on top of a building. Mametchi, Tampopo and a number of the other Tamagotchi’s team up to save the egg, and soon hatches afterwards into Mametchi’s sister, Chamametchi.
It soon appears that Tanpopo is there for a while, as Chamametchi grows up a little bit, and begins following her big brother into mischief, such as following him to school. However, the main part of the plot happens in the later half of the film, as Mametchi creates his small sun (Mametaiochi) however the real sun (Taiouchi) sees it, and the next day there is no sunlight and the planet seems to have caught a cold (Yes, a living planet. My 5 year old niece was loving this.) which Mametchi blames himself. This leads him, his friends and Tanpopo to sneak aboard the rocket that was meant for Tanpopo to go back home with, to see what is wrong with the planet, but when Chamametchi sneaks on board, it actually deals with a surprising amount of focus on how siblings should act and it’s a decent moral story for any kids watching.
The finale, combining how they had to cure the planet, the festival, and the eventual tearful finale between Tanpopo and the Tamagotchi fits in very easily – the fact that they have the ability to transport her back in time to the moment she was teleported is very convenient, but as this movie is aimed for kids, we can overlook that, as it’s simply an enjoyable fun romp. It’s extremely cute as I let my niece and my next-door neighbours daughter watch it a second time round. I’m not sure if I’ve converted them into the Tamagotchi craze, but it may have helped. The good thing about the film is simply that the characters are all very likeable, but there are moments for kids to understand (such as the brother/sister relationship – the epilogue also discusses this when Tanpopo becomes a big sister) and learn from. And the finale is genuinely tearful when Tanpopo has to leave, Mametchi in particular had become quite attached her and didn’t want her to leave until after the big festival to show what a world Tamagotchi World is. Tanpopo has her doubts at first but is able to be accepted into a world where issues back on Earth are not relevant – a different take on a lead girl but one that works for this sort of film. If you’re a child, then the grade would definitely be A – it’s just very enjoyable. For older anime fans, maybe not so much – especially if you’re not a dub fan as you don’t have any real choice in the matter (similar to the Pokemon releases if I had to compare) – but if you have a younger relative, give it a try – you might be pleasantly surprised.
A perfect film for families – adults can just smile at the antics and wonder if this world is a surprisingly accurate presentation of real families, whilst kids can enjoy the cute and fun antics, as well as take on board a decent moral tale of sibling love. The characters and animation are super cute, likeable and overall fun. The dub is high quality as well so despite the lack of Japanese it’s definitely a joy to watch both visually and audibally, and you may be surprised at how much you get into it, especially at the finale. Definitely give it a whirl if you don’t mind the cute, but if you are a parent, make sure you’re kids are sat down as the Tamagotchi’s energy is catching.
English 2.0 Language, English 5.1 Language, Trailer
Toshiba 37C3030 - 37" Widescreen HD Ready LCD TV – Tangent Ht-50 Home Theatre System Multi-Regional DVD Players/Speakers – Tangent Subwoofer 50-150 Hz, Impedenced 8 OHM.