It had certainly been quite a while since I had seen this film. I’ve seen it a few times in the past and recently I finally saw the subbed version. It’s definitely interesting to compare and contrast the two versions. I grew up on the dub and I’m always very partial to that format so it certainly wins for me, but both of them are certainly solid. The film is very short and is essentially an episode, but we still get a nice fight at the end and that’s what counts. It’s a nice way to start off your Digimon anime experience and Godzilla fans will definitely appreciate it.
Tai and his sister Kari were having an ordinary day at home when an egg shows up and a monster jumps out of it. The monster is nice and pretty small at first, but things start to get a little worrisome when it evolves into Agumon and breaks the roof of their house. It jumps away with Kari so now Tai must find this monster and rescue his sister. Tai will have to hurry with this as well since another monster is about to come through the gates and this one’s not an ally! Can Tai really keep it together under such duress? Well…this is Tai that we’re talking about!
The original version takes itself a little more seriously than its English counterpart. The music is very subdued and soft. Unfortunately, this does mean that we don’t get any real battle/action themes in the film so the fight is more of a visual experience. No crude humor jokes at least and the film has some extra scenes that weren’t in the dub. I can see why the beak getting smashed was cut out although the fire blast to the wing wasn’t that bad and could have easily been kept. It’s definitely more of a thriller in the original cut as the whole thing is pretty mysterious and a little out of nowhere for the main characters so it’s really a trial by storm. I’d probably give this version a 6/10, but the dub helps the overall score jump by a star as it wasn’t too far away from that anyway.
In the Dub version, it’s more of a comedy action. We even get some narration that I could probably do without, but most of the dub’s other qualities are good. For starters, the music is a drastic improvement even if it doesn’t feel very Digimon esque at times. The battle theme is much more fitting for the climax and the Dub just has an epic feel to it at the end. There are also more burns and epic one liners in the dub like a truck driver scene that I had completely forgotten involving two truck drivers and one who fell asleep at the wheel. (The wiki is pretty handy for times like this) Tai jokes about how large the egg is and he’s never speechless when it comes to these strange occurrences. An overload of jokes can be bad if they’re poorly written like in Pixels, but for something like Digimon that has quality control, it works out pretty well. Another good part on the dub is that it cuts out a random scene where we find out that Tai’s father is a drunk. Yeah, we didn’t need to know that! The dub’s high intensity and one liners help to alleviate my slight weakness with the film that will come up in a second. Regardless of what version you watch, the animation for the fight scene at the end is very good and this film certainly succeeds on a technical level.
If the film has a main weakness, it’s that the happy days scenes can drag a little. As you may or may not be aware, I’m not a big fan of kids and babies in films and other media. Kids are usually exempt in anime though (I can elaborate on that if necessary in the comments) and I actually thought that Tai was a pretty good character. Kari…not so much, but at least we know that she gets a lot better in the actual anime. I actually didn’t care for Koromon. He is cool as Agumon and Greymon, but the chasing each other around the room and the odd face hug parts were moments that could have been dramatically shortened. That’s really it though and while the scenes can get a little dull, it’s not something that will really hurt the experience for you. It’s already a short film after all so how much can it really drag out right?
What I think would have made the film a little better would have been for a larger cast or at least one more character to be with Tai. It would help to give us some more dialogue and if we were lucky, maybe even some banter. Alternately, the easier and possibly even more effective strategy would just be to make Tai a little older. Of course in that case, the film would need to have made it a different cast since that may not have made a whole lot of sense for the TV show and we don’t want logic holes right from the get go right? As just mentioned, Tai is already a good character in this film. He takes charge and isn’t afraid of anything. Once Kari is taken away, he quickly goes outside on his own and confronts the Digimon. It’s easy to see why he became the leader of the group. Kari can’t really talk all that much at this point in the film so it would essentially be impossible for her to be a likable character. If she couldn’t talk, but was old enough to still have a personality, then it could be a different story. The other main characters of the TV show make cameo appearances so that’s neat for their fans I suppose.
It almost goes without saying that Parrotmon makes for a great villain. He has a nice projectile and in terms of pure power, Parrotmon is actually able to hold his own against Greymon. That’s pretty impressive when you really think about it since Parrotmon is typically a zoner when it comes to combat. Greymon is a great homage to Godzilla as well and their battle was done so well. A clash of anime Kaiju is something that you don’t see every day and sometimes not even in a full year. You will also be able to recognize some of the famous Godzilla roars if you pay close enough attention to the details.
Overall, Digimon Adventure starts out right with this quick film. It was probably fun for the people who ended up seeing this day 1 and becoming a fan of the franchise. It’s certainly lasted quite a while and may be the 2nd most popular mon show at this point. It’s probably solidified its standing there as well so nothing will be passing it anytime soon. I’ve seen this film many times in the past and it’s an enjoyable film for fans and people who haven’t seen Digimon yet. If you’re looking for a film with a nice fight scene at the end as a foreshadowing of things to come, then you should check this film out. It’s a little light on action of course, but no worries, the TV show has fight scenes in bulk! Naturally, this review also comes at a good time as the new Digimon film series is finally here. Yes, this site is just That good!