The Doraemon franchise has recently released the film, Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016, which is based on the popular animation and manga (comicbook) series that many are familiar with today. Those who had grown up with the anime series tend to be interested whenever a new Doraemon film comes out as it recalls childhood memories of watching the series.
Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan 2016 features the same group of characters as the original anime series and has been available in Beijing with a Chinese dubbed version. The film retains the characteristic personality traits of each of these characters: the orderly and kind-hearted girl, the clumsy but well-meaning main character, his more reckless and aggressive friend…and of course Doraemon himself, the friend doubling as advisor who constantly produces new futuristic gadgets and inventions from the kangaroo-esque pouch under his bell collar.
The film uses the vibrant colors and clearly delineated imagery that is consistent with the anime series, and the characters show emotion in an upfront and relatively unrestricted manner that can arguably be an augmentation of feasible reality, and yet is designed to, rather successfully, emphasize the genuine nature of their feelings as is compatible with the uncalculating nature of youth. As the plot unfolds, visual style complements film content for the vibrancy of the animation’s visual elements contributes to the intensity and purity of the characters’ emotional expressions.
Overall, the storyline follows a relatively archetypal trajectory with a peaceful exposition, ascending action that builds up to a conflict-driven and visually action-packed climax, which then glides down to the usual, mostly happy–albeit slightly bittersweet–resolution.
While it is a children’s film with a straightforward plot that arguably lacks subtlety or significance beyond the common themes of good versus evil and the importance of courage and morality, there was a surprisingly dark moment in the film when a character, in what may be considered a near-death experience, deeply explored psychological questions on self-value and the connection between self-perceived potential and negative external reinforcements from society.
While not deviating much from standard expectations of its genre, this Doraemon film could be a good choice for spending more time together with your child over the weekend. If nothing else, for someone familiar with the anime, the colorful imageries of the characters exploring vast landscapes provide entertainment, awakening memories spanning the last several decades.
Featured Image Source: Deviant Art