Chris & Marcey’s February Movie Exchange: Week 3 – Doraemon: Nobita’s Dinosaur (1980)

Movie Exchange

What’s a Blog-a-thon? This movie exchange is a challenge, its participants have chosen films the other has not seen to watch and review.
Chris’ criteria for Marcey: Japanese Anime of the 1980’s
Why Chris Chose This Film For Marcey: For the third film that Marcey will be viewing in our blog-a-thon, I have selected a very early 1980’s classic, Doraemon: Nobita’s Dinosaur. Based on the manga and anime series, the film is the first feature length Doraemon film and was one of the first anime films I had seen when I was three years old. I wanted Marcey to watch it because it is a hidden gem of 80’s anime, and Doraemon is one of Japans best known franchises that Western audiences haven’t really been exposed to, especially in the last decade. This is a fun film compared to the others that I have selected for Marcey and I know that she will fall in love with the simply adorable, Doraemon.

Nobitas Dino

Marcey’s Review
I could have sworn I could have seen a Doraemon film when I was younger, but I honestly don’t remember. Doraemon himself feels very familiar, but I really don’t recall whether or not I had seen one of the films. The film of Doraemon that Chris has given me is Nobita’s Dinosaur, the very first of the Doraemon films. This is from 1980, although it could be from any time, it kind of has a timeless feel to it. It is aimed at the younger audience, but really anyone can enjoy it, it does capture the imagination, especially with those of us who grew up obsessed with dinosaurs.

The story here is about Nobita, who after missing out on seeing a friend’s Dinosaur fossil, promises he will find his own fossils. So after digging in the yard, he finds a big hard rock, but he thinks it is an egg, a dinosaur egg. His friend (I think) a creature called Doraemon, questions what the egg is but gives Nobita a way to find out. Using a time blanket (just bare with me), he sends the egg back 100 million years and it hatches into a little dinosaur. The little dinosaur gets named Piisuke, and Nobita raises him in secret. He gets too big to keep at home, and it seems as though Piisuke needs to be taken back to the Cretaceous period. So along with his friends and Doraemon, they manage to use a time machine and head back. But because of being attacked by future dino hunters, they wind up taking Piisuke to the wrong area, so they adventure in the past through the age of the dinosaur’s to get Piisuke back to Japan and avoid him getting captured by the hunters.

There is a lot to the plot, and there is a lot to take in, this is not exactly a simple story and I am likely leaving a bunch of stuff out. I had no idea what this was actually about except that a dinosaur hatches and is raised by a boy. There isn’t much backstory to Doraemon, so I have no idea what he is, or why he has a time machine and a bunch of awesome gadgets. This was confusing to me, but I suppose the film was designed this way because in Japan he is a well known character and the books were read by everyone. I am curious to known more about him, and what he is exactly. I did like him, he has a cute design, but I could not stand his voice.

Nobita

Nobita is a cute character, a nerdy kid who is extremely clumsy and does not think before he talks, in a way a lot like me at that age. He was fairly easy to relate to, and a fun character to spend the story with. Piisuke though for me was the star, he’s a gorgeous creature and just so much fun. The friends aren’t in the film as much as they do start off more as bullies, but they get redeemed and the group become a really strong pair. Friendship is at the heart of the story, which I really liked, it does have a really strong message there. There is another message here that deals with the harm of hunting, which was a nice touch. The characters in a way feel real, but they do have their bigger than life persona’s, which really fit this film.

The animation for the most part is really simple, but it does get complex and really detailed with the dinosaur’s. That was amazing to see, and a lot of time and effort clearly went into designing them as real as possible, and still making them really fun to be around. The T-Rex, next to Piisuke was my favourite of course, he was a mean fighting machine for the most part. This is a fun film, although at 107 minutes it does feel a bit too long, it does drag a little at times and some parts are a bit scary for the young kids. It is however a really enjoyable film, and the scenes with the kids going on an adventure and discovering all the dinosaur’s were my favourite. I really liked the bitter sweet ending as well, and I maybe had a tear in my eye.

Rating
StarRating-03-5

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