Thoughts on Animal Crossing (Movie)

animal crossing movie review cover

Okay, so, Animal Crossing. It was pleasant. Pleasantly stupid. The first thirty minutes of this movie was fun. Nothing happened, but it was at least watchable. The main character is eh, the other characters are eh, the animation is eh, the sound is nostalgic, since I’ve played the game, so, in essence, this movie was eh, with a splash of nostalgia.

Of course, I’m a critic first, so nostalgia has nothing to do with how I rate things. Kinda-sorta. It’s complicated. I’ll start with the plot. Ai is a new villager in a town called “Animal Village.” Very creative name, I must say. She goes around and partakes in activities that are typical of a newcomer: exploring the town while being forced to work.

While there, she meets random talking animals that don’t scare her at all being that she’s human. Some become her friends, others are there just for the sake of comedic relief. Basically, it’s a girl doing stuff. Slice of Life.

The characters are as typical for a slice of life flick. They’re up-beat, devoid of any flaws, and very, very cute. Take Ai, for example. What’s wrong with her? Nothing. She thinks of others, does everything in her power to do her best, and is friendly to everyone. Not to mention she cries. Oh, lordy, she cries. All of the other characters try their hardest to be either cute or funny. Some work, most don’t.

Only a few characters don’t exhibit these archetype character models, and they’re boring. With Slice of Life, characters are essential to continue the plot and make it as entertaining as possible to make up for, well, how little of a plot it needs to progress. Does Animal Crossing work well? It did for a while. Then Sally moved away. That… just destroyed the movie for me.

It’s not that I was upset that Sally moved, it’s just the drama that it caused really irked me. She just up and moved away without telling anybody, then progresses the plot in a way that made it seem like it was the fault of Ai’s for not going to see her. But she didn’t know! How was she? She didn’t tell her!

It goes on to show Ai being depressed for twenty minutes over something that clearly isn’t her fault. Along with some useless advice from Bianca, nothing really came out of this other than a not funny scene with Wendell, the hungry asshole.

Now there’s a UFO and partying and creepy CGI and… Hrmm. I liked how this film started. I didn’t like how it ended. It was fine as a movie that meant nothing, but then it tried to bring an unnecessary drama plot into it, and it never really felt like a pleasant movie afterwards, which is exactly what it was meant to be. It seems to me that this film was trying to appeal to all audiences, but in doing so made it seem more like an experiment than a full-fledged movie.

The animation and sound? Animal Crossing. If you’ve played Animal Crossing at any point in your life, you know exactly how this is going to play out. Full of acoustic scores and strange, high-pitched dogs belting out memorable songs such as… BEE BO BA BAAAAAAAAAAA. The animation is typical of any anime. Movements are somewhat robotic and expressions are reminiscent of the Animal Crossing games. Cute.

This movie was unnecessary. Why make a movie out of a game that doesn’t end? Why make a movie out of a game that is basically the Japanese version of The Sims? Purely fan service. The movie doesn’t do anything other than invoke nostalgic feelings from fans of the series, and it doesn’t have much to distinguish itself as a stand-alone movie.

I wouldn’t recommend this film to anybody outside of the Animal Crossing fan base unless they were looking for something to set off their moe-dar. I feel ashamed just saying that.

Last line uttered after witnessing the credits: “Oh, is that it?”

The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.

For more anime reviews, check out the associated archive.

Thank you for your time. Have a great timezone.

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