Movie Review: Doraemon: Nobita & the Birth of Japan 2016

Doraemon 2016 time travel

Classic Doraemon feature film remade and slightly altered but remains mostly faithful to the original

This is an anime feature film adaptation and remake of one of the Doraemon long-story classics. Asians who grew up reading Doraemon manga would likely know this one. It’s about the main characters — Nobita, Shizuka, Giant, Suneo and the titular future robot cat itself — running away from home and decides to build their own community in the past before there were humans. By absolute chance, they meet a prehistoric boy who needs help defeating the evil Giga-Zombie who has captured his family and tribe.

The obvious changes from the 1989 version are the music and the visuals which are redone completely with a mix of 2-D and 3-D. Little things like the television in Nobita’s house has been changed to a flat screen TV. Some of the scenes and parts of the story are altered but the main storyline is still very much faithful to the original source. Some things are altered to make more sense, some parts still don’t. Nobita is still predictably useless, clumsy and yet becomes pretty much a hero by luck at the end. Doraemon still doesn’t use his time-stopping device every time to make things easier.

Doraemon 2016 nobita birth japan still animals

The subtle satire on environment, society and land possession are still very much intact. The newly added Doraemon line in the final act about history gives the remake a crowd-pleasing touch which the ending of the original didn’t have. Although I do feel that the ending could’ve been further improved to deliver a more impactful message on its subject and underlying themes, kids would still get the benefit from its main moral value.

It’s not as exciting or humourous as it used to be to me. Probably because I could remember this classic so well, and also that I’m a grownup who still reads/watches Doraemon from time to time and therefore nostalgia attempt alone wouldn’t have sufficed. However, I still had more fun watch it than the previous year’s Doraemon: Nobita and the Space Heroes and the ending with its tearjerking music score almost made me cry even when I already knew what was going to happen.

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What I would’ve named the film: “Time-Paradox: Doraemon or Japan First?”

Malaysian censorship: Nothing to cut. Shizuka didn’t take any bath and kept her panties under.

Second opinion: (Sorry, none this time. Watched it alone.)

Verdict: It doesn’t feel as magical as I remembered it to be but it’s still fun to watch.

Rating: 3 / 5

doraemon 2016 meme

Doraemon 2016 nobita birth japan poster malaysiaBased on: “Doraemon” manga by Fujiko F. Fujio
Language / Country: Japanese / Japan

Genre: Family anime
Running Time: 104 minutes
Director-writer: Shinnosuke Yakuwa
Voice Cast: Wasabi Mizuta, Megumi Ohara,

Malaysia Release Date: 26 May 2016 (limited release; not available at GSC)
Rated: P13
Local Distributor: Atrinaga Sdn. Bhd.
Production: Shin-Ei Animation

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