Director: Atsushi Takahashi
Cast: Wasabi Mizuta, Megumi Ohara, Yumi Kakazu, Tomokazu Seki, Subaru Kimura, Chiaki, Kotono Mitsuishi
Runtime: 1 hr 40 mins
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Opening Day: 15 June 2017
Synopsis: Unable to endure the midsummer heat, Doraemon transports Nobita and his friends to a huge iceberg floating in the South Pacific. While creating an amusement park with the secret tool “Ice-working Iron” the group finds a mysterious golden ring in the ice. Upon closer examination, they determine that the ring was buried in Antarctica 100,000 years ago… before people could have lived there! Doraemon and friends head to Antarctica looking for the owner of the ring and come across the ruins of a huge city buried in the ice. Using Doraemon’s Time Belt, the group travels back 100,000 years ago and meets the young girl Kara who is connected to the mysterious ring. But now the group must fight for survival as Doraemon faces the crisis of the entire Earth freezing!
This writer remembers waking up early on weekends to watch Doraemon cartoons on TV. These 30 minute shows would usually contain two separate storylines which are short and sweet enough for viewers to stay captivated. After half an hour of marveling at what fancy gadgets the robotic cat can pull out from his pocket, this writer would go back to bed to sleep the weekend away.
For the uninitiated, Doraemon is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio. The titular character is a robotic cat who travels back in time from the 22nd century to protect and guide Nobita, a young boy who is frequently bullied.
Over the years, Doraemon has been adapted into an immensely popular and successful anime series and media franchise. Countless Doraemon films have also been released and the series is Toho’s most lucrative movie property.
Viewers who are old enough will remember the films based on the original 1979 series, and the new those based on the 2005 generation anime, Then there is the special 2014 movie “Stand by Me Doraemon” where fans got all teary eyed seeing Doraemon coming to Nobita’s house for the first time and how he eventually bids farewell to the boy.
You may be confused – how do all these movies fall in place chronologically? There is no need to scratch your heads over this. All these years, you have been watching Doraemon cartoons to be in awe with the imaginative storylines. If there is another opportunity to milk money out of the franchise, and people are loving what they see, why not?
Doraemon and his friends have gone on adventures to many exotic and perilous places: they have come face to face with dinosaurs, gone to the heart of Africaand ventured to the depths of the ocean. These films often touch on educational subject matters like environmentalism and technology – the latest installment is no different.
The scorching heat is too much for Doraemon and his friends, and they are transported to a huge iceberg in the South Pacific. While having fun creating amusement parks on ice, they find a mysterious golden ring and uncover the truth about the artifact. Adventure ensues and they visit a huge city buried in ice, fight monsters and are entrusted with the task of saving Earth from freezing.
This is the kind of storyline we have grown up to adore. The simplest plot, coupled with familiar characters like Shizuka (the smart, kind and pretty girl everyone loves), Suneo (the fox faced show off who loves flaunting his new toys) and Gian (the strong and quick tempered bully who has a horrible singing voice), makes this 37th movie in the series as likeable as every previous film.
The young ones will want to be part of the gang who goes on such fun adventures all the time, while the adults will reminisce the good ol’ times when storylines are easy to understand, characters are either heroes or villains, and the animation style is indulgently old school.
(Everyone loves Doraemon – you will walk out of the cinema smiling)
Review by John Li