I was surprised too.
I had no idea Animal Crossing got a movie, and apparently a new one is coming out next month with JonTron himself voicing a role, and I just wanted to look at more examples of video game movies with the new Sonic movie hitting theaters this Friday. This film comes from Toho, and sadly has not gotten any form of release outside of Japan which I feel to be a real crime cause this movie just stole my heart and I adored it. I recall making a point once that Pokemon is one of the most genius video games to base a film on because there's just no central story and can really do whatever it wishes. Animal Crossing is the sheer epitome of that logic, and for those not in the know Animal Crossing was a breakthrough game for the Nintendo Gamecube back in the day, essentially a sims game where you the player travel to a new town populated with anthropomorphic animals and just live in this little town, no story, no dilemma, just you doing what you want in this serene village. Want to go fishing or catch butterflies? Go for it. Want to spend the day with friends you made? Have a ball. Want to just explore and enjoy the environments the game presents? Knock yourself out. It's an incredibly fun and charming game to just relax and play and that is exactly what this film's story is like! A young girl named Ai travels to Animal Village and just spends a year there, making friends, having an adventure or two, and just living her life and it hooked me immediately! In fact I got very emotionally invested and a certain thing happens with a relationship of our main character, and I just got bummed out man. Like genuinely upset, and even though it did have a total bittersweet end to it I did not only like it but heavily appreciate what it did. If you've seen enough examples of animation you can quickly tell this was made in the early 2000s, it's difficult to describe in words but the way the backgrounds are animated and the characters are designed, it screams of the time period. Hell I almost kind of expected this to be on a cartoon block with western and eastern animated shows, like Kids WB or Cartoon Network. This movie reminded me why I love animation so much, the colors are vivid, bright, and absolutely beautiful, the backgrounds are outstanding and look like pages from a storybook, the character designs are simplistic but refined and downright cute. It has a lot of heart in it, it reminds me a great deal of Rilakkuma And Kaoru with the emotion it made me feel. This is an incredibly sweet and endearing movie, but not cuteness overload it just gives you that warm loving feeling that you're seeing something simple but special. It's not trying to be something big, it's just telling a nice story with lovable characters. It's an absolute treat to watch and you can find it easily online since there's no real way to get your hands on a copy unless you live in Japan and even then it probably isn't easy. It clocks in at less than an hour and a half, and doesn't waste a second. You get these characters immediately, the scenery and environments are lovely, this animation just floored me man I just couldn't stop praising it. I can't say a bad thing about it. Simple stories can have profound effects, a story about a girl living in a small town, that is interesting and can be a good movie. Some people might just call it fluff with no substance, but I highly disagree. I am quite full of stuff and fluff, and never mind having a bit more. 4 stars, 10/10 I'd go higher if I could, I do not feel like a broken old man and for that it has my love.