Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom is the third film in the Naruto franchise. The movie has Naruto, Sakura, Lee, and Kakashi on a mission to protect Michiru, the prince of the Land of the Moon, as well as Michiru's son, Hikaru. Michiru and Hikaru both believe that money can buy anything they want; this attitude rubs Naruto the wrong way. During the movie, Hikaru learns what friendship means, thanks to Naruto, Sakura, and Lee. Naruto and his friends have to help Michiru and Hikaru after the discover that the Land of the Moon has been taken over by one of the royal advisors and three ninja he has hired to help him. Can Naruto and the group save the kingdom and return Michiru's family to power?
I have to say that while I enjoyed the story of this film, I was rather disappointed with the animation. Of the three Naruto films, this one easily received the worst animation. There isn't as much detail on the character drawings, and the computer graphics that were used just drew too much attention to themselves.
When Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom was released on DVD, it was released as a two disc set. On the first disc, you can play the movie, select which scenes you want to see, and set up your options. There is an audio commentary included in the options menu.
The second disc contains eight bonus features. The first is a twenty-two minute documentary titled, "The Story of Naruto: Growing Up a Ninja." The documentary starts out talking about Naruto and his childhood, and then goes into talking about the actual film. This documentary includes interviews with the production supervisor, the ADR director, and the English dub actors for Lady Tsunade, Naruto, Hikaru, Kakashi, Prince Michiru, Shabadaba, and Ishidate. At the very end, there is a brief discussion of the next Naruto series, Naruto Shippuden.
The second bonus feature is the seven-minute documentary, "Team: The Art of Group Recording." In this feature, you see some of the voice actors recording the dub of the film together. It features interviews with the ADR director, and the English dub voices for Kakashi, Prince Michiru, and Lee.
The third feature is "Shooting for the Moon: A Conversation With the Naruto Movie 3 Producers." It runs for ten minutes and forty-one seconds, and features the Japanese producers. The feature has Japanese audio and English subtitles. Next is the "Clean Ending," which runs for four minutes and twenty-five seconds. This is the ending credits and the epilogue without any text. However, since the text is never seen over the images (it's on a black portion to the side of the images), this feature seems to be a bit of a waste.
Next are the original Japanese movie trailers. This feature runs for four minutes, and contains eight trailers. This feature has Japanese audio, but absolutely no subtitles. There is a "Production Art Gallery," which contains thirty-five pages of line drawings of the characters.
The next feature is a Naruto trivia quiz. You watch clips and answer questions. At the end, you get your ninja rank. First off, I thought there were too many questions in this quiz. Secondly, there were a number of times where the question and the clip shown before it really had nothing to do with each other. This feature is definitely aimed at viewers who have seen all of the Naruto series. The final feature contains game trailers. It runs for eight minutes, and includes trailers for five Naruto video games and one Bleach game. Personally, I didn't think the Bleach one really needed to be included.
If you're a Naruto fan that wants to own everything on DVD, then this is a "must get" item. If you're a more casual fan, then I would only recommend purchasing this release if you enjoyed the movie.
I wrote this review after watching a copy of this DVD that I checked out through the King County Library System.
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