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Cardcaptor Sakura - The Movie

1 rating: -3.0
Animation and Anime & Manga movie directed by Morio Asaka

In the first feature based on the popular series, Sakura wins a trip to Hong Kong. Her father is away on business, so she goes with Toya, Yukito, and Tomoyo. Hong Kong is the home of her classmate and sometime ally Li Shaoran and his obnoxious cousin … see full wiki

Director: Morio Asaka
Genre: Animation
1 review about Cardcaptor Sakura - The Movie

It Goes On (And on, and on, and...)

  • Apr 18, 2008
Though there have been several anime series that have had some form of success in America, the show that should have been the biggest thing for girls since Barbie should have been "Cardcaptor Sakura." An adorable show about a girl trying to reclaim powers that have been (accidently) let loose, the show came to America as "Cardcaptors," and the poor quality of the dubbing, re-writes, and changed music resulted in the American public giving the show a collected shrug of indifference. "Cardcaptor Sakura's" future in America was ruined, but not before the movies came out. The first movie arrived as "Cardcaptors: The Movie," and it was just as quickly dismissed for it's poor quality. Thankfully, the uncut version found it's way to America as "Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie," and the world would get one more chance to discover why Hollywood retired the title "The Movie" many years ago.

Taking place somewhere between episodes 34 and 35, "Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie" revolves around Sakura as she and her friend Tomoyo win a trip to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong they run into rival/love interest Li Syaoran and his bratty fiancé Meiling. This sets up an hour of Sakura meeting Li's sisters, mother, and butler. The longer running time for the movie also provides viewers with a chance to watch the characters shop more then they normally would. Throughout the first hour of the film there is some question whether or not Sakura's winning the trip was really "by chance," as some evil power looms over them throughout the movie. But enough with the power, did you know that in Japan movie watchers are okay with watching a reoccurring dream five times in a single movie?

See, the issue with "Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie" is a simple one, and it's none of the reasons a viewer would typically have with a movie like this. Yes, I suppose some caution could be thrown out that this is a movie "for the fans," and that non-fans are not welcome, but I think this movie fails because it's trying NOT to be for the fans! The movie spends a stupid amount of time setting everything up for people who are not familiar with the material, that it all falls flat. The villain gets the rare privilege to be both the strongest AND weakest link in the film! The strongest because her scenes are the only time the movie justifies it's bigger budget, and weakest because her motivations and history amount to a big amount of nothingness. Note to aspiring screen writers: If a movie needs an hour of padding before anything significant happens then you don't have a movie.

I know many reviews of this nature state that a movie like this is an overlong TV episode, and I'm going to agree with one exception: This could have, and should have, BEEN a TV episode! Seriously, with some editing of the script, not relocating the characters to Hong Kong (which stills looks like Japan strangely enough), and eliminating the first card capture of the film, then this story could have been told on TV instead of on the big screen. Though "Cardcaptor Sakura: The Movie" is not a movie you're likely to hate, you are likely to be very bored with it. The more familiar you are with the material, the more likely your chances to be bored.

P.S. As a side note, drop one and a half stars if you plan to watch the English only, pan-and-scan "Cardcaptors: The Movie." Trust me on this folks: It's eevvviiiiillllll.

Rating: * and a half stars

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