Didn’t do a Things to Come post on this because I got lazy and it’d just be about the cast and random speculations with no evidence.
I really appreciate a majority of the cast coming back. Unlike in Japan, there was an actual attempt by those dubbing it to sell the idea that this is for people who grew up with the show, at least in the voice actor department. I know Toei got the non-human voices back, but they’re so irrelevant in tri. that it doesn’t matter. The other potential concern is if it was going to be a faithful dub or more along the Saban dub with X jokes a second and randomly inserted dialogue.
Joshua Seth came back for Tai and he’s in top form. It’s like he never stopped playing the character. Ditto on Izzy, Agumon, Gomamon, Patamon, and Tentomon.
I was mixed on Vic as Matt. I don’t feel like the voice was consistent. There were times he sounded great and quite similar to the original, but especially early on, the voice neither worked for me or matched the design.
Sora and Mimi’s actresses reprised their roles, but they didn’t seem to match their original performances like Tai and Izzy did. I don’t know if they were directed that way.
I can’t get into Joe’s new voice. Nothing memorable or unique about it. Same with T.K. Nothing wrong with the new characters’ voices, but I don’t think anybody’s going to be demanding for them 15-20 years down the line.
Kari’s new voice I’m also mixed on, but probably because she had a very unique voice that stuck out in the originals. It helped that she narrated Digimon the Movie. Even though she had nothing to do here like a majority of the cast, I’m missing her.
Kirk Thornton reprised Gabumon and I assume his forms, but other than Garurumon, they seemed off. Gabumon sounded like an impression of the original. Metalgarurumon wasn’t even trying. I don’t even think I heard two voices in Omnimon.
The recast Digimon I didn’t care for. They didn’t get people who could imitate the originals, but again, the Digimon don’t have anything good to say or contribute anyway so…
I’m not going to obsess over how many changes there were to the Japanese script. It would require me to watch this again… There were a few liberties taken, but there weren’t tons of jokes. Really, the one line that stood out to me was when Tai was talking about Kuwagamon destroying stuff before Agumon shows up and he says “The good Digimon will get blamed for it.” I definitely don’t think that was in the Japanese script. It felt like whoever wrote this saw the middle/end of the movie first and went back to write the beginning. At the time, there weren’t any “good Digimon” to blame. It’s a pointless line even if it ties into later events.
One notable change is that they pronounce Gennai “properly” as in not like “Jennai” which is weird because they kept all the dub names. They may as well keep the dub pronunciation.
Huge mistake leaving out the attack names which they also did in the Japanese version. It’s subjective, but I really think it would’ve added an extra element of awesome to those fights. Granted, both versions included Togemon’s Needle Spray which begs the question of why leave out the rest? The dub threw in the remaining Agumon and Gabumon Digivolution names as they happened, but I’d rather have the attacks.
They did let Izzy throw out a “Prodigious!” during the action climax though and that got a big reaction out of the audience.
Boy, does the bad and lazy art not work on the big screen. Human faces look downright awful in certain shots. The flaws stick out far more here. I didn’t talk too much about the art before, but yikes!
The Japanese soundtrack was left intact as far as I could tell. The experts can correct me. There was… one… minor… omission. Butter-fly was left out of the beginning and replaced with that pretty awful English “song”. There was no reason to do this since brave heart and I Wish made it in. Give me the Digi-Rap over this random concoction.
I think the theater had the movie on way too loud. It’s fine during dialogue, but it really made me appreciate the orchestral brave heart played when Alphamon fought Agumon/Gabumon’s forms. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I didn’t like the second tri.. Not using this song is an automatic 10-point deduction. -10 more points for not releasing it on CD yet. Seriously, why?
The Movie –
I seriously forgot how bad and boring the first 20-something minutes are. Agumon doesn’t show up nor does the movie pick up until half an hour in. I will be repeating points from this *Spoilers for movie 2*
Technically, sitting through this seamless isn’t much different from the episode format I saw before. Both were seen in one sitting, but it’s SLOOOW and so padded. Many scenes could’ve been ripped out in the interest of plot or anything else. I don’t feel like there’s enough going on. I was kinder to this when I saw it in Japanese because it was the first installment. There was more to come. Then the more came and… hohoho.
I feel that this is supposed to be a television show, but was forced to be in movie format. The fact that each movie has to neatly divide into four episodes, Alphamon doesn’t talk, and there has to be an action climax in each one without a defeat that progresses the plot is a testament to that. These aren’t standalone movies that are part of a bigger *snerk* story. It’s a bigger story chopped up into six movie format films that can be chopped up into twenty-four episodes. I’ll address this in the next section.
Did the dub help me get through it this time? Sort of. Just hearing some of the old cast was a treat. This dub isn’t something I’d really race to watch again, but I’d rather it exist than not, especially if the third movie and beyond are actually good. I’d want to hear those dubbed. There’s definitely a lack of legitimate fun for these actors to get into. Say what you will about the original dubs, but it was memorable. Here, there aren’t any amazing lines to say. Nothing quotable or unique to the dialogue. The majority of the characters aren’t interesting, don’t line up with the originals, and don’t have anything to do. I still hope this is successful because beyond excluding Butter-fly, I don’t really know what else the team who put the dub together could’ve done. I feel like they actually tri.ed to give us a decent product with what they were given.
The Experience –
About half of the theater was filled. Resurrection ‘F’ on the other hand was a full room with a few empty seats. I could tell a lot of these people were watching this for the first time based on their comments. They seemed pretty happy when Agumon first appeared. Really, when the Digimon were on the screen, people seemed to respond positively.
The huge outbursts from the audience were all during the action climax and for good reason. That’s more or less what people came to see and was also where “Prodigious!” was placed. The crowd was screaming and cheering when Agumon was Digivolving into his other forms. When Omnimon formed and fought, they went nuts. This is part of why I wanted ALL the attack names to be here.
In the last post I linked to, I compared tri. in general to the Michael Bay Transformers movies. For a big chunk of the movie, not much goes on, too much slice of life, stuff doesn’t make sense, you follow the humans too much (more acceptable in Digimon), but when the Autobots/Digimon are fighting, that’s when people are having a legitimately good time. That’s not to say that people had the same dislike for this as I did, but what got them pumped up? What will they remember? What will they be talking about when they leave besides the cast? You can argue there’s “character development” in tri., but that’s where I think they didn’t do a good job. I didn’t walk out of The Dark Knight raving about the action though that was good too. It was the dialogue and characters that stood out. So if tri. is supposed to be the mature take for people who grew up with the show, why did the audience care more about the action? This is one anecdotal screening, so I’m simply making an observation. Completely possible they discussed other things later. I just wish tri. had a good balance of both because I would not be surprised if future screenings were the same.
There was some disappointment when Alphamon simply retreated and the movie ended. The audience was confused with “That’s it?”s. Rightfully so, because to continue my point in the last section, this was not a conclusion. It was merely the end of the action climax. Tai is still wishy-washy, nobody was defeated, nobody learned anything, and the plot wasn’t advanced in a significant way. There was an action climax here so there could be an action climax and for the audience to not feel ripped off. These are only films in name, but not in structure.
Bonus Features –
Before the movie started, there was a segment where someone counted down a top five Digimon list. I supremely disagree with it and feel like it was slapped together to have something before the film, but it exists. For the record,
1. Garurumon? I forget…
After the movie, there was supposed to be a preview for the third tri. movie. This was a mess and shows that Toei is either lazy or just doesn’t know how to select footage properly. Same with when the Japanese teasers came out. Last shameless plug. I promise.
First, there’s a bunch of subbed Japanese text which is a FULL summary of the second movie… Did they know some people are seeing this first movie for the first time? Spoiler alert? Why does this text recap even exist? It’s unnecessary here. To go into this much detail feels silly for Japanese audiences too. I don’t see any other movie franchises do this.
After that, we get full clips of the third movie starting with two guys manually landing a plane for around two minutes… Like why? Why is this here? Sully tie-in?
Onward to an agent man and agent lady conversation about how agent lady knows more than meets the eye. Why didn’t they just start with this?
Then cut to Meiko having a breakdown from losing Meicoomon while Mimi and Sora try to comfort her.
Then T.K. and Kari knock on Ken’s apartment door. In the interest of plot, there is conveniently nobody home. Takes three movies to even attempt interacting with a 02 kid…
They go to Izzy’s office where he’s trying his darndest to figure out the infected Digimon and asks Meiko for any details she can give him while Mimi blames him for being insensitive.
I think that’s it. Playing these random scenes in full is no way to get people hyped for a movie two movies ahead. I thought we’d just get the Japanese teaser/trailer which I haven’t seen. What’s the point of lazily playing entire clips from the movie? Other than knocking on Ken’s door, the rest doesn’t make me as someone who saw the second movie already excited for this one or reveal anything of importance.
The action climax was fun to see with a crowd. Unfortunately, this additional viewing even with the dub cast hasn’t changed what I think about tri. I’d rather watch it dubbed given the choice. No reason not to with how faithful they’re trying to be. Do I recommend this? Maybe just to hear most of the dub cast again. It’s otherwise not the Digimon you remember from TV. It’s far too different in tone and doesn’t feel like the original show at all be it the dub or in Japanese. I hope these screenings were successful and they keep dubbing these, but I’m really not looking forward to the thought of giving the second one money because I hated it so much.