Naruto The Movie; Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow is the first movie for Shonen Jump and Viz’s favorite orange clad hero. Unless you’ve been living under a rock you know dang well who Naruto is. The most obnoxious ninja form the Village Hidden in the Leaves and self-proclaimed next Hokage sees his first silver-screen adventure released in the states. Naruto fans and anime fans in general, know that by the time a series makes its way to the states it’s already 2-3 seasons ahead in Japen. So is the case with Naruto where they are up to three movies and an anime that sees a more mature Nine-Tail Demon Fox container in action.
The movie, like many based on long running anime series, is a side-story with grand animation and over the top action. Team seven consisting of Naruto, Sakura, Sasuke and Kakashi takes on an A- Rank mission to protect a popular movie star, Yukie Fujikaze, as her film crew travels to the land of snow to finish the filming on her latest movie where she stars as a fictional Princess Gale. Yukie has a hidden past, one revealed as the crew is attacked by three snow ninja donning chakra armor. Cartoon Network in their promo give away a lot of the story, revealing she’s the lands long lost princess and that Kakashi has some background as he was present 10 years ago during the coup that excelled the princess. Old enemies are confronted, wrongs are righted, but this is expected from the beginning of the movie.
Where Naruto The Movie truly shines is its animation. I watched this on my PS3 on an HD1080p TV and my god it was beautiful. The animation is so crisp and vibrant I found my love of Naruto as if for the first time. The humor and action found in the series is more than present in the movie, and Naruto is front and center as the star. The rest of team seven are in the background, this one is all about the will and drive of Naruto and how he changes others with his drive. Unlike the Dragon Ball Z movies that take place outside the anime’s storyline, this Naruto flick incorporates nicely with the ongoing series as we see flashbacks and powers that match-up with the original storyline, and since they’re on a mission, well, it’s all good. The characters and lands introduced could very well live on in the real series, if they do, well I can’t say that as I’m still experiencing it myself.
Naruto The Movie is a must have for all Naruto fans, both of the anime and manga. The ninja action America has come to love is here in a grand format to be enjoyed best, in my opinion, on an HD TV with your headband on and a cold beverage in one hand, popcorn in the other.
This is one A-Rank of a movie!