Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow is the first movie set within the anime series Naruto. It is made by Toho and directed by Tensai Okamura. This review will be based on the English dub made by Viz Media.
Hidden Leaf village Team 7 ninjas Naruto (Maile Flanagan), Sasuke Uchiha (Yuri Lowenthal), and Sakura Haruno (Kate Higgins), along with their team captain Kakashi Hatake (Dave Wittenberg) are assigned to retrieve runaway actress Yukie (Kari Wahlgren). She is a celebrity popular for portraying “Princess Gale” series that takes place in the Land of Snow. However, this next picture is set to film on location in the Land of Snow and Yukie tries everything to disappear only to be retrieved by the persistent Naruto. However, it becomes clear that Yukie is, in fact, the real Princess of the Land of Snow, rescued from a coup years ago by Kakashi. She is being pursued by the warlord Doto (Lex Lang) who overthrew her father years ago and wants the treasure he hid away.
“Naruto” is based on the manga by legendary Masashi Kishimoto and the subsequent anime is incredibly popular in both in the United States and Japan. When it comes to film set in a series, especially one that is canon, you never know what quite to expect. That being said, I found this movie incredibly fun to watch.
It perfectly compliments the tone, themes, and impact of the series. Not a single protagonist is out of character. Naruto is headstrong and confident. Sasuke is cool, collected, and deadly accurate with attacks. Sakura is compassionate and level-headed. Of course, Kakashi is wise, talented, powerful, and late as usual.
Also, the animation is a lot sleeker than the show. This is not surprising. The film had a bigger budget than episodes of the anime, allowing for more developed character designs, plus the drawing of a frightening villain in Doto. Though he has an unusual name, he is incredibly foreboding. As for Yukie, her character is incredibly cold-hearted after years of being an actress. She feels nothing and refuses to cry, even for the camera. She constantly clashes with the self-righteous Naruto. This is excellent because usually, one-off anime characters are one-dimensional, but she is shown to have depth.
Bottom line, this is an excellent addition to the Naruto franchise and a fun film even for the anime enthusiast. You can enjoy it without being familiar with the show and that makes it all the better.
FAVORITE QUOTE: I’m done before I’m giving up! I’m not giving up!
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Violence
Check out the teaser:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.