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Asian cinema: Japanese films

Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Treasure Island film review – animated franchise’s 38th feature is plain awful

Full of plot holes only a six-year-old would tolerate, and lacking the moral lesson expected of a Doraemon film, the blue cat robot’s latest big-screen outing is forgettable

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 August, 2018, 7:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 August, 2018, 10:51am

0.5/5 stars

Doraemon is such a beloved Japanese anime classic that no matter how old we are, there’ll always be a place in our hearts for the blue cat robot. But the latest – and 38th – animated film featuring the character, Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Treasure Island, does leave us wondering if the franchise is dragging on for far too long.

In the film, Doraemon, Nobita Nobi and his crew (Shizuka, Gian and Suneo) set off for the Caribbean Sea, where a treasure island has surfaced. It soon transpires that the island is a gigantic time-travelling spaceship, and its wicked commander is stealing not just gold coins, jewellery and crowns, but also the earth’s energy resources.

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Accompanied by a boy with a not-so-mysterious identity – he turns out to be the son of the pirate, surprise, surprise – they go on a mission to rescue Shizuka, who has been kidnapped, and stop the bad guy destroying the world.

Directed by Kazuaki Imai from a screenplay by acclaimed producer Genki Kawamura ( Your Name , Mirai), Nobita’s Treasure Island nonetheless falls embarrassingly flat. While viewers don’t watch anime for its logic, there are so many blatant plot holes here that probably only those aged six or under can watch this film without being distracted.

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Part of the fun of watching Doraemon is the amusing gadgets he pulls out of his pocket, yet in this film there are also hardly any interesting ones.

While most Doraemon tales are fables that deliver a moral lesson, Nobita’s Treasure Island leaves its audience confused as to what the takeaway is (could parents sometimes be wrong, if not utterly evil? Embrace your parents even if they are wrong/evil? Never mind that you two were fighting tooth and nail a minute ago and he nearly annihilated the planet, a hug can resolve everything?) We can only guess.

Doraemon the Movie: Nobita’s Treasure Island opens on August 2

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