nostalgia to the max!
Stand by Me Doraemon is not a film for kids. Sure, the movie is CG cartoon, and it features a blue, tanuki-looking robot cat with futuristic gadgets that can make many kids’ dream come true. However, those kids are not the target audiences for the film. Instead, the film is made for adults like me who grew up watching Doraemon, and treat it as a childhood friend who’s always by my side.
The film doesn’t play like a typical Doraemon one. A Doraemon film usually features Dora and the gang, including Nobita, Shizuka, Gian and Suneo, in some sort of adventure that features a lot of new gadgets. Stand by Me Doraemon is nothing like that. The film is basically a miniature rundown on everything important in Doraemon series, and it ends on a spot where many fans consider to be a proper ending to the franchise. Doraemon has one goal, and it’s to bring happiness to Nobita’s miserable life. And what’s Nobita’s idea of a happy life? Marrying Shizuka. The film plays on this notion, and makes it Doraemon’s main focus in the film.
The film features a lot of classic stories from the series’ history. Nobita and Doraemon’s first encounter in “All the Way From the Country of the Future,” Nobita tries to give up Shizuka in “Goodbye, Shizuka-chan,” Nobita rescues Shizuka in “Romance in Snowy Mountia,” Nobita visits the future to see his wedding night in “Nobita’s the Might Before a Wedding,” and finally, “Goodbye, Doraemon…” the supposedly final chapter of the Doraemon franchise are all adapted into the film. The rapidly changing pace of the story can turn some viewers off, but the filmmakers have done their best to tie all the stories into one.
Other than adapting some major storylines, the film also features a lot of classic gadgets. Important ones such as Anywhere Door, Take-copter and Small Light are all in the film. However, some obscure ones such as Dress Up Camera, Time Furoshiki and Copying Toast are all in the film too. The film even has a nice little montage segment to feature all these gadgets, and it’s a good way for older viewers to reminiscence these gadgets, or newcomer to understand just how awesome Doraemon is.
The film has made some changes for the new generation. Some of the side-gadgets such as picture frames are either presented as tablet or see-through devices, better represent the idea of future. However, some of these side-gadgets already seem more high-tech than the actual gadgets from Doraemon, so it kind of puts Doraemon to shame.
There are some questionable changes too. In the film version, Doraemon doesn’t necessary want to help Nobita. In fact, he was forced to help Nobita by Nobita’s great-great-grandson Sewashi. This changes Doraemon’s personality drastically, and he’s no longer the hearty nanny robot we known and loved. Well, maybe he’s still is, but it would be nice if he’s willing to help Nobita since the beginning.
The film also suffers some problem in the CG department. There are moments where the animation doesn’t really sync up with the surroundings. It’s especially obvious during the part where Gian breaks Suneo’s RC car, and Suneo is looking at nowhere close to where the broken RC car is. However, other than the small nitpick, it’s still great to see favorite characters and classic scenes in realistic CG format.
Overall, Stand by Me Doraemon is a great film for the family. Even though the main target audiences of the film are nostalgic adults, the film is still one friendly for children and newcomers. There are some changes here and there that don’t really fit Doraemon’s mythos, but the change is still understandable. Hopefully this film can bring a new generation of audiences, and keep a 40-something-year-old classic alive for more decades.
Categories: Movie Reviews