Review: 'Doraemon The Movie: Nobita's Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi' is a fun winter romp

Marcus Goh
·Contributor
Doraemon and Nobita in
Doraemon and Nobita in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Secret ending? No.

Running time: 101 minutes (~1.75 hours)

A ring in
A ring in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

“Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi” is a Japanese 2D animated comedy adventure in Japanese with English subtitles, and it is the 37th film in the “Doraemon” franchise.

The film sees Nobita, Doraemon, and friends discovering a mysterious bangle in the Antarctic that dates back thousands years. When they embark on a quest across time and space to find out more about its owner, they discover that Earth itself may be in great peril.

“Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi” is directed by Atsushi Takahashi and written by Fujiko Fujio. It features the voice talents of Wasabi Mizuta (Doraemon), Megumi Ohara (Nobita), Yumi Kakazu (Shizuka), Tomokazu Seki (Suneo), Subaru Kimura (Gian), Chiaki (Dorami), Rie Kugimiya (Carla), and Masumi Yagi (Octogon).

Doraemon in ice in
Doraemon in ice in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Fun fact about “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi” — the director had previously worked as an assistant director on “Spirited Away” in 2001.

Perhaps as a result of his previous experience, in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”, there are underlying hints of an environmental message, although it is not explicitly called out in the film.

This film is more of an adventure with Doraemon and his pals rather than an exploration of their characters and relationships, but it’s still a fun winter romp nonetheless.

Nobita and friends in
Nobita and friends in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Highlights

Gadgets galore

Compared to previous films, Nobita shows that he is rather adept at using Doraemon’s gadgets. He calls for specific devices when they’re in the middle of battle, rather than having Doraemon be the one to suggest what items to use.

Doraemon also showcases far more gadgets than he did previously, with one of them becoming a literal plot device for the climax of the film.

Doraemon in
Doraemon in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Fun and adventurous

While previous instalments focused on the heartwarming relationship between Doraemon and Nobita, this film is more of an archaeological expedition.

There is a strong element of exploration in the film as Doraemon and Nobita discover just exactly what the bangle does (it’s called a “ring” in the film) and where it came from, and learn more about what lies in the Antarctic.

Nobita's new ally in
Nobita’s new ally in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

An all-encompassing explanation

The background behind the bangle and new character Carla (also known as Kaara) has so many different aspects to it that it literally includes everything you can think of.

It’s incredibly amusing to see the great lengths they went to so that origins of Carla has everything and the kitchen sink in it. It almost serves as a commentary about how such adventure films tend to follow the same few tropes.

Nobita clutches Doraemon tightly in
Nobita clutches Doraemon tightly in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Letdowns

A slow start

The problem with “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi” is that its premise is inherent in the title itself, but the film takes ages to set it up and get our characters to the Antarctic.

While it’s laudable that they try to come up with a logical explanation for them to head there, the fact is that most audiences would probably accept any rationale for it, so they didn’t have to spend so much time getting to the fun parts.

Nobita hangs on for dear life in
Nobita hangs on for dear life in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Too many simultaneous plot threads

The characters get separated at one point, and with a flashback also going on at the same time, it seems like there are too many plot threads for the film to handle. You can barely keep track of what’s going on, although the saving grace is that the plot isn’t all that complex.

Nobita, Doraemon, and Gian in
Nobita, Doraemon, and Gian in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

“Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi” is a fun winter adventure.

Should you watch this if it’s free? Yes.

Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? If you’re a “Doraemon” fan.

Score: 2.5/5

“Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi” opens in cinemas:
– 15 June, 2017 (Singapore)

Nobita finds a
Nobita finds a “ring” in “Doraemon The Movie: Nobita’s Great Adventure In The Antarctic Kachi Kochi”. (Golden Village Pictures)

Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter, having written for Police & Thief, Incredible Tales, Crimewatch, and Point of Entry. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. You can find him on social media as Optimarcus and on his site. The views expressed are his own.

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