While Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration isn't the first movie where Doraemon and company have headed off into outer space, (2015's Doraemon: Nobita's Space Heroes also saw them embarking on interstellar adventures), it takes a different tack by introducing the adorable Moobits (if you haven't guessed, it's a portmanteau for "Moon Rabbits") into the story. However, it also throws in a heap of other new characters, which dilutes the focus on Doraemon and Nobita quite a bit.
Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration follows the two title characters as they go on an outer space adventure that takes them to the Moon - and beyond! Along with their friends, the duo find themselves caught in the middle of ancient prophecies, mysterious aliens, and high-tech sentient superweapons. But when the Earth is endangered, it's up to Doraemon and friends to protect the planet.
Like any Doraemon movie, Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration starts with the pair going on another frivolous adventure with the most on-the-nose Doraemon gadget yet, the Fringe Theory Club Badges. The gadget is virtually a magic lamp that allows anything to happen, while hiding said happenings from anyone who doesn't wear said badge. Thanks to that, Doraemon and Nobita are able to create and cultivate an entire colony of Moobits without anyone knowing.
And those Moobits are absolutely adorable. Their design looks startlingly similar to a particular Pokemon, and they soon fashion an entire city that's ablaze with colour and detail. It's clear that the animators and artists had a lot of fun creating the Moobit colony, because it shows in the final product. The Moobits themselves aren't the only Pokemon reference either — new character Luka Tsukino (Junko Minagawa) is also dressed pretty similarly to the main protagonist of Pokemon.
The references don't stop there though. Since the focus of the movie is about the mysteries of the Moon, there are also numerous references to Sailor Moon, from names to even some of Sailor Moon's signature moves. These delightful, tongue-in-cheek references are what makes the film feel like it's made by fans, for fans. It's as close to an anime cameo as we'll ever get, since it's not often that anime characters crossover into different series.
Besides the anime references, Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration introduces a whole swath of new characters — which is inevitable, since the story is about interplanetary conflicts, after all. However, this takes the spotlight away from Doraemon and Nobita, especially in the last Act of the film, but there isn't enough time to develop the new characters properly either. As a result, you have this sprawling cast of characters who are recognisable but not all too memorable.
Fortunately, the film's epic finale sees the gang equipped with interesting weapons as they join forces with their new allies to stop the deadly new villain of the movie. It's a fun, action-packed sequence that takes advantage of an entirely new locale (a different planet, so the animators went wild animating all sorts of unique settings for the final fight) to create an exciting confrontation that you don't normally see in Doraemon.
Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration gives us cuddly new characters in the form of the Moobits, while also inserting anime references for seasoned anime fans. While the new characters could have been pared down for more focus, the scenes and situations they find themselves in are refreshing, and make this a more unique, action-packed Doraemon film than the usual.
Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? Yes.
Should you watch this at weekend movie ticket prices? No.
Running time: 111 min
Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration is a science-fiction action comedy anime film, which is the 39th film in the Doraemon franchise.
The film follows Doraemon and Nobita as they head into outer space for an adventure unlike any other. But when they discover a plot that could threaten the Earth itself, they leap into action with their friends. If they are to save Earth and the galaxy, Doraemon and friends must find new allies to stop a deadly incursion.
Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration is directed by Shinnosuke Yakuwa and written by Fujiko F. Fujio and Mizuki Tsujimara. It features the voice talents of Wasabi Mizuta (Doraemon), Megumi Ohara (Nobita), Yumi Kakazu (Shizuka), Subara Kimura (Gian), Tomokazu Seki (Suneo), Junko Minagawa (Luka Tsukino), Alice Hirose (Luna), Ikue Otani (Aru), Yuya Agira (Goddard), and Kothari Yoshida (Diabolo).
Doraemon: Nobita's Chronicle Of The Moon Exploration opens in cinemas:
- 25 July, 2019 (Singapore)
- 24 July, 2019 (Philippines)
Marcus Goh is a television scriptwriter who writes for “Crimewatch”, as well as popular shows like “Lion Mums”, “Code of Law”, “Incredible Tales”, and “Police & Thief”. 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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