Anime / Animal Crossing

Also known by its Japanese title, Doubutsu no Mori, as well as Animal Forest and Animal Crossing: The Movie, Animal Crossing is an anime movie loosely based on the Animal Crossing video game franchise. Since plot isn't exactly the original games' strong point, the movie takes an appropriately Slice of Life approach to the source material. While the original was never released outside of Japan, there are at least two different unofficial English fandubs — along with various subtitled versions on the Internet.

The movie begins in the spring, with Ai — a young girl moving to the town of Animal Forest (Animal Town or Animal Village in the unofficial dubs). As she enters the town, she gets to know the locals. She quickly befriends several of them: Rosie the cat (Bouquet in the Japanese version), Alfonso the alligator (Alfred / Halberd), Margie the elephant (Sally), and Yuu, a human from a different town who visits often. Margie especially becomes Ai's closest friend, after they bond over cherries. Margie even shares with Ai her dream of becoming a famous fashion designer. In the coming months, they go to festivals, annoy (and get annoyed by) Yuu and Alfonso, and get wrapped up in an unusual mystery involving bottled letters, and special spots in town...

There's more to it than that, but everything that happens in Autumn and beyond is somewhat... Less cute and happy. Will Ai and her friends solve the mystery of the bottled letters? But more importantly... Will Ai be able to stay happy living in Animal Town?

This film contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Bianca/Whitney is a "snooty" villager in the games. "Snooty" villagers often act act like jerks and are self centered. Whitney in the movie is significantly nicer than in the games, though she seems cold and aloof.
    • Margie is a "normal" villager in the games. Despite their name they're anything but in Wild World, which the movie is based on. They're oddball and neurotic animals who are friends with a mop. Margie in the movie is calm and into fashion.
  • The Anime of the Game: An interesting case in that the original game was rather light on plot, so the film creates its own story instead.
  • Arc Words: "Life's a lot like cherry pie..."
  • Ascended Extra: All the "villager" type towns people, but especially Bouquet/Rosie, Sally/Margie, and Alfonso. In the games, they're just a few towns people out of over a hundred. They're central characters here.
  • Authority in Name Only: Kotobuki/Tortimer, in a sense. He's a huge egotist and constantly worries about the results of the upcoming election (of which he's the only candidate), but he doesn't actually perform any mayoral duties. In fact, it's revealed at the end of the film that the election had only one ballot; Kotobuki/Tortimer, who voted for himself.
  • Bookends: The movie both begins and ends in spring, going through the year in between.
  • Demoted to Extra: Rather important NPC characters like Tom Nook, Pelly, or Blathers don't have much of a presence as the film focuses on villagers.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Whitney / Bianca. She especially warms up to Ai when Margie / Sally moves away, and Ai is clearly distraught.
  • Drama Bomb: Sally/Margie just up and moving, telling everyone except for Ai. This often happens in the game itself.
  • Dub Name Change: The unofficial English dubs naturally use the characters' official English names.
  • Funny Animal: The point of the series is that you're a Token Human living amongst anthropomorphic animals. The same applies here.
  • Gainax Ending: The ending of the movie, which has Ai stumble upon an UFO that creates a constellation in her likeness, isn't foreshadowed at all and doesn't make much sense even with the context of the bottled letters that periodically show up.
  • Genki Girl: Rosie. Goodness gracious.
  • Good Times Montage: One near the beginning while transitioning from spring to summer. There's a sad one when Ai realizes Sally/Margie is gone.
  • Honorable Elephant: Sally/Margie.
  • Insufferable Genius: Blathers. The name is as appropriate as ever. That said, though, he still goofs by calling the seismosaurus the largest animal ever. note 
    • Science Marches On: The seismosaurus was also later found to actually be a diplodocus, which is sixth on the length scale of dinosaurs and tenth in weight scale. This is lampshaded somewhat by one fandub, where it is briefly acknowledged as a diplodocus. It's still referred to as a seismosaurus for the rest of the movie, though.
  • Interspecies Romance: Bouquet/Rosie mentions it's rumored Bianca/Whitney (a wolf) and Apollo (an eagle) used to be a couple. It's more or less confirmed after Bianca consoles Ai at the Roost.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Averted with Alfonso.
  • The One Who Wears Shoes: Margie / Sally is only the animal character in the movie to regularly wear shoes.
  • Ojou: Whitney / Bianca.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Certain things had to be changed that would come off as too cartoony in an adaptation, or that just wouldn't work. Mr. Resetti's role in the games has him getting upset when you shut off the games without saving; however, here he gets mad when characters mess up other people's property. Ai doesn't carry around large items in her inventory, she uses a bike to make deliveries. The dinosaur fossils are also life-sized compared to the shrunken down models from the games.
  • Recurring Extra: Hopper, who shows up in the background fishing at least once a season.
  • Ribcage Ridge: Ai and her friends eventually stumble on a giant seismosaurus fossil embedded in a cave wall. In the film's climax, Yuu has to climb up the fossil to retrieve a part of Gulliver's UFO.
  • Running Gag: There are a few cuts to Hopper sitting at the riverside fishing here and there, never catching any fish (until the credits — the one he finally catches is a few inches long).
  • Ship Tease: Ai and Yuu towards the end of the film.
    Ai: Boys will be boys, but maybe that's not such a bad thing.
  • Slice of Life: Just like the games it's inspired by.
  • Sweat Drop: Lampshaded. As Gulliver is leaving the village, he sighs and tries to wipe a sweatdrop off of his head... Only to fail because he's wearing a space helmet.
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Apollo is a male one.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Margie / Sally and Ai sharing cherries is what helps kickstart their friendship.
  • Theme Naming: The two human characters are named Yuu and Ai. In the Japanese version, doubles as punny Gratuitous English, too.
  • Those Two Guys: Cesar and Cyrano are together in all their scenes.
  • Tsundere: Yuu is actually a male version — he's a bit brash toward Ai, but does genuinely seem to like her.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Yuu, who's wearing a different costume every single time he appears.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Sally/Margie.