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
, a group of fans put together an unofficial English dub—along with various subtitled versions on the Internet and another fandub in production.
The movie begins in the spring, with Ai—a young girl moving to the town of Animal Forest (Animal Town in the unofficial dub). 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:
- The Anime of the Game
- Arc Words: "Life's a lot like cherry pie..."
- Ascended Extra: All the "villager" type townspeople, but especially Rosie, Margie, and Alfonso. In the games, they're just a few townspeople out of over a hundred. They're central characters here.
- Book Ends: The movie both begins and ends in spring, going through the year in between.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Whitney/Bianca. She especially warms up to Ai when Margie/Sally moves away, and Ai is clearly distraght.
- Drama Bomb: Margie just up and moving without telling anyone. Dang.
- This can happen in the game a lot, though.
- Dub Name Change: The unofficial English dub uses the English names of the characters.
- Fan Translation
- Fake Brit: Blathers and Celeste in the fandub. Weak-hearted Brits should look away.
- However, it looks to be averted in the other fandub, where Celeste is to be voiced by an English boy.
- Funny Animal: Well... yeah.
- Genki Girl: Rosie. Goodness gracious.
- Good Times Montage: There's a sad one when Ai realizes Margie is gone.
- 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.
- Interspecies Romance: Rosie mentions it's rumored Whitney (a wolf) and Apollo (an eagle) used to be a couple - it's more or less confirmed after Whitney consoles Ai at the Roost.
- The Ojou: Whitney/Bianca.
- Running Gag: There are a few cuts to Hopper sitting at the riverside fishing here and there, never catching anything (at least never a fish, until the credits - the one he finally catches is a few inches long).
- Slice of Life
- 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.
- The Voiceless: Champ, who can only say (or is only ever seen saying) "Uki!" ("Choo CHOO!" in the fandub.)
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Margie.
- Yuppie Couple: Hopper, who shows up in the background fishing at least once a season.