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Anime / Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth

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The Vacation Episode starring Doraemon and friends, which turns out to be more than they're bargained for.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth is a 1993 anime film, the fourteenth in the Doraemon Film Series, based on the entry of Doraemon's Long Tales of the same name.

It's the summer holidays, and Nobita, jealous over Suneo, Gian and Shizuka going overseas, is surprised to discover his father Nobisuke had his own vacation plans too - in the mysterious Hotel Burinkin, a distant vacation resort where guests can literally swim and ski at the same time and the facilities, service and accomodations are free-of-charge. But then Nobisuke wonders if he made the reservations in his dreams after failing to find any actual, existing hotels on earth called Burinkin.

When Nobita receives a briefcase opening into a portal leading to Burinkin, both Doraemon and Nobita - and later, Shizuka, Suneo and Gian - ends up in Hotel Burinkin, which turns out to be a giant spaceship island belonging to humans fleeing from a robot uprising from the planet Chamocha. And the robots of Chamocha, led by the ruthless Professor Napogistra, is after them.

Doraemon: Nobita and the Tin Labyrinth contain examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: The original manga's front cover and various promotional stills for the anime adaptation would feature the hotel's clockwork tin convertible carrying Doraemon and friends around, even helping them take down Professor Napogistra's army or flee from danger. In the actual story, said convertible shows up in literally two scenes - escorting Doraemon and Nobita to Burinkin Hotel the first time they get there, and then escorting Nobita with Shizuka, Gian and Suneo when the rest of the gang arrives.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: The theme of this adventure is Nobita learning to become less dependent on Doraemon's various gadgets, rely on himself and to stand on his own feet for once, and to facilitate that aesop the story had Doraemon captured alive and electrocuted to the point of unconsciousness before being dumped into the oceans of Chamocha until Nobita finds him.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: The robots of Chamocha were originally invented to serve the citizens and make life better, which they did. But then their highly-advanced AI decide to create Professor Napogistra as means to link all the robots to a single system for ease of control, only for Napogistra to develop a mind of his own, cause a robot uprising and had the humans the robots were supposed to serve hunted down and imprisoned as robots took over Mechapolis.
  • All Just a Dream: A Bait-and-Switch scene had Nobita, Shizuka, Sapio and Tap entering the labyrinth, Nobita saying he will rescue Doraemon. Literally two scenes later, Nobita had indeed found Doraemon, only for the latter to suddenly turn into stone. Then Doraemon - currently frozen in place in the bottom of the Chamocha ocean - wakes up.
  • Big Bad: This time, it's the super-genius robot dictator Professor Napogistra who leads a robot uprising enslaving the humans on Planet Chamocha and having humans hunted down on sight.
  • Butt-Monkey: Doraemon, for most of this adventure, is a Butt Robot-cat, from being forced to put up with Nobita's antics early on and leaving in a huff, before getting mistaken by Napogisutora's forces as the enemy, shot out of the sky, tied down by robots, knocked out and waking up in an interrogation room and put through a lengthy Electric Torture sequence before spending what seems like three quarters of the story as damaged scrap metal in the Chamocha oceans. What's even worse is that the story implies Doraemon is well aware of his predicament while underwater...
  • Cave Mouth: The front of the Labyrinth is a door resembling a scary-looking demonic mask, where the "mouth" opens for anyone challenging the labyrinth to enter. Nobita visibly freaks out seeing it for the first time and flees from the hotel, even before he found out the truth behind the conspiracy.
  • Computer Virus: The disc Sapio's father is developing, a highly-potent computer virus capable of damaging Napogisutora's internal circuits before spreading the damage to the rest of his robot forces. The difficult part is trying to get it inside the robot-dictator's mouth.
  • Conspicuously Light Patch: In the anime, when Hotel Burinkin gets bombed and Gian narrowly avoids the explosions by taking cover amidst some palm trees, one in the foreground which is suspiciously lightly-colored. Guess which one Gian rips out to use as an improvised baseball bat.
  • Cymbal-Banging Monkey: Doubling as a King Kong spoof, one of the giant-sized Living Toys attacking Mechapolis in the finale is a remote-controlled cymbal-clanging monkey slapping at airplanes while atop a skyscraper. With Suneo and Gian at the remotes and cackling all the way.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: Suneo and Gian infiltrates the robot-populated Mechapolis by disguising themselves as robots. Unfortunately their cover gets blown when a hungry Gian drags Suneo into a robot diner asks a robot cook if they serve katsu-don (Asking for human food in a city of human-hating robots who would hunt down humans with the slightest provocation. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?).
  • Drives Like Crazy: Suneo piloting a stolen plane with him and Gian on board when they flee from Mechapolis. He actually lampshades it when Gian, sitting behind, tells him to watch where he's going - Suneo responds that just because he's good with RC planes doesn't mean he can actually fly the real deal.
  • Eat Me: Professor Napogistra's defeat involves Doraemon sling-shooting the disc developed by the Burinkins - together with a Mini-Dora - into the villain's mouth. Cue Mini-Dora installing the disc inside Napogistra's brain before being coughed out, and Doraemon and Nobita quickly leaving to Napogistra's confusion. And then the virus takes effect.
  • Electric Torture: Doraemon is severely electrocuted by the Napogisutora forces until they fry his circuits.
  • "Eureka!" Moment:
    • Gian and Suneo, disguised as robots while infiltrating the robot-populated Mechapolis to locate where the humans are imprisoned, ends up in a factory that surprisingly produces human food such as bread and soup. After gorging themselves silly, Gian as usual decide to leave the rest of the plan to Suneo, but then Suneo came up with an idea that the human food is probably being delivered to where the humans are being held. Cue the two of them doing the Human Mail routine and hiding in food containers.
    • After Nobita and Shizuka get forcefully ejected from Chamocha by a guilty Sapio and Tap, Nobita quietly sneaks back home and tries formulating an idea on how to get back in order to retrieve Doraemon, Suneo and Gian. His initial plan was to use the Time Machine in his desk to warn his past self, but deciding to take a nap first, Nobita sneaks into Doraemon's closet compartment and suddenly remembered Doraemon usually keeps a spare Fourth Dimensional Pocket under his pillow, which he uses alongside Shizuka to travel to the exact location where Doraemon is.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Gian and Suneo (pulling a Human Mail stunt while pretending to be robots and hiding in containers of human food) unintentionally overhears the conversation between two robots that Professor Napogistra is ordering all the human prisoners in their internment camps to be mass-executed in a few days. They end up bailing their cover and quickly hijacking a nearby truck to get out of Mechapolis.
  • Floating Continent: The island Hotel Burinkin is situated upon is actually a spaceship, with the hotel being the cockpit. After a brief misunderstanding with Sapio and Tap before making amends, Nobita and friends (sans Doraemon) goes back to the hotel and had a quiet dinner - while looking at the galaxy outside the window.
  • Going in Circles: While in the underground labyrinth, the robot mouse that's supposed to guide Nobita, Shizuka, Sapio and Tap to the other side gets destroyed by falling rubble after Professor Napogistra ordered a carpet-bombing. Determined to continue since they're halfway through, Sapio tries leading them via memory... only to end up in the same break room after walking for what seems like an hour.
    Nobita: This looks like the oasis we entered just now.
    Sapio: ...this is the room we entered before. We just made a huge circle and end up right back where we started!
  • Gulliver Tie-Down: Doraemon, after being knocked out of the sky by one of Napogistra's airships, wakes up and realize he's tied down by several miniature robot soldiers. They only managed to hold him for a few seconds, however - Doraemon quickly breaks free after they triggered two of Doraemon's biggest Berserk Buttons (calling him "too fat to fit on their aircraft" and "the racoon is waking up").
  • Involuntary Dance: When the virus effect's on Professor Napogisutora starts taking effect and spreading to the rest of the hostile robots, all of them started tap-dancing automatically as they go haywire. Including a robot piloting a plane who then crashes.
  • It's All My Fault: Sapio blames himself for the whole gang ending up stranded in the middle of the titular labyrinth, despite Shizuka and Nobita telling him it's not his fault (which it isn't, the bombing orchestrated by Professor Napogistra is something beyond his control). Nevertheless, Sapio decides not to trouble his friends from earth any further by ordering Tap to bring out the portal leading from Chamocha to earth, kick Nobita and Shizuka to the other side, and seal it.
  • Kaiju: Once again (after Doraemon: Nobita's Little Space War) the climax spoofs the giant monster genre when Doraemon decide to give life to Santa's Toys with the Life Key, and enlarge them to kaiju size to wreck Mechapolis as a diversion as they split into groups to take down Professor Napogistra and evacuate the imprisoned humans.
  • Keystone Army: Napogisutora's brain is linked with the entirety of the robot inhabitants of Mechapolis. Once mini-Dora managed to install the disc invented by Sapio inside Napogisutora, all the robots, Napogisutora himself included, goes haywire and starts going on a self-destructive rampage.
  • The Lonely Door: The compact portal in a tin suitcase, which leads from Earth to a beach in Burinkin Island as a materializing door. Nobita lampshades that it looks like the Anywhere Door.
  • Living Toys: The climax of the film had Doraemon and gang bringing Santa's toys to life with the Life Key, enlarging them with the Enlarging Light, and sending them on a rampage into Mechapolis.
  • The Maze: The titular Tin Labyrinth located in Hotel Burinkin's basement, which meanders in corridors some 185 miles in length (in Sapio's words). Nobita, Shizuka, Sapio and Tap needs to cross it in order to find the Burinkin Laboratory for the disc capable of disabling Napogisutora.
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The inhabitants of Mekapolis consists entirely of robots, all of them whom follow their own lifestyles. Meanwhile, the humans are all kept in prisons and internment camps.
  • Mini-Me: The Mini-Dora (a miniature robot clone of Doraemon) from the manga makes a comeback in this one, firstly used when Nobita and Shizuka needs to repair the badly-damaged Doraemon, with Shizuka reminding Nobita "Why not get Mini-Dora to fix it?". It makes another appearance at the end to install the computer virus disc in Napogisutora and take down the villain for good.
  • My Brain Is Big: Professor Napogisutora's brain is huge to the point where his head takes up more than half of his body. Justified because his brain is a neural link to all the robots in Mechapolis.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: Taken to the extreme, but the story's main villain, Professor Napogisutora have his name derived from combining Napoleon, Genghis Khan, and Hitler.
  • Oh, Crap!: After Professor Napogisutora's army managed to track down the Burinkin Hotel and order for it to be carpet-bombed, just as Nobita, Shizuka, Sapio and Tap are still in the middle of the maze. The lights goes out for the moment as the whole building shakes, Tap brings out a torch, Nobita sees if everyone's okay... and then Shizuka realize the robot mouse which is supposed to guide them to the other side of the maze has been crushed by rubble.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: Early in the story, Nobisuke Nobi who made reservations after seeing the advertisement for Hotel Burinkin assumes he saw the hotel in a dream, right after Nobita bragged to his friends about the awesome mysterious hotel his father's bringing the whole family to. But soon enough the mysterious briefcase from Hotel Burinkin arrives at the Nobi's household, which Nobita found before his father did.
  • Rubber Orifice: Sapio's pet alien bunny, Tap (whose size is no larger than an earth rabbit) has a stretchable mouth where he uses to swallow the briefcase containing the Portal Door leading from Hotel Burinkin to Earth (and vice versa) in a single gulp. Tap also have a Stomach of Holding which can contain an entire storeroom's worth of food, which he swallows several boxes at a time through the mouth before regurgitating them for later use.
  • Stomach of Holding: Tap the alien rabbit's stomach can contain piles of stuff, which he can retrieve instantly. Prior to entering the labyrinth, he's seen swallowing crates and crates of items, which turns out to be food and supplies.
  • Surprise Santa Encounter: Suneo and Gian, after escaping from the robots of Mechapolis and ending up in Chamocha's equivalent to the North Pole, ends up encountering Robot Santa Claus, of all people. Turns out because robots have no reasons to play with toys, Robot Santa finds himself obsolete and is Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life until he sees Suneo and Gian, and later on Nobita, Sapio and the others. Overjoyed at the sight of so many children all at once, Santa decides to give piles of toys to the heroes... which turns out useful in the final battle.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: The commercial for Burinkin Hotel early in the film actually managed to converse directly with Nobisuke Nobi. Justified because it's actually a live broadcast and a signal for help disguised as an ad.
    Nobisuke Nobi: But wouldn't a hotel like this be fully-booked?
    Advert: [addressing Nobisuke directly]: Not at all, we have plenty of rooms for you.
  • Too Good to Be True: The Hotel Burinkin is a resort located near a beach and an ice-covered hill, filled with beautiful scenery, state-of-the-art facilities, robot servants attending it's guests 24/7, free food with free refills, and is never crowded with tourists. It's also free of charge and turns out to be a front for recruiting volunteers to do battle against a robot uprising on a distant planet where their robots have no qualms killing any humans on sight, that Nobita and friends have no choice but to accept because Doraemon had been taken by the hostile robots. Nobita actually mentioned this trope by name a few times in the story.
  • Vacation Episode: Much of this episode takes place during the summer holidays, with the plot revolving around Nobita desiring to go on a vacation after finding out Shizuka, Gian and Suneo are going overseas. He got his wish when Nobisuke Nobi unexpectedly makes a reservation with the Burinkin Hotel, only to get himself, Doraemon, and all his friends dragged into an interstellar conspiracy on a distant planet and hunted down by robots.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The end credits are accompanied by photos of Suneo, Shizuka, and Gian on vacation, also revealing that Nobita got to go on a family vacation after all.