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Anime / Doraemon: Nobita's the Legend of the Sun King

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The Prince and the Pauper, starring Doraemon and friends, and set in a Mayan-inspired fantasy kingdom.

Doraemon: Nobita's the Legend of the Sun King is a 2000 anime film, the 21st movie in the Doraemon franchise based on the installment of Doraemon's Long Tales of the same name. It was notably the first Doraemon movie to be released in the 2000s.

In an alternate universe exists the ancient, Mesoamerican-inspired kingdom of Mayana, where her Queen is cursed into an eternal slumber by an evil witch, Ledina. The young prince of Mayana, Tio (who looks exactly like Nobita, somehow), feels like he isn't ready for the throne yet, avoiding his responsibilities while the threat of Ledina looms in the horizon.

Meanwhile, Nobita and friends are prepping for their school play, a stage adaptation of Snow White with the help of Doraemon's Universal Stage Set, only to repeatedly screw up during rehearsals. A pissed-off Gian decide to "borrow" the Universal Stage Set for himself, and when Nobita and Doraemon tries getting it back, a struggle accidentally leads to having the Stage Set creating an interdimensional portal. One that leads from Tokyo to Mayana, with Nobita and Doraemon stumbling into the Mayana jungles, encountering Prince Tio (who started off by attacking Nobita thinking he's an imposter) before having Prince Tio being interested in swapping places with Nobita, just for a day. After a bunch of hijinks, Doraemon, Nobita, and their friends Shizuka, Suneo and Gian all arrive in Mayana as well, where they will inevitably assist the prince in overthrowing Ledina's curse, save Mayana from destruction, and gain friendships lasting forever in the process.

Doraemon: Nobita's the Legend of the Sun King contain examples of:

  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: With Ledina defeated, her cronies arrested and her curse on Mayana lifted, the film then ends with the coronation of Prince Tio, the true King of Mayana. Sadly, Nobita and friends weren't there to see it.
  • Blinded by the Light: The climax has the eclipse finally happening, and Ledina deciding to use Nobita as sacrifice since Prince Tio is too far away... but luckily Nobita is still wearing the pendant Kuku gave him earlier (under the impression that she's giving a gift to Prince Tio, whom she had a crush on). The last beam of light before the eclipse bounces off the pendant and gets reflected into Ledina's face, blinding her long enough for Nobita to suddenly grab Ledina's dagger-holding hand and bite her with enough force to make her drop the weapon.
  • Book Ends: The story begins and ends with Nobita and friends rehearsing their upcoming stage play, Snow White. The one at the end being played as an End-of-Episode Silliness where everybody - including Shizuka - wants to be the prince, so they draw lots instead, inexplicably resulting in Shizuka as the prince, Gian as Snow White, Suneo as a random dwarf and Doraemon as the Evil Queen.
  • Brutal Bird of Prey: The Animal Master sends eagles to attack the group, and one of them kidnaps Tio.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Kuku's pendant that she gives to Nobita ends up reflecting light that blinds Ledina at a critical point in the climax.
    • Early on, Doraemon's Exploring Ball probe launched to track down the kidnapped Kuku gets knocked into a river by the giant crocodile serving the Animal Master into a deep canal, breaking their trail. Later on Master Ishmal whom had fallen into a canal emerged alive, after grabbing hold on - you guessed it - the Exploring Ball probe.
  • Chekhov's Skill: The football match where Nobita and Tio takes on Takao and Moka, and winning, serves as a set-up for another epic moment near the end, when Suneo managed to knock the skull used for rituals out of Ledina's hands, saving Nobita and Tio, both Nobita and Tio quickly uses the skull as an impromptu ball as they kicks it around the sorceress, ending with Tio kicking the skull into Ledina's stomach knocking her off a ledge.
  • Co-Dragons: Ledina have three of these serving her - the Animal Master who can control animals to hunt down his foes, the Medicine Master whose herbs can create painful, deadly illusions and the Spear Master, the personal guard of Ledina who Dual Wield spears.
  • Collapsing Lair: After her defeat and realizing her ritual had failed, Ledina, in a last-ditch attempt to kill Nobita and Tio, grabs a nearby block from a corner and pulls it, triggering a mechanism which causes the pyramid to collapse. Both Nobita and Tio starts fleeing, with Tio tripping and Nobita grabbing his hand, swearing to never let go, but eventually they're saved by Ledina's giant condor which had been fed one of Doraemon's Momotarō capsules and is now obediant to the heroes.
  • Covered in Mud:
    • In their first encounter, when Prince Tio sees Nobita and mistakens him for an imposter, he instinctively attacks Nobita leading to both of them falling into a muddy creek. Doraemon pulls them both out and they're utterly unrecognizable from each other.
    • Prince Tio becomes like this again after he's saved from a quicksand pool.
  • Crystal Skull: What Ledina uses for her rituals. Said skull allows her to spy on her enemies from a distance, fire Eye Beams and hypnotize victims into a Deep Sleep. Goes on to bite Ledina back when she had the skull knocked out of her hands by Suneo piloting a remote-controlled gadget, followed by Nobita and Tio using the crystal skull as a soccer ball before Tio kicks the skull into Ledina's guts.
  • Damsel in Distress: Kuku gets kidnapped by Ledina's minions, and it's up to Prince Tio, Doraemon, Nobita, and their allies to save her.
  • Deep Sleep: The fate that befell Prince Tio's mother right before the start of the story, as result of Ledina's curse, and she had been sleeping for years while the Prince seeks a cure. And later as Ledina's forces abducts Kuku for the sacrifice, she curses Kuku to be in a similar deep sleep as well. Kuku's sleep was eventually awakened as Prince Tio kisses her after the rescue, and at the end of the story, with Ledina defeated and de-powered, the curse on the Queen is gone as well, with Tio's mother at his side during his coronation.
  • Disguised in Drag: While hanging around Mayana within Prince Tio's presence, Nobita have to pose as a girl named Nobitsuke while wearing a wig and dress in order to avoid confusion within the city. Gian and Suneo as usual takes the opportunity to make fun of him, much to Nobita's chagrin.
  • Fainting: Kuku, having the curse affecting her broken and awakening from her Deep Sleep, thanks to Prince Tio kissing her... and then she sees Nobita AND Tio before her. note 
    Kuku: why are there two princes? [faints]
  • Giant Foot of Stomping: The giant Mayan statue-hybrid managed to land a foot on Doraemon and gang (all of them!) with a single stomp, with Nobita in particular being Squashed Flat. But then they realize something's amiss when they're still alive.
    Doraemon: We've been fooled. Those monsters are illusions.
    Nobita: [still getting up from being stomped into a two-dimensional figure] It still hurts!
  • Human Sacrifice: Since this story is set in a Mayan-inspired world... much of the story have Ledina intending to sacrifice the Prince of Mayana, Tio, for attaining ultimate power. Earlier on Nobita (whom had assumed the role of the prince after swapping places with Tio for a day) interrupts a sacrificial ceremony, saving a young woman about to be flung to her death in a rain ceremony by using Doraemon's weather-control machine to summon another rain.
  • Identical Stranger: Nobita and Prince Tio looks exactly like each other, for unexplained reasons (since they're respectively a Japanese grade schooler and a prince from an ancient Mayan kingdom).
  • I Have Your Wife: Ledina's minons abducted Kuku, the Love Interest of Prince Tio (though he doesn't realize his true feelings for Kuku first) with the demands that unless Prince Tio surrenders himself to Ledina for the sacrificial ritual, she will sacrifice Kuku in his place.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: When Ledina demands for Nobita (whom she thinks is Prince Tio) to be her sacrifice in exchange for Kuku, Nobita seemingly relents... only to take out a spare Three-Dimensional Pocket and pull out the Switching Blanket to have Kuku switch places with an Olmec head before his escape. Unfortunately, he doesn't go far when Ledina furiously sics her condor on him.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey:
    • The Animal Master's minions include large, deadly eagles, two of them which knocked Prince Tio unconscious and then grabs and lift him all the way towards Ledina's stronghold. Prince Tio regains consciousness and breaks free, and falling into the darker depths of the forest.
    • Subverted in the ending when Ledina's condor, having been fed one of Doraemon's Momotarō capsules, saves Nobita and Tio by grabbing them with its talons before they fall to their deaths atop Ledina's Collapsing Lair.
  • Living Statue:
    • There's a giant Olmec head which starts talking when approached by Nobita and friends. But that turns out to be an illusion created by the Medicine Master.
    • As soon as Nobita and gang ( sans Ishmal and Tio - both of them were separated at different points earlier) reach Ledina's pyramid lair, they were attacked by giant stone lions, serpents, and assorted monsters that comes to life. Doraemon tossed the Air Cannons at everyone to use and they make short work of the living statues, only for the destroyed pieces to merge together into a much larger beast. But then it was quickly subverted when the statues are revealed to be illusions.
  • Master of Illusion: The Medicine Master can summon illusions on intruders, such as making Doraemon and friends believe they're being attacked by giant living statues. His creations' attacks can hurt their targets as well, as a result of Your Mind Makes It Real.
  • Mayincatec: The buildings, houses and various structures in Mayana follows the classical depiction of Mayan architecture. There are also stone lions, serpents, giant Olmec heads and pyramids used for performing human sacrifices.
  • Nature Tinkling: When the gang reaches a river and started feeling thirsty for a drink, Doraemon takes out one of his gadgets which converts water into fruit juice, making fresh beverages for everyone. But in the middle of enjoying their beverages, Gian, with a mouthful of river-water-turned-orange-juice, turns around and sees Nobita taking a piss upstream. PFFFT!
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: The final scene, which makes an otherwise happy conclusion into a Bittersweet Ending. The dimensional portal leading to Mayana had started collapsing and will be permanently gone within minutes. Doraemon and everyone else must enter the portal immediately, Nobita having a Long Last Look at Mayana before leaving too; Prince Tio, having been crowned the rightful King of Mayana, catches up only to realize his friends from another world are gone, and he will never see them again. But his memories with Doraemon, Nobita, and everyone else will last him a lifetime.
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: The Animal Master's personal steed is a massive crocodile behemoth, which he sic on the heroes with the intention of devouring everyone alive after his vultures abducts Tio. But Doraemon saves the day by flinging the Super Balloon Gum into the giant crocodile's mouth, making the whole monster swell like a balloon and float into the skies, much to the Animal Master's shock.
  • Not a Mask: Played for Laughs when Master Ishmal asks Doraemon what's the deal with his mask, unaware that Doraemon isn't a human but is in fact a robot.
  • Papa Wolf: Master Ishmal tags along on the quest to save his kidnapped daughter, Kuku, and bravely battles everything in his way to ensure her safety.
  • Playing a Tree: Nobita is cast as a tree in the gang's school play. Even after everyone swaps roles in the end by drawing lots, he still ends up with the part of the tree.
  • Prince and Pauper: The entire premise of the adventure, revolving around Nobita the regular teenager and Prince Tio of an ancient Mayan kingdom - two Inexplicably Identical Individuals - swapping their roles.
  • Quicksand Sucks: After learning Prince Tio embarked on a solo rescue mission to save Kuku, Doraemon, Nobita and the rest of the gang immediately sets off after him to catch up. They found the prince in the middle of the rainforest, having fallen into a quicksand pit with his hand grabbing a nearby root for dear life until Doraemon use his extending hand gadget and drags Tio out.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Terrible Trio serving Ledina, Animal Master, the Medicine Master and the Spear Master, who challenges Tio and his friends while en route to Ledina's lair.
  • Rapid Aging: Ledina, once her ceremony had failed, quickly aged several decades in a few seconds as she lose all her powers, turning into an old hag to the disgust of Prince Tio, Nobita, and everybody else.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Prince Tio's animal companion, Poporu. Imagine a fluffy, cuddly jerboa... enlarged to the size of a football.
  • Sinister Surveillance: Ledina would gleefully observe the heroes with a Crystal Skull projecting the protagonists on it's scalp.
  • Take Me Instead: Prince Tio, realizing he's too late to stop the sacrifice and that Nobita - which is his first true friend - is about to be sacrificed by Ledina, reveals he's the true prince of Mayana and he's the one to be sacrificed.
  • Those Two Guys: Takao and Moka, the two Mayana guards whom are always seen together, from challenging Tio (with Nobita-as-Nobisuke joining in) to a football match to later witnessing Kuku's abduction alongside Tio.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: Much of the plot involves Ledina attempting to kidnap Prince Tio to sacrifice him during an eclipse, so she can transfer her soul into his body and rule over Mayana. But then Nobita the Identical Stranger gets thrown into the mix.
  • True Love's Kiss: Prince Tio on Kuku, which successfully awakens her from Ledina's curse. It was hinted earlier on at the start of the story when Nobita and friends are rehearsing their upcoming stage play, Snow White, which has a similar ending.