Like Episode of Alabasta before, the movie is an compressed retelling of the Drum Island arc which had the crew have to make a detour in their journey after their navigator, Nami, falls ill and arriving in the kingdom of Drum Island. There they look for a doctor who can help cure her, meet their future doctor Chopper and have to contend against the tyrannical former king who's come to reclaim his throne.
However the movie changes things up by not entirely following the original story. For one, no Vivi, who was with the crew at this point in the original story. But more importantly the crew now have the Sunny Go (a ship they wouldn't gain until the Water 7 Saga) and Franky and Robin are now in the crew. What's more Wapol, the main antagonist of this arc, now has an older brother, Musshuru, who wields the Spore-Spore fruit and helps scheme with him in his plans.
Notably this one hasn't been dubbed by Funimation yet. It's also the last of the Episode of... to be shown as a theatrical movie and would later be relugated to TV specials.
For more information on the Drum Island arc, check its Recap Arc.
The movie has the following tropes:
- Adaptational Intelligence: In canon, Luffy nearly starts an unnecessary fight with the Drum Kingdom soldiers after they accidentally shoot Vivi until she prostrates herself before them to beg for them to help Nami, and scolds Luffy for letting his anger get the better of him. In the movie, Luffy is the one who gets shot (an incident that establishes how his Devil Fruit makes him immune to bullets), then begs the soldiers for help, showing that he's wiser at this point in the storyline.
- Adaptational Villainy: While Wapol was a terrible person in canon as well, his goal was simply to take back control of the kingdom. Here, Wapol causes an avalanche to endanger villages as a way to show that he's returned, and later attempts to poison everyone on Drum Island to death when he's decided they became too insubordinate. His goofier moments are also either significantly toned down or removed entirely, leading him to be treated far more seriously as a threat.
- Adaptational Wimp: "Wimp" is a big overstatement, but Dalton's Devil Fruit powers are never shown or mentioned here, implying he doesn't have them.
- Adaptation Expansion: Somewhat, since there's more characters, folks like Franky and Zoro are given a bit more screen time. Likewise at the end, Chopper proves instrumental in the final battle against Wapol's defeat whereas in the original story he just fought the henchmen.
- Adapted Out:
- No Vivi in this version since it's presented as if the crew had arrived on Drum after the events of Water 7.
- Likewise Dalton doesn't reveal he has the Ox-Ox: Bison Fruit.
- If he counts as a character, Chessmarimo, since Wapol merges with his own brother instead of merging Chess and Kuromarimo in this version.
- All Just a Dream: The TV version of the movie added in that it was just a dream Chopper was having while resting on the Sunny. Exactly why he would dream up a bizarre scenario is anyone's guess.
- Alternate Continuity: Most obviously, in this case it's presented as if the crew had acquired Franky, Robin and the Thousand Sunny first before they had reached Drum Island. Yeah don't think too much about it, it's just a re-telling and not canon anyway.
- Animation Bump: This alternate adaption has a handful of fluid moments, though the topper is Luffy's fight against Musshuru.
- Canon Foreigner: Musshuru, Wapol's older brother, who obviously wasn't present in the original story and made to give Luffy more of a challenge in the finale.
- Compressed Adaptation: Does a good job of covering the basics of the story arc though does leave out Dalton having a Devil Fruit and the Laphan repaying Luffy for saving one of their own by thwarting Wapol's sneak attack.
- Contrasting Replacement Character: Robin to Vivi, by virtue of being The Stoic. Unlike Vivi, Robin doesn't react at all to Luffy and Usopp mentioning that they've never gotten sick before, and calmly but firmly tells the Straw Hats to calm down. She also slaps Usopp to his senses after the avalanche, but does so without panicking and while using her Devil Fruit powers. Afterward, she has a straight face when she tells him that his face is comically puffy due to frostbite.
- Debut Queue: First movie to feature Franky with the crew (yes his first movie was in a retelling of a previous arc, odd eh?).
- Fusion Dance: Wapol eats Masshuru and the cannon in the hope of using his spore power to cloud the whole island as a signal of his return.
- Japanese Sibling Terminology: Wapol calls Musshuru "An-chan." Musshuru doesn't particularly like it, preferring "An-sama."
- Trailers Always Lie: The initial trailer for the movie ended on a shot of Luffy looking off in horror and a huge figure looming over the kindgom. At the time the movie came out, the series was working through the Thriller Bark arc, making it seem like Oars was going to be included in the film. Turns out it was just to advertise the upcoming anime version of the arc.
- What If?: How the movie retelling is presented, which features the crew having the Thousand Sunny, excludes Vivi, adds Franky and Robin, Luffy having his Gear 2 and 3 moves and gives Wapol a brother, Musshuru, who fights in Wapol's place.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Upon learning that Musshuru got beaten, Wapol straight up devours him and the cannon to get his powers and poison everyone to death.