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Mmm... Movie...

"Just add a few new cuts and you will be able to fool the audiences, uh-huh!"
Kagura, Gintama
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The Movie is a heavily expanded, one-shot episode of a TV series usually meant for theatrical distribution. Often times the film will be used to further the storyline of the show (see Myth Arc). However, usually there are other motivations for this, generally involving green slips of paper going into the pockets of film executives from the hard-working fanbase of a show.

This trope primarily dates from before DVD, and occurred a lot during the 80s and early 1990s. A cinematic feature was considered much more important for a particular series or franchise at the time, than it would be now; although it can still sometimes occur. Although not always, The Movie tends to be a death knell for the franchise in question, as well.

The Movie usually takes two main forms.

  • A distilled/compressed summary or Ur-Example of the entire central arc of the series it is based on. The X-Files: Fight the Future was a good example of this. A subtype here is the Compilation Movie.

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  • It will raise the stakes, (often changing the dynamic of the original work) or otherwise contain a story with a scope larger than the usual series' budget, in which case you tend to have a Big Damn Movie. It can also act as the Grand Finale, or a Series Fauxnale, should they make sequels. Serenity would qualify as an example of this, as would the original animated Transformers movie.

Not all movies are The Movie; compare Non-Serial Movie and The Film of the Series. See also Made-for-TV Movie, and note that not all examples of The Movie are theatrical. (A Reunion Show, for instance, will often take the form of a movie.) Most anime movies, for example, are either non-serial adventures or the Arc or Myth Arc of the entire series compressed into the space of two hours. The latter frequently requires an Alternate Continuity to pull this off.

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In the 1960s and 1970s it was also common for episodes of a TV series, especially two-part stories, to be edited together as feature films for theatrical distribution both domestically (in the era before home video) or internationally in markets where the original TV series did not yet air. The Man From Uncle was introduced to many European and Asian countries not by the broadcast series, but by the film series derived from the TV show (with additional racy and violent footage added that couldn't be shown on TV).

If it's a series' first attempt at making one, it might even be called some variation of Title: The Movie. You know, in case you didn't realize.

For the inverse, a series based off a movie, see Recycled: The Series. Sister Trope of The Film of the Book (adaptation of a book into a film) and The Film of the Play (adaptation of a theatre play into a film).

Examples are sorted according to the original source.


Examples with their own subpages:

Other examples

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    Comic Books 
  • Mortadelo y Filemón:
    • A 2003 Live-Action Adaptation movie exists.
    • A 2008 sequel: "Mortadelo y Filemón. Misión: Salvar la Tierra" (Mortadelo & Filemón. Mission: Save Earth) with the popular Spanish comedian Eduard Soto replacing Benito Pocino in the role of Mortadelo.
    • Then, in 2014, a new film, this time an animated film, "Mortadelo y Filemón contra Jimmy el Cachondo" (Mortadelo & Filemon vs Jimmy the Joker, marketed internationally as "Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission Implausible").
  • Zipi y Zape:
    • One in 1981, which almost nobody in Spain remembers today.
    • Then another one based on the Animated Adaptation.
  • Boogie, el Aceitoso, movie from 2009.
  • Condorito, supposedly for 2017.
  • Werner – Beinhart! was celebrated as this back in 1990. Since then, another four feature-length movies have been released, and some people know ''Werner'' for the films rather than for the books.

    Fan Works 

    Music 

    Pro Wrestling 

    Web Animation 
  • Greeny Phatom's has a feature-length movie that is particularly bizarre (even by the show's usual standards). It was subsequently plagiarized and remade as GoAnimate: The Movie.
  • The Grossery Gang webseries has The Grossery Gang vs. The Clean Team: Putrid Power , a feature length movie (still on Youtube), which is actually a half-hour episode of the webseries, which is still long in comparison to the two minute length of standard episodes.
  • DSBT InsaniT: The Quest for the Sacred Gem, a DTYT (Direct to YouTube) "movie", which only has a teaser trailer so far.

    Web Videos 

Alternative Title(s): Movie Sized Episode

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