Tamagotchi: The Movie

I may be a fully grown man that has just finished watching a movie aimed at kids but please save your pity for another time, this review was for king and country – or maybe just the simple fact that no one else wanted to do it. For those who don’t know what a Tamagotchi is, well it’s a small handheld digitized pet on a pixelated screen. The ‘pets’ usually look like a blob resembling a tumor with a face drawn on it and you are required to look after it until it grows up and dies/leaves. Fun when you’re a kid, even I had one over a decade ago – although it was one of those bootleg ones that my grandma bought for me off of a dodgy Del boy type character on the local market.

The story of the film revolves around that of a little girl called Tanpopo who is worried about becoming an older sister, but no fear, to teach her valuable lessons she is accidentally transported to Tamagotchi world after an experiment by a Tamagotchi with Mickey Mouse ears goes amiss. Now before we go any further I am seriously having problems telling the names apart of all the characters because they all sound so similar with that crazy ‘chi’ at the end of everything. Anyway the girl finds that she is suddenly in the house of a Tamagotchi just like the ones on her own handheld digital pet, so she knows who they all are including the Mickey Mouse ears friends, Green Snotblob who can’t speak correct English and Orange Lightbulb with curly pube on head. After Tanpopo is done feeling up these scared little revolting blobs Mickey Mouse ears tiny parents waltz in drinking coffee and tell her they’ll find a way to get her home. So that’s the story and in kicks the most repulsively annoying ‘PLEASE GET THIS SONG OUT OF MY HEAD’ opening music you’ve heard.

From then on the movie is a series of slice of life antics that Tanpopo joins in on. Going to Tamagotchi school, having lunch and looking after an egg which contains Mickey Mouse ears future baby sister – reflecting Tompopo’s situation. The weird thing is that everything on this planet is alive and has a face from the trains, the beds, the school and so on which leads to a worrying thought. These Tamagotchi eat… which probably means they defecate in some way, this troubles me because if everything is alive then you have just got to feel sorry for that poor toilet, and you just know where that mouth is gonna be. Especially when they all have mouths like sex dolls. Damn, not so cute now eh?

Mickey Mouse ears and Tanpopo end up losing the egg in a typical chain reaction sequence of the egg rolling away and ending up on the top of a building meshed in balloons. So they did a pretty crappy job in looking after that egg and Mickey Mouse ears father gives them advice all kids should listen to, ‘Never take your eyes off an egg’. The egg hatches and some pink cloud thing with a shrill voice is born. But what bothers me more about all this is why the hell do these tiny little creatures build everything at least three times too big for themselves? Maybe that’s overthinking it too much. Tanpopo herself looks like a Tamagotochi on stilts with that big head of hers. I may be losing my track here though…

Later the main threat of the film rears its head – if you thought that there could be one. It turns out that Mickey Mouse ears has a terrible fear of the dark after he fell down a well when he was younger – sounds like Batman Begins – and he was trying to create a small sun that would follow him around so he would never be scared. This leads to the planet’s sun mysteriously leaving and giving the planet a cold in the process. Of course Mickey Mouse ears blames himself for the real sun leaving and attempts to steal the rocket intended to shoot medication into the planets mouth to cure its cold… yes the planet and the sun have faces and are alive as well. The best idea behind this element of peril though was Mickey Mouse ears fear of the dark, the writers thought it best to have him overcome this fear but they did it in the most sadistic way one can imagine. They threw the poor beast into a black hole. I mean honestly what can be more terrifying for someone who is afraid of the dark than to be thrown into a dark void of nothing. I gotta admit it gave me a shiver.

I’m going to stop trying to describe the story now, needless to say that it probably sounds more insane when someone is trying to describe it rather than watching it. In the end though I was quite surprised by it, I’d like to say that it was a completely awful commercial for kids to hound their parents to buy Tamagotchi but even though I’m sure that element is in there it did turn out to be a pretty decent film for a younger audience or the lightly stoned/drunk. It’s bright, colourful, has some nice fluid animation that stops the simplistic character designs from feeling cheap and has complimenting background music – except for that mind numbing theme! Overall the ideas here have been seen in kids movies countless times before but for what it is it’s done well and if you have young children and want to shut them up for an hour or so with pretty colours and movement then I say go for it, they’ll probably enjoy it.

Now please don’t make me review Animal Crossing the movie too…

6 / 10