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Movie Guide
Dotou The first Naruto theatrical movie was released in 2004. Every subsequent year saw a new movie release. When the Naruto series moved to the time skip timeframe with Shippuuden, the movie series also made the jump.

In addition to movies, the series has had several original animated videos. These includes specials designed for Shonen Jump events and tie-ins for video game releases.
Yomi
Naruto Theatrical Releases


Movie 1: "Naruto: Daikatsugeki! Yukihime ninpoucho! & Konoha undoukai ~ Naruto: Furious Action! The Snow Princess Ninja Chronicles & The Konoha Athletic Meet!"

Original Theatrical Date: 08/21/2004

What's the story? Movie One tells the story of Kakashi and Team 7 travelling to the Snow Country, a previously unknown country in the world of Naruto. A famous actress is threatening to quit her role on a film because she doesn't want to travel to a location shoot in the Snow Country. Team 7 and Kakashi serve as her protectors as she is forced to travel to the location. While there she comes under attack by the Snow ninja hired by the Daimyou of the Country. Can Naruto and his comrades protect the actress? What is the secret of her past?...

The movie includes a Naruto animated short involving an athletic competition that is held in Konoha. This short is very humorous in nature and has no real way of fitting into continuity. Take it with a grain of salt and you may enjoy it.

What do I think? This movie is one of the better attempts to write a story in the Naruto universe from writers not named Kishimoto. The action and jutsu in the movie are mostly new and nice to look at, the actions of some of the characters seem out of character for the most part, particular Kakashi with certain actions. The new chakra boosting technology is rather lame, but otherwise the movie is fairly good attempt at bringing us new Naruto stories. A full story breakdown and screencaps can be expected for this section with the DVD release this April.

Final rating: 8/10



Movie 2: "Naruto: Daigekitotsu! Maboroshi no chitei iseki dattebayo! ~ Naruto: Furious Clash! The Phantom Ruins in the Depths of the Earth!"

Original Theatrical Date: 08/06/2005

What's the story? While out on a mission, Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru are attacked by a young knight named Temujin. Temujin is a knight in the service of Haido, a warlord promising to bring peace to the world after it has been racked by war. Haido secretly promoted those wars to get volunteers for his strange human-powered machinery. After conquering his land, he and his army sailed north to take on the armies of the Five Great Shinobi Countries. When the ninja from Konoha become separated, Naruto is forced to partner with Temujin. The Wind Country also acts to repel the invasion, leading Gaara and Kankurou to help in the battle against Haido and his shape-changing female knights. Can Naruto convince Temujin of Haido's evil nature before the invasion can succeed?...

What do I think? This movie follows the formula of the first, having Naruto and his teammates leave Konoha for a foreign land. This story benefits by utilizing non-ninja villains and the Sand shinobi, who offer something new to the usual Naruto movie plot elements.

Final rating: 7/10



Movie 3: "Naruto: Daikoufun! Mikadzukishima no animaru soudou dattebayo ~ Naruto: Great Excitement! The Animal Riot of Crescent Moon Island"

Original Theatrical Date: 08/05/2006

What's the story? A spoiled prince from the Moon Country (which is located on Crescent Moon Island, on a southern sea) is traveling the world and is to be escorted back to his home island by Naruto, Kakashi, Sakura and Lee. The prince ends up purchasing a circus for his son and hilarity ensues. When the group finally returns to Crescent Moon Island, they learn that one of the country ministers has staged a coup with the help of rogue ninja. The team from Konoha then has to defeat the ninja and help the prince retake the throne.

What do I think? This movie continues the trend of stories featuring passable plots which hope to tug on your heart strings and also humor you. Where the first movie was snow and winter themed, this movie focuses on spring and summer, with the team wearing short sleeved outfits. The movie features good animation and some interesting new jutsu, but it unfortunately follows the trend of "people changed by Naruto." The plot itself is rather basic in construction so it doesn't excite as much as one would hope. It has the typical cardboard cut-out villain seeking power which is par for the course in these movies.

Final rating: 7/10



Movie 4: "Naruto: Shippuuden (1)"

Original Theatrical Date: 08/04/2007

What's the story? Evil ninja seek to revive Mouryou, a dark spirit who had been defeated some 20 years previously. The former Demon Country shrine maiden had Mouryou's body split from its spirit. The evil Yomi, a former leader in Mouryou's army, seeks to rejoin the body and spirit so his master can once again walk the earth. But first he must kill the current shrine maiden, to ensure Mouryou can not be stopped again. The shrine maiden Shion is gifted with the ability of foresight. She can see the death of those close to her, who all sacrifice themselves so that she may live. When a team from Konoha is sent to protect her, Shion foresees Naruto's death. Can Naruto convince the cold-hearted Shion that ones fate is not set in stone or will Yomi and his chakra-enhanced men succeed and revive Mouryou?

What do I think? Taking place in the post-timeskip time frame and involving a darker subject matter sets this movie apart from its more lighthearted predecessors. Unfortunately like the previous movies is retains the same formula: Naruto convinces the person he's helping/protecting that they have a bad attitude, Teams from Konoha face off against the main villain's lieutenants, Naruto faces off against the head villain at the end and defeats him with a Rasengan variation. Fortunately this movie pulls off that formula fairly well.

Final rating: 8/10



Movie 5: "Naruto Shippuuden (2): Kizuna ~ Naruto: Shippuuden (2): Bonds"

Original Theatrical Date: 08/02/2008

What's the story? Remnants of the Sky Country ninja village attack Konoha. A medical ninja named Shinnou and his pupil Amaru return to their village to ensure its safety from the Sky ninja. Naruto, Hinata and Sakura go to assist. Elsewhere Orochimaru dispatches Sasuke to find the ninja who taught Orochimaru about body resurrection. Other ninja from Konoha are dispatched to destroy the Sky Country forces. After returning to Amaru's home village, Shinnou is killed and Amaru becomes controlled by the Reibi spirit. The leader of the Sky Country ninja reveals himself and controls the Reibi. Sasuke arrives looking for his target. Can Naruto and Sasuke end the Reibi powered man's reign of terror?

What do I think? Differing from the previous Naruto movies, Bonds breaks from the formula of "bad leader + several henchmen". This gives the story room to grow without the usual one on one battles seen in previous movies in the series. The movie also features Sai in a nice cameo, who participates in the mission to counterattack the Sky forces. The movie loses ground in falling back on the "young character who Naruto is able to change" cliché. Overall though it is a good entry in the series.

Final rating: 8/10



Movie 6: "Naruto Shippuuden (3): Hi no ishi o tsugu mono ~ Naruto: Shippuuden (3): Inheritors of the Will of Fire"

Original Theatrical Date: 08/01/2009

What's the story? Konoha investigates the disappearance of ninja with Kekkei Genkai from the other great shinobi villages. A man known as Hiruko reveals himself to the villages, declaring he will attain immortality by combining five Kekkei Genkai. The man seeks one final bloodline ability, that of the Sharingan in Hatake Kakashi. Kakashi forms a plan with Tsunade and lets Hiruko take control of him, willing to sacrifice himself for the village. Naruto learns Kakashi is leaving and disobeys orders to save him and defeat Hiruko. As Naruto's friends go in pursuit to try and stop him, Hiruko's men also strike back with their Chimera jutsu. Can Naruto and his friends come to terms before Hiruko gets the final piece he needs to achieve perfection?

What do I think? Moving back into "head bad guy + lackies" territory is a disappointment after movie 4. Hiruko is fleshed out a bit more than most movie villains, but unfortunately he acts as a poor Orochimaru copy. Some interesting Kekkei Genkai are included but hardly developed and used. Because the movie breaks no new ground it's average at best, but thankfully it's lack of any groan-worthy moments still make it a worthwhile viewing experience.

Final rating: 7/10

Naruto OAV Releases


OAV 1: "Find the Crimson Four-Leaf Clover!" [Click for synopsis]

What's the story? This short 17 minute one-shot special was released on DVD at the Jump Festa convention in 2003. It involves Konohamaru seeking Naruto's help to find a legendary four-leaf clover that makes wishes come true. The story appears to fall into continuity sometime after Naruto becomes a Genin and before the Wave Country arc. Though it could also possibly fall in right before the Chuunin Exam.

What do I think? This brief side story was unique at release, being an animated story not featured in the original manga. However with the Naruto series usage of filler later on, the story lost some of its unique flavor.

Final rating: 6/10



OAV 2: "Battle at Hidden Falls. I am the hero!!" [Click for synopsis]

What's the story? This 40 minute special was a DVD sendaway available from Shonen Jump in Japan. The reader filled out a form and sent in 1700 yen to receive the special DVD. The story involves a young ninja named Shibuki from Hidden Waterfall who tries to come to terms with what it means to be a hero and leader of his village.

What do I think? This OAV offers the first and only glimpse of Hidden Waterfall Village, a canon ninja village previously unseen even in the original manga. To that extent the movie brings something new to the table. It's unlcear where the OAV would fall into the series timeline, possibly right after the Sand and Sound Invasion. The story itself is not that memorable, but should be watched if only for the reveal of Hidden Waterfall.

Final rating: 7/10



OAV 3: "Konoha no Sato no Dai Undoukai ~ Konoha Village Great Athletic Meet"

What's the story? This short 11 minute special was shown with Naruto movie one. It features a competition between the Genin of Konoha. The competition merely serves as a backdrop for Naruto to get into humorous situations and should not be taken seriously. It also allows the anime team to include anything and everything, from bit part background characters to long since dead ones.

The Meet is held to test the skills of the various Genin teams. The teams take part in various challenges with the eventual winner getting a paid vacation. This merely serves as the backdrop for a diarrhea problem Naruto faces within moments of the competition starting. As he rushes to the bathroom he sees a long line to the men's restroom and is prevented from resolving his problem. He is thus forced to compete in various challenges, all while trying to hold it in. He speeds through the various challenges all in the hopes that in the brief intermission between them he can finally use the restroom. Unfortunately various situations arise preventing him from ever accomplishing this.

What do I think? A humor driven piece it can be amusing at times, but the humor's rather base nature makes it a bit derivative even at only 11 minutes. We get it, he can't take a crap and really needs to. Seeing Naruto prevented from using the restroom for so long only serves to annoy rather than amuse. The animation is great but the plot, if it could even be called that, doesn't do much. The humor just isn't enough to make the OAV feel worth watching multiple times. This story really also has no chance of being in continuity and should just be viewed as a humor piece. It features dead characters (Yondaime Hokage, Haku, etc.) and ninja from other villages who have no reason to be attending such an event. Itachi and Kisame waiting in line for the restroom?... yeah.

Final rating: 3/10



OAV 4: "Clash at Last! Jounin VS Genin!! No Discrimination, Great Melee Grand Exhibition Opening!!"

What's the story? Tsunade directs a big contest to be held where the goal is to get a crystal from another ninja. Seemingly every Konoha ninja is involved (including dead ones) and the Sand siblings and Baki participate as well. Naruto walks throughout the village and sees various Genin vs. Chuunin/Jounin fights going on. Naruto always manages to miss out and be oblivious to people hiding their crystals, accidentally dropping them, them getting knocked loose, etc. We get glimpses at various match-ups: Gaara vs. Izumo, Lee vs. Guy, Sakura vs. Ino, Neji vs. Asuma, Kankurou vs. Shino.

At the very end Naruto decides to team up with Sasuke to try and get the crystal from Kakashi. Naruto forms Rasengan and Sasuke forms Chidori, they race towards Kakashi but he easily grabs their arms and stops the strikes from connecting. He casually tosses them away and manages to take Naruto's crystal at the same time.

What do I think? The story serves its purpose, providing some interesting match-ups not previously seen in the story, such as Sasuke and Naruto vs. Kakashi, Gaara vs. Izumo, Lee vs. Guy, etc. They give a glimpse at fights which would really never emerge in the main storyline. As such the story should be viewed more for it's interesting match-ups than good story. Also taking into account the story is largely rushed and unfinished, it may not prove a satisfying watch to some viewers.

Final rating: 6/10