A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Digimon Adventure tri: Loss is the fourth entry in the "tri" movie series of the Digimon franchise from Japan (in English). This particular story incorporates episodes 14-17 of the Digimon Adventure: tri television series, and follows Digimon Adventure tri: Reunion (episodes 1-4), Digimon Adventure tri: Determination (episodes 5-8), and Digimon Adventure tri: Confession (episodes 9-13). The series takes place in two separate worlds: the Real World (Japan) and the Digital World (in which the dominant life form is the Digimon). The leading human characters are the "DigiDestined," teens who met in summer camp as children and are "special enough to be recruited to fight evil." The DigiDestined are partnered with small animal-like creatures called Digimon, who transform into powerful monsters to fight evil when called upon. In each story, relationships and personal issues recognizable to all contemporary tweens and teens are explored. Each of the movies has some cartoon violence. In this one, there are evil villains, robotic monsters, and action, which includes explosions, attacks, and battles between powerful creatures, some of whom are good and some bad. The creatures are brightly colored, often fanged and winged, and have giant claws. Intended for audiences who are following the Digimon Adventure tri series. There's little introduction to the concept or characters, and storylines are not all resolved.
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What's the story?
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: LOSS picks up immediately after the events of Digimon Adventure tri: Confession, during which a total reboot of the DigiWorld was required to save it from a virus threatening its existence. The DigiDestined have traveled from the Real World to the Digital World to find that the memories of their beloved DigiPartners have been erased by the reboot. The little creatures don't recognize their friends and have lost the capacity to "level up," or transform into powerful monster-fighters. In the midst of the confusion, it's revealed that Gennai, the humanoid who was counted upon to balance the light and dark worlds, has turned. He's now a master manipulator, part of King Drasil's plan to sever the relationships between the DigiDestined and their DigiPartners. And he wants to recapture Meicoomon -- the only DigiPartner whose memory has remained intact. Gennai sends Machinedramon, a robotic monster, to disperse the heroes throughout the Digital World. As the teen heroes try to make their way back to one another, and restore and "digivolve" their little partners, Gennai sends even more villains to stop them.
Is it any good?
The fourth part in a six-part adventure is business as usual -- the teen heroes face enemies, this time with a twist; they must also reunite with and save the powers of their personal DigiPartners. Though the DVD provides a bonus feature called "The Evolution So Far," included to bring viewers up to date, there's such a dense backstory and so many plot elements, characters, and relationships that it requires much more than a brief overview to thoroughly engage young audiences. However, for fans of the franchise Digimon Adventure tri: Loss will be just enough to get them ready for the final two installments, Co-Existence and Future, which are waiting in the wings and will conclude the story.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the fact that even though these movies are marketed individually, they are very much dependent upon the audience's familiarity with both the characters and the storylines. When you watched Digimon Adventure tri: Loss, were you aware that it was one of the middle episodes in an established franchise? If not, did you watch the DVD's bonus feature, "The Evolution So Far," which recounts earlier events? Do you feel there was enough backstory in that piece to bring you up to date? Why or why not?
Why is it important to be aware of cross-marketing (or cross-promotion) between toy companies and film production entities that market brands like Digimon? How does this movie, and the others in the franchise, benefit the toy manufacturers, and vice versa?
What is the meaning of the film and literary term "cliffhanger"? How does this film fit the definition?
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