A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie has a lot of cartoon violence -- some scary-looking creatures face off against each other, including monsters and decaying mummies. There are a lot of meaningful glares and lightning-type bolts shooting out between the characters, but even those who are defeated and seem to evaporate turn out not to be gone for good. Human characters are in peril, too, and sometimes seem to be hurt, but again it's only temporary and there are no serious or graphic injuries. One girl character is loyal and brave, but when the creatures attack, she's the only one who cries and is incapable of fighting back. Some mild schoolyard language like "blow chunks," as well as many threats, insults, and boasts. A somewhat decadent character refers to wine spritzers and is so effete that some viewers may wonder if he's supposed to be a stereotyped gay man.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Less a movie than an infomercial, YU-GI-OH! THE MOVIE, like the TV show, follows the story of champion card-player Yugi (voiced by Dan Green), who can access the power of an ancient pharaoh to help him triumph over all who challenge him. His perennial nemesis is wealthy Kaiba (Eric Stuart), who doesn't realize that his spirit has been captured by the spirit of the pharaoh's evil enemy, Anubis (Scottie Ray). Five thousand years ago, the pharaoh vanquished Anubis for what he thought was eternity.
Is it any good?
When a movie begins by telling you that "Eternity does not last forever," it's clear that no one behind it is paying much attention to the script, so you'd better not worry about it, either. Anyone who's ever seen the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series, played the card game, or bought the cards knows what to expect here. The characters usually undergo some transformation or make use of a secret to attain power, almost always an attractive theme to kids.
The static visuals get tiresome quickly, and the characters are confusing to those not already familiar with them from television. The dialogue consists of a lot of boasts and threats like, "Soon worms will feast on your flesh as they feasted on mine!" Kids, especially those ages 6-10, love to memorize and sort endless facts, whether about Pokemon, dinosaurs, cars, or Beanie Babies. So parents may decide that the movie's benefits as a sort of training wheels for social interaction and a sense of mastery outweigh its shortcomings as a movie. Nevertheless, non-fans will conclude that eternity may not last forever, but this movie feels like it does.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: August 13, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: November 16, 2004
- Cast: Dan Green, Eric Stuart, Wayne Grayson
- Directors: Hatsuki Tsuji, Ryusoke Takahashi
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: scary combat and monster images
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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