Digimon Adventure Tri: The Movie Part 1 is the first of five installments following the original Digi Destined years after the last series ended. It is entitled ‘Reunion’ and that word covers both the positives and negatives of this movie.
Since it has been years since the events of Digimon Adventure 02 (both in real life and in the show) the beginning is concerned with setting up where the main characters are now. We see them try to navigate various responsibilities and the difficulties that can arise from maintaining their friendships.
After so long away from these characters it is good to spend some time seeing them get re-established. The problem is that the movie spends far too much time dwelling on these moments. It is entertaining to see Tai struggle to get people to show up to his football game at first, but the sub-plot lasts way too long. It might be because this is only one fifth of the full series but the whole movie feels like a giant first act. Even when the plot finally gets moving it doesn't feel like there is any sort of rush on the part of the Digi Destined to get to the bottom of what is going on, or what the new threat is. There is barely any action in this movie. There are a grand total of three big scenes with action and two of them are over way too quickly. This is a shame because the animation is beautiful and the music is fantastic.
The movie itself is supported by a couple of special features. The second is just a brief glimpse at a promo event, but the first is an interview with the English cast. It is only 20 minutes long but it covers how old cast members feel about returning, and how new actors feel about coming in to an established series. It is a fitting inclusion to a movie reuniting with people from the past.
Digimon Adventure Tri: The Movie Part 1 isn't bad. It contains some good elements. The special features are a fun bonus. The characters are all fun to re-discover, it dwells on how they feel about their upcoming struggles and the action is solid when there is actual action on display. The problem is that it feels stretched out. Thanks to the length of the series as a whole, it doesn't feel like much has been accomplished by the time the credits roll. Future installments of Tri will benefit from the set up in this movie but what ‘Reunion’ has to offer feels lost among that set up.
DIGIMON ADVENTURE TRI: THE MOVIE PART 1 / CERT: PG / DIRECTOR: KEITARO MOTONAGA / SCREENWRITER: YUUKO KAKIHARA / STARRING: CRISTINA VALENZUELA, KATE HIGGINS, MONA MARSHALL, JUNKO TAKEUCHI/ RELEASE DATE: 22ND MAY