Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|One Piece The Princess and the Pirates - Adventures in Alabasta Movie 8 |
Actors: Charles Baker, Troy Baker, Anthony Bowling, Luci Christian, Leah Clark
Director: Takahiro Imamura
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Anime & Manga, Animation
The island kingdom of Alabasta is about to erupt in civil war ? a war engineered by Crocodile, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and his criminal organization Baroque Works. Monkey D. Luffy, his Straw Hat pirates and P... more »
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Worst One Piece Movie (But That's Besides The Point)
Kevin T. Rodriguez | Citrus Heights, CA United States | 02/26/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The release of "One Piece The Movie 8 - The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta" (let's see how much paragraph space I can waste just by typing that) is a significant release for fans of the hit Japanese TV show "One Piece," which is one of the biggest hits in Japan since "Dragon Ball Z." Here in America though it's the most popular series since "Shaman King," another series that is also less popular then it deserves to be. All things considered, "One Piece" should be more popular then it is. Ever since Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies were released, pirates have been the thing. So a series about pirates, even one that feels more Tex Avery then Johnny Depp, should have been a sure thing.
Though I don't want to get into the whole history of the show, it was basically bought by a company called 4Kids Entertainment (makers of "The Cabbage Patch Kids") and run through the editing machine so thoroughly, that it showed up on kids TV in a form that made it almost unrecognizable to it's fans. One of my friends calls "One Piece" his favorite show of all time, and this includes epic masterpieces like "Star Trek" and "Seinfield," and his reaction to the editing of the show was "I now know what a woman must feel like when she gets raped." Yeah, that comment may be extreme, but so were the changes to the show. Recently the rights of "One Piece" were given to a company called Funimation Productions, the most known (ironically enough) for making "Dragon Ball Z" popular in America.
Though the company had eight movies to pick from, they decided to start with "One Piece The Movie 8 - The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta" over the first movie. I think the reasoning for this was more political then it was just because it was the latest movie to be made. People are watching Funimation, expecting their first release of "One Piece" to be nothing short of perfection. This movie is actually an odd duck of the movies. It's simply a retelling of one of the best arcs in the TV show, with better animation and music. Though intentions are good, this makes it feel pretty out of place. It's useless to newcomers who won't get whats going on, and fans of the show may appreciate the better animation, but will want to stick with the TV episodes for being more fleshed out.
For America though, this may be the release Funimation needed to show the fans what it was going to do differently. As chance would have it, the arc that this movie retells was one of the last arcs to air on 4Kids TV. It was also the worst edited, changing what was one of the emotional climaxes of the show into slush that would embarrass the writers of Barney. The final fight was especially noted for turning one of the shows most intense battles into nothing more then mindless chatter. "One Piece The Movie 8 - The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta" takes what was already an intense story of the show and pumps up the intensity and the violence well above what could even be shown on Japanese TV.
In this sense, it releasing this movie would not only show how different Funimation's translation of "One Piece" is going to be, but it would also give people who may have only seen the edited TV showing something to compare it to. To prove this point even more, Funimation submitted the movie to the MPAA, where the movie received a PG-13 for "violence and some sexual content." And violent it is. People who have only seen "One Piece" on TV will notice a difference in the action right away. How much more intense it is. How much blood is spilt. How the characters not only get cut up, but how the comic relief character even gets his skull smashed in with a metal bat. The widescreen adds a bonus to the movie in that the fights are now given more depth and visuals, and it makes the action a highlight of the film.
That said, this is easily the worst "One Piece" film of the bunch. While most of the other "One Piece" movies are stand alone stories, taking one of the most loved story arcs of the TV show and dwindling it down to ninety minutes is a tragedy. The story and characters aren't developed enough to get emotionally connected to, and we are only truly entertained near the very end of the film, where Luffy has his epic fight with antagonist Crocodile. On top of the shallow condensing, the movie has this annoying habit of stopping the movie with oil painted frames of the same scene. Which...admittingly, looks cool, but comes off as utterly pointless none-the-less. Though I can't really recommend "One Piece The Movie 8 - The Desert Princess and the Pirates: Adventures in Alabasta," I don't think it ultimately matters.
And not because I feel people will say "Screw you, I'm going to buy this anyway," but because for all my complaints about the movie itself, it does what it sets out to do. That is, it gives us a glimpse at what the show will be like under the arms of a different company, cast, and director. And while the dub for this movie is by no means perfect, it's a BIG step up from what we've seen on TV! I feel "One Piece" fans will watch this with much joy, because they will be watching the show as it was supposed to be seen all this time. For some who've been watching it on TV, this will be a revelation to how much better the show should have been, and now looks to be. Once we get the new episodes and movies, I think the importance of this one will slowly disappear, but for now it does what it sets out to do."
The Blu-ray has very good picture quality, Dolby TrueHD both
Dennis A. Amith (kndy) | California | 03/09/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to animated films, especially for a long running manga and anime series, they're typically stand-alone and filled with mindless action and simple plot. But with the eighth "ONE PIECE" film titled "THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta", the film focuses on intense battles and dramatic sequences that make this one of the better "ONE PIECE" films in years.
The film starts off with the Straw Hat Pirates in the sea, they discover an object or person who needs help and eventually they save the person.
The person happens to be Mr. 2 Bon Clay, a transvestite and a member of Sir Crocodile's organization, Baroque Works. He has the ability to change to anyone he touches (face and whole body). He takes all their identities (when demonstrating his abilities) and eventually leaves the group. This causes great concern to Vivi as she notices that one of the people he changed to was her father and must mean that there is trouble
This leads the whole crew to Vivi's desert homeland in which she finds out that Alabasta is in turmoil with a civil war ongoing (courtesy of Crocodile's evil plans). As the crew, investigate the desert area, Vivi learns from one of her father's assistants that a civil war has turned the country upside down and that Crocodile was using Mr. 2 Bon Clay to impersonate her father with his evil plans. Thus, the crew are now off to stop Crocodile.
Unbeknownst to the pirates, Crocodile and his gang have been observing them. This leads to the first battle between Crocodile and Luffy which looks as if Luffy has been killed.
With the Straw Hat Pirates in mourning, they want nothing but to revenge their fallen leader and get their revenge against Crocodile and his gang. Meanwhile, Vivi tries to think of a way to stop this civil war and bring peace back to Alabasta.
The film is a retelling of episodes 93-130. So, when you try to condense 37 episodes into a 90 minute film, there are a lot of things that you lose. But this has been numerous times with plenty of anime series and it's either win or lose depending on the viewer. But also if there is anything new introduced in the film.
If anything "THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta" focuses on action sequences and a few dramatic situations from the story arc but the biggest difference is production quality. Animated films are usually better than their television counterparts and on Blu-ray, this film just looks beautiful.
VIDEO AND AUDIO:
The picture quality of "THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta" is absolute beautiful. Many scenes use the amber and blues but most of all, since this film is quite recent (2008), the animation is quite vibrant in colors via 1080p High Definition.
As for audio quality, both English and Japanese dialogue tracks are in Dolby TrueHD 5.1. This is very important because many animated films on Blu-ray would feature only the English dub track in Dolby TrueHD and the Japanese track in 2.0 stereo. So, it was great to watch both films in Japanese and English and I was impressed by the FUNimation dub work as opposed to what was on television several years ago.
I definitely enjoyed the use of special effects in the rear channels for this film. With this film full of action, I'm glad the speaker channels were well utilized.
Also, for those who don't have Dolby TrueHD receivers, you can watch the film in Dolby Digital 2.0 as well.
There are no special features but the FUNimation trailers.
The eighth "ONE PIECE MOVIE 8: THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta" film features a significant part from the Alabasta storyline from the television series because it introduces several characters such as Nico Robin and Mr. 2 Bon Clay who have a major part to play in animated series of "ONE PIECE" and also, it features a major member of the Straw Hat Pirate gang leaving the group.
Unlike many animated films based on a manga or anime series which are storylines simply not-related to the series and sometimes non-canon, one can see "THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta" as an abridged Alabasta storyline which was part of the anime.
Whereas the anime television series, of course, had 37 episodes dedicated to the Alabasta storyline, you lose a lot of the plot but yet, the film manages to focus on the overall theme of "ONE PIECE" which is friendship, loyalty, sacrifice and all out battles.
But because the film is a condensed version of so many episodes, there are hardcore fans who are going to be upset by the fact that an awesome storyline can't be condensed for a 90 minute film but then you have the other side of the fandom who is used to seeing anime films done this way and looking forward to any new footage or anything special that the film can bring.
Of course, with it being a film, the production values are much better. But is it worth watching if you already invested in the television series? If you are a hardcore fan, you're probably going to buy it anyway to make sure your collection is not missing any film and if you never watched "ONE PIECE" ever, then you're going to be treated to a film that is full of action, cool characters and hard hitting battles.
"THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta" is more of an ode to those who enjoyed the Alabasta storyline and then giving them something new and fun to enjoy. And for those who have never seen "ONE PIECE" but have a mild familiarity of its characters, certain parts may not make sense to the viewer but overall, the film becomes an action anime film about friendship and loyalty and can still be enjoyed it on its own. It's not that difficult to follow.
Again, it's great to have a "ONE PIECE" film make its way to Blu-ray, the picture quality brings out the colors of this film and the audio quality has good use of special effects on both front and rear speakers. I wish there were some sort of special features even if it was just the trailer for the film or a textless ending theme in Japanese and English.
Overall, "ONE PIECE MOVIE 8: THE DESERT PRINCESS AND THE PIRATES - Adventures in Alabasta" is a fun, action-packed film and one of the lower priced anime films out there. Check it out!"