What You Need To Know:
Besides its many violent battles, there are many areas of DIGIMON that require discernment. First, it intends to get children more involved with the Internet and computers. Research says this diminishes the cognitive development of younger children. Furthermore, there is the philosophic problem of becoming enamored with monsters to solve your problems. These Digimon are like personal demons, and although the movie shows them having some dark sides, it encourages children to get in touch with their own personal Digimon. On a positive note, DIGIMON does promote many moral principles, such as teamwork, forgiveness, kindness, and courage. However, when all the negative elements are added together, especially the frightening images, the movie becomes very problematic. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® urges extreme caution
(PaPa, BB, Ev, VV, MM) Pagan worldview with an evolutionary plot device mitigated by an ultimately moral emphasis which teaches teamwork & other moral virtues; no obscenities or profanities but some references to Digimon droppings; lots of animated action violence with monsters fighting each other with some very scary moments, especially when digital monster jumps on face of young child; no sex, no nudity, no alcohol; no drugs; and, movie’s computer themes may hurt cognitive development of children & children make fun of mother’s health food cooking.
As if pocket monsters were not enough in Pokemon, there is now a feature film adapted from a Japanese TV series dealing with digital monsters, or DIGIMON.
Before the DIGIMON feature film, there is a short animated cartoon about a group of children rushing to see the DIGIMON movie. The cartoon characters are animated in the cut-out SOUTH PARK style. In the cartoon, there is a lot of back stabbing, pushing and shoving as the children try to get seats to see the movie. After all their fan fervor, it turns out they went into the wrong theater. Clearly, this short only serves to hype DIGIMON; THE MOVIE, but the mean spiritedness of it is very discouraging.
The movie opens up with a Japanese girl named Kari telling the viewer how her brother Tai and she discovered the first Digimon eight years ago. At that time, Kari and Tai were very small children. Past their bedtime, Tai is playing with his father’s computer. Kari goes to see what’s happening, and a digital egg comes out of the screen. The egg hatches, and the first Digimon appears, which Tai and Kari call Chloromon. Chloromon looks cute, but also has a sinister side, one aspect of which is to jump on Kari’s face, or Tai’s face, and look like he is suffocating the children. However, Kari and Tai make friends with Chloromon. Then, they find out that another Digimon has appeared in Colorado to a boy named Wallace.
One day, Kari is taking her Digimon for a ride. The Digimon has now evolved into a Godzilla-looking monster. Another Digimon appears in the sky, and attacks Kari’s Digimon, initiating the first of many battles. Each Digimon has the ability to “digivolve” into more and more ferocious digital monsters in the midst of their violent battles.
Four years later, Tai is playing with the computer, when an evil Digimon evolves in the computer and starts consuming the Internet. All the children around the world who have Digimons are called the “DigiDestined.” They have to join together to fight off this new Digi-threat.
Four years after that, just when everyone thinks that all the threats are solved, another Digi-threat appears, and everybody has to go to Colorado to fight this new monster.
Although the storyline of DIGIMON does not develop according to the traditional three-act story structure, and in fact, is merely an excuse for linking together these battle sequences, it is more developed than the first of the POKEMON movies. Furthermore, the little characters are quite well-realized and have interesting back-stories. However the pacing of the movie is much too frenetic, and the battle scenes are exhausting in their intensity.
There are many areas of DIGIMON that require discernment. First, it intends to get children more involved with the Internet and computers. Exhaustive research, as reported by US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT (the September 25th issue), shows that very young children should not be immersed in computers because it interferes with their cognitive development. Aside from the obvious socialization problems which computers present little children, it is important to keep in mind that children need to do tasks that involve hand-eye coordination to develop cognitively. A tremendous amount of research has shown that interaction with a two-dimensional computer inhibits cognitive growth and enhances the opportunity for a child to develop ADD.
Beyond the cognitive and socialization problems, there is the philosophic problem of becoming enamored with monsters to solve your problems. These Digimon are like personal demons, and although the movie shows them having some dark sides, it encourages children to get in touch with their own Digimon.
On a positive note, DIGIMON does promote many moral principles. The aim is to show teamwork, forgiveness, kindness, and courage. These moral points are proclaimed in the movie with great clarity.
The scatological humor is kept to a minimum, with a few references in the beginning to Digi-droppings. Adults, regrettably, are mocked, particularly Tai’s mother, who experiments with health food recipes that cause unpleasant symptoms.
One could say that there are enough positive virtues that, with a little caution, children could enjoy this movie. However, when all the negative elements are added together, especially the frightening images, the movie becomes very problematic. Therefore, MOVIEGUIDE® urges extreme caution.