Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, known in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light (遊戯王デュエルモンスターズ 光のピラミッド Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu Hikari no Piramiddo ) is a 2004 anime film produced by Nihon Ad Systems based on the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series.
The film was released in the United States before Japan, as it was commissioned by 4Kids Entertainment, and was released in theatres in August 13, 2004. The characters are the same as the English version of the Yu-Gi-Oh!, or Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters television show and their names retain their regional changes (i.e., Téa is Anzu in the Japanese version and Téa in all other versions). Unlike the TV series, the cards retain their appearance to their real world counterparts in the English version. The movie was released in Japan in November 03, 2004 and aired on TV Tokyo on January 2nd, 2005, which utilized the names, original sound effects and original soundtrack from the Japanese anime and featured ten minutes of additional animation.
The film came out with a soundtrack titled Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie Soundtrack featuring various vocal artists (most notably The Black Eyed Peas, who contributed the song "For The People"); however, the score for the movie was never released.
Five-thousand years ago, Pharaoh Atem killed and imprisoned Anubis after he tried to destroy the world using the forbidden Shadow Games. In the present day, Anubis' tomb is uncovered by archaeologists, complete with his most valuable treasure, the Pyramid of Light. At the same time, Yugi Mutou completes Atem's Millennium Puzzle, causing Anubis to awaken from his eternal slumber and begin his return from the dead. Sharing his body with Atem's soul under the alias of Yami Yugi, Yugi goes on to become the King of Games, the world's greatest player of the trading card game Duel Monsters, by defeating his rival Seto Kaiba and obtaining the three powerful Egyptian God cards. Desperate to defeat Yugi, Kaiba turns to Maximillion Pegasus, creator of Duel Monsters, to gain any new cards designed to defeat the God cards. Kaiba and Pegasus duel with Kaiba winning and taking two cards, although Pegasus claims he only created one.
Yugi and Téa Gardner go to the local museum where Anubis' corpse and the Pyramid of Light are on display, meeting up with Yugi's Grandpa Solomon, who reads a prophecy describing a clairvoyant eye which will prevent the world's destruction if blinded. Anubis' spirit attacks the group with Yugi having a vision of the Lord of the Dead manipulating Kaiba and him a Shadow Game deathmatch. He awakens to find Anubis and the Pyramid of Light missing, and races to warn Kaiba, taken to his duel dome by Kaiba's little brother Mokuba with friends Joey Wheeler and Tristan Taylor in pursuit. Kaiba arrogantly and ignorantly forces Yami Yugi into a duel, unaware that Anubis is manipulating him into using one of the two new cards, Pyramid of Light, which covers the field in a huge replica of the actual pyramid and destroys the God Cards. Yugi, Joey and Tristan are sucked into the pyramid whilst Mokuba flees the crumbling building.
Yugi, Joey and Tristan awaken within the Millennium Puzzle, finding Anubis' tomb within. The regenerating sorcerer reveals that his monsters will destroy the modern world. Yami Yugi and Kaiba continue their duel, each blow to their in-game Life Points actually draining away their physical energy. Kaiba uses the second new card, the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, to destroy Yami's last monster and dropping his Life Points to near 0. Téa, Solomon, and Mokuba escape the collapsing dome in Pegasus' helicopter, Pegasus having figured out what is going on. Téa's soul is sent into the Millennium Puzzle to aid Yugi, Joey and Tristan. Yugi finds the Dagger of Fate within Anubis' tomb, and uses it to destroy the all-seeing eye in the tomb as per the prophecy.
Anubis materializes behind Kaiba as he tries to alter the duel's path, casting him aside and taking command of the duel. Yami, reunited with Yugi, destroys the Pyramid of Light card with the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon and then uses Kaiba's planned strategy to summon the God Cards and end the duel by destroying Anubis. However, Anubis rises again as a demonic beast and transforms the Duel Monsters cards into real creatures. This proves to be his undoing when Yugi and Yami summon the Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon to destroy Anubis. Kaiba departs promising to defeat Yugi, Yugi thanking Yami and his friends for their help and companionship.
- Shunsuke Kazama - Yugi Mutou / Dark Yugi
- Kenjiro Tsuda - Seto Kaiba
- Kouji Ishii - Anubis
- Hiroki Takahashi - Katsuya Jonouchi
- Hidehiro Kikuchi - Hiroto Honda
- Maki Saito - Anzu Mazaki
- Junko Takeuchi - Mokuba Kaiba
- Tadashi Miyazawa - Sugoroku Mutou
- Jiro J. Takasugi - Pegasus J. Crawford
- Dan Green - Yugi Muto / Yami Yugi
- Eric Stuart - Seto Kaiba
- Scottie Ray - Anubis
- Wayne Grayson - Joey Wheeler
- Frank Frankson - Tristan Taylor
- Amy Birnbaum - Téa Gardner
- Tara Jayne - Mokuba Kaiba
- Maddie Blaustein - Solomon Muto
- Darren Dunstan - Maximillion Pegasus
- Mike Pollock - Newscaster
- Eric Stuart - Voice Director
The film opened at 2,411 screens across the U.S and made a theater screen average of $3,934. By the end of the weekend, it made $9,485,494 and place #4 on the Box Office Top 10 behind Collateral, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, which took the #1 position. It is currently the #3 Japanese animated film in the US Box Office, after Pokémon: The First Movie and Pokémon 2000.
The film had gained overwhelmingly negative response. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 68th in the '100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s', with a rating of 5%, based on 60 reviews, with the site's top critics giving it a rating of 0%. The film only grossed $19 million in the United States and in Canada, with only $29 million worldwide, making it a severe disappointment compared to the first three Pokémon films dubbed by the same company, which were highly successful, with a total worldwide gross of $363 million. The film is also currently the lowest rated animated film on Metacritic, with an average of 15 out of 100, based on 18 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes it is the second lowest behind Happily N'Ever After.
Attendees of the movie during its premiere (U.S. or Japan) got 1 of 4 free Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game cards Pyramid of Light, Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, Sorcerer of Dark Magic and Watapon were given out as part of a promotional deal when moviegoers purchased tickets for this movie.
In the movie, several references are made to outside works:
-When Joey refers to himself as the "Godfather of Games" in front of a crowd seeking to Duel Yugi, he vocally imitates famous actor Marlon Brando (an obvious reference to Brando's role as Vito Corleone in The Godfather.) Joey later quotes Brando a second time by repeating his famous line "I could've been a contender," after he and Tristan are literally run over by the crowd as it runs after Yugi hoping to duel him. Marlon Brando first said the line in the 1954 film On the Waterfront.
-After defeating Pegasus in a Duel, Kaiba utters the signature sign-off line "That's all folks," used by Porky Pig in every incarnation of the Looney Toons series of cartoons. The line was a jab at Pegasus using a Deck of Toon cards.
- ↑ "Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D's U.S. Theatrical Run Dated for February–March". Anime News Network. 2010-11-22. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2010-11-22/yu-gi-oh-3d-u.s-theatrical-run-dated-for-february-march.
- ↑ "Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/movie/yu-gi-oh!-the-movie.
- English Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie website
- TV Tokyo Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light website Invalid language code.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light at the Internet Movie Database
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light at AllRovi
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia.
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