Doraemon: 30 Films Going On 31

Welcome to Pop Retro, a segment in our online magazine where we take a look at some retro Pop Culture and how they have made an impact from comics or manga to movies.

In this month's feature we look at the popular robot cat, Doraemon. This well loved Japanese series is about a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a schoolboy, Nobita Nobi.

The series first appeared in December 1969, when it was published simultaneously in six different magazines. In total, 1,344 stories were created in the original series, which are published by Shogakukan under the Tentōmushi manga brand, extending to forty-five volumes.

The volumes are collected in the Takaoka Central Library in Toyama, Japan. Viz Media bought the license to the Doraemon manga in the 1990s for an English-language release, but ultimately decided not to publish it due to the possible controversy surrounding its content.

The main reason why the series is so popular and so heart warming is because a majority of Doraemon episodes are comedies with moral lessons regarding values such as integrity, perseverance, courage, family and respect for elders. Several noteworthy environmental issues are often visited, including homeless animals, global warming, endangered species, deforestation, and pollution. Miscellaneous educational topics such as dinosaurs, the flat Earth theory, wormhole traveling, Gulliver's Travels, and the history of Japan are often covered.

In 1980, Toho released the first of a series of annual feature length animated films based on the lengthly special volumes published annually. The films are more action-adventure oriented and unlike the anime and manga, some based on the stories in the volumes, they have more of a shōnen demographic, taking the familiar characters of Doraemon and placing them in a variety of exotic and perilous settings.

Here are some of the more recent appearances of Doraemon on the big screen

2006 Doraemon: Nobita's Dinosaurus

Nobita, Giant, and Shizuka the fossil of Tyrannosaurus's claw. Nobita wants to show them a whole dinosaurus fossil, but Doraemon won't help him this time,  so he tries to dig out some fossil by himself.

Fortuntely he finds something, and with "Time Cloth" he proves it, it is a dinosaurus egg. Nobita wants to make the egg hatch and when it hatched, it turns to Futabasuzukisaurus baby. He named it Pisuke, and the story begins.

2007 Doraemon: Into The Magic Planet

Nobita wants to use magic in his life so he asks Doraemon how to make it real. Doraemon denies it because the world may be in danger if everyone can use magic. But at least he grants Nobita's wish.

With the "Phone Booth Call" Nobita makes their world become Magic World, which turns out to be very strange.

2008 Doraemon: Nobita and The Green Giant

The movie stars when Nobita sees a plant in a lot of trash, which he brings home to care for. Doraemon helps him so the plant can walk. Nobita then names it Kibo. The adventure begins when one day a UFO appears and starts to absorb plants on Earth. With the Earth under threat what will Nobita and friends do to protect their planet?

2010 Doraemon: Nobita's Great Battle of the Mermaid King

Also known as Doraemon The Legend 2010, this Japanese film is part of the celebration for the franchise's 40th anniversary and it's 30th movie anniversary

When Nobita feels like diving in his hometown, Doraemon uses a Underwater Pump Simulator to pump all the water out of Tokyo, causing the entire city to go underwater. That night, Doraemon and Nobita use a Diving Mask Simulator to dive underwater.

Later on, lots of fish, and a shark attack Doraemon and Nobita. So, Doraemon puts a stop on the Underwater Pump Simulator, but there is a girl named Sophia, lying down on the bushes in his neighborhood.

The next Doraemon film, Nobita and the New Steel Troops, will be released in both conventional 2D, and IMAX 3D in Japan on March 5, 2011. It will be the first 3D film in the franchise.

POPCulture Online Jan 2011 All Rights Reserved