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 Pojo's YU-GI-OH! News



            While the Yu-Gi-Oh! TV series was originally created for the Japanese market and later translated into English for American viewers, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie was developed specifically for Western audiences based on the overwhelming success of the franchise in the U.S.  “In the past, we’ve gotten fully-produced episodes of the TV series from Japan, and we would edit the story and the music for American audiences,” Grossfeld explains.  “What’s so exciting about Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie is that we created everything from scratch, specifically for our market.  So, for the first time, American fans will see a Yu-Gi-Oh! story that nobody in the world has seen before.”

In creating the storyline for Yugi’s first big screen adventure, the Japanese filmmakers and the American production team faced the challenge of telling a complete story in less than 90 minutes, while remaining true to the spirit of the TV show, which tells a story over the course of a 50-episode season.  The movie also needed to remain consistent with the television series while also appealing to audience members who aren’t familiar with the show.  “We sought to create a complete story arc that works within the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe, but at the same time stands on its own,” says Pecoriello. 

In addition to crafting a self-contained, feature-length story for the movie, 4Kids and their Japanese partners also wanted to raise the stakes by exploring the dramatic possibilities inherent in the card game.  “Part of our challenge was how to get the fans invested in the game in a way that they haven’t been in the past,” Grossfeld notes, “and how to build the drama of the card game so that kids can really put themselves in Yugi’s position.”

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie will transport fans to an exciting new dimension when Yugi finds himself engaged in a heated battle with his archrival Seto Kaiba, who is fiercely determined to finally defeat Yugi and claim the title of King of Games.  Suddenly, the imaginary monsters in the players’ decks become real and the duelists are thrust into a dangerous realm where they must fight for their very lives – and the fate of the world. 

“In the show, when one player loses life points, he’s just losing the duel,” Pecoriello explains.  “But in the film, the hazards of the game are much more real.”


 Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie is a collaborative production between Nihon Ad Systems, Japan’s Studio Gallop, the production company that animates the TV series and Korea’s Dong Woo Animation, using a combination of computer generated and hand-drawn images.

            The film takes place shortly after the completion of the Battle City Tournament, a long and challenging competition Yugi entered in Season Two of the TV series to learn about his enigmatic past.  The end of Season Three marks the conclusion of the Tournament, and this is where the film’s story begins.  Fans can expect events in the movie to ultimately affect episodes in Season Four, creating a multi-layered interactive universe for the Yu-Gi-Oh! aficionado.

            Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie deals largely with the relationship between Yugi, his alter ego, the Pharaoh, and their longtime rival Seto Kaiba.  “The battle in this movie is between light and dark, but the theme of the film also revolves around the light and darkness of the soul, and how those two powers relate,” says director and TV series producer Hidetaka Ikuta. 

Yu-Gi-Oh! comic book creator Kazuki Takahashi adds, “The message of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie is that power isn’t everything.  Working with others is the way to live.”

Yugi will have to work with every friend and Yu-Gi-Oh! playing card he can find to defeat an all-new, all-powerful villain introduced in the film: Anubis, the Egyptian creature that Yugi’s alter ego defeated several millennia ago.  The Pharaoh, whose spirit lives in the mystical Millenium Puzzle that Yugi wears around his neck, defeated Anubis thousands of years ago and was thought to never be heard from again.  But, when Anubis is accidentally reawakened during an archeological dig, he is hellbent on conquering the world – and getting revenge on Yugi in the process.

“I think Anubis is probably scarier than any other villain we have seen before because he’s not human,” says Pecoriello of the mummified monster, who takes on many different forms in the film. 

            Named after one of the oldest and most important gods in ancient Egyptian mythology, the God of the Underworld, Anubis commands a brigade of resurrected mummies and two fearsome Sphinx monsters who aid him in his quest for vengeance, forming an army of creatures unlike any Yugi has ever faced.  As the film progresses, Anubis grows stronger and stronger, seemingly feeding off of Yugi’s lost life points, eventually transforming into a towering monster who isn’t about to let anyone, especially Yugi, get in his way. 

            Meanwhile, Yugi is brought closer to the truth behind his Millennium Puzzle, a 5,000 year-old artifact given to him by his grandfather, Grandpa Muto.  His discovery that Anubis also wields a Millenium Item – the Pyramid of Light, an upside-down version of Yugi’s Puzzle – seals Yugi’s fate as the one destined to save the world from destruction.

*          *          *


 Even the King of Games needs help sometimes – and in battling both his archrival, Seto Kaiba, and Anubis, his newest and most powerful foe, Yugi turns to his trusted friends for backup.  “Despite all the magic and supernatural forces involved in the movie, the power of friendship proves to be stronger than anything else, and in the end, that bond will always prevail,” says Pecoriello.  “Only as friends are they able to come together and fight against evil.”

Yugi’s posse includes Joey, a streetwise gamer.  Although he’s impulsive and quick tempered, he has proven himself to be a loyal friend and an excellent duelist, often aiding Yugi in his battles. 

One of Joey’s oldest friends, Tristan is also one of Yugi’s most vocal supporters.  Although he and Joey often argue, Tristan is the first one to lend a hand when his friend needs help.

Tea, the only girl in Yugi’s inner circle of friends, serves as the voice of reason for the boys, and a constant reminder of the importance of their friendship and the power it can have.  Tea’s support helps Yugi to believe in himself time and again. 

Yugi owes much of his dueling success to his Grandpa Muto, who owns a game shop and taught him everything he knows about playing the card game.  Grandpa is also credited with helping Yugi build his powerful deck of monster cards.  A former Egyptologist, Grandpa discovered Yugi’s Millennium Puzzle.

Every champion needs a challenger, and Yugi’s is Seto Kaiba, an extremely wealthy high school student who serves as the CEO of his own multi-million dollar high-tech gaming corporation, KaibaCorp.  A card gaming expert and former world champion, Kaiba is solely responsible for creating the state-of-the-art equipment used to enhance the game, including the patented holographic technology needed to make the monsters and magic seem real.  Intensely driven and power-hungry, Kaiba is extremely jealous of Yugi’s success in the gaming world and is determined to defeat him and reclaim his former glory.

Kaiba’s spunky little brother Mokuba invariably finds a way to hang around the dueling action.  Much more compassionate than his big brother, Mokuba often finds himself caught between his respect for Kaiba and his own conscience.

Thought to have disappeared after being defeated in the first season of the TV show, Maximillion Pegasus makes his triumphant return in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie.  The original creator of the card game, Pegasus has been hiding out on his own private island, retired from the gaming world.  That is, until now.  But is Pegasus returning as friend or foe?  The mystery is about to unfold, and fans can expect some long awaited questions to finally be answered. 





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