aka: The Great Gold Pirate
Legend speaks of a pirate of East Blue, known as Woonan, the Great Gold Pirate. His stockpile of gold, gathered over a lifetime, is hidden on an island that can only be found by obtaining the sole map drawn by Woonan’s crew. Luffy and the gang of the Going Merry must battle the dread pirate El Drago, whom also possesses the power of the Devil Fruit, to find the treasure. Who will uncover this treasure on the legendary island of gold?
summary by Madoka
Highs: Good sample of the series
Lows: Lacks drive; television-quality animation
The first in a number of movies from One Piece, this film is another action-filled adventure for Luffy, Nami, Zoro and Usopp. As it takes place rather early in the overall story of One Piece, this is a fine appetizer if you are looking for just a taste of the series. It also shares the animation quality of the series but lacks the focus to feel like anything but an extended episode.
This quick outing for the crew re-introduces Luffy to the viewer and includes a short preface to the story. With the same humor that invigorates the show, this is a small time investment for those looking to see just what all the fuss is about. This movie is a nice, brief initiation into the world of One Piece that does not spoil any of what is to come for the man who would be Pirate King.
It’s actually too similar to the television series for a movie, with the same quality of animation, a story that basically amounts to filler and even the same opening song and animation. Combined with the relatively short length, this makes One Piece: The Movie feel like a two-part episode of the series rather than a theatrical movie release. In some ways, the film is even inferior to the television show; with no clear plot and the characters merely stumbling into one situation after another, the drive of the show is sorely missed here.
One Piece: The Movie is a short and almost sweet foray into Oda Eiichiro’s wacky story of pirates, comedy, and action. If you watch this movie for just a quick introduction to One Piece, rest assured that it only gets better from here.
One Piece: The Movie can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.