You Are Umasou Movie
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! For more information about me and my reviews, click here for details on what I am reviewing.
Movie Details: You Are Umasou, or “You Are Delicious”, is a feature-length theatrical movie released in Japan in October, 2010, based on a children’s book and related to a 20-part television series of the same name. The story follows an orphaned Tyrannosaurus Rex raised by a plant-eating mother, coming to grips with his carnivorous desires and his herbivore past.
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Spoiler-free Movie Set-up: One day a plant-eating dinosaur finds an unhatched egg, and decides to raise it as her own. But what emerges is a meat-eating Tyrannosaurus Rex — but no matter, she loves and accepts him anyway, even when it means ostracization from the herd. Named Heart, he spends his days playing with his herbivore brother Light; but eventually his carnivorous desires overwhelm him, and he runs away in shame. Many years pass, and Heart grows to be a massive dinosaur, roaming the plains. Until one day, he comes across an abandoned egg, which hatches in front of him, revealing a baby Ankylosaurus. Thinking it would be a tasty little morsel, Heart says “You are Umasou (delicious)”. The baby interprets Umasou to be his name, and immediately cuddles up to Heart, believing his is his father. And so the adventure begins…
My Impressions: Almost exactly a year ago, I watched and reviewed the first four episodes of the related television series, which is essentially a limited-animation reading of the children’s picture book. While the premise and some of the basic story is the same, the movie is an order of magnitude more impressive. The You are Umasou Movie has movie-quality artwork and animation, and runs for an hour and a half. If you have any impressions from the television episodes, put them aside now because the movie is a whole ‘nother beast.
As I mentioned, based on a children’s book — and by extension this movie is also clearly aimed at the pre-teen audience. But just like the most effective Disney movies, it can also be enjoyed by the entire family. It has talking dinosaurs (what’s not to love about that?) and plenty of gritty battles; while it does not shy away from the whole “circle of life”/”eat or be eaten” reality of nature, it also really tones down the gruesome nature of death, and actual blood is nearly entirely absent. It is somewhat difficult to really get into the plot of the movie without spoiling too much, but the story is all about learning to accept who you are, and realizing you can set your own course in life — you don’t have to always go with the flow.
You Are Umasou was…surprisingly delightful. It’s a mix of heart-warming moments, lightly humorous moments, dramatic moments, a break-dancing ankylosaurus, exploding volcanoes…what more can you ask for? Kiddie movie be damned, this is worth watching. It’s not going to knock your socks off, but it’s an entertaining, engaging movie. If some American company was smart, they’d pick this up and dub it into English.
Bah, sorry, I’m just not in the mood to write up a proper review. But luckily this movie is strong enough on its own merits it doesn’t need me to talk it up.
FINAL GRADE: B (Note: All completed series and feature-length movies receive a final letter grade) Worth the effort to track down, and perfect for the entire family. Also, this would be a good movie to introduce pre-teen/tween kids to the world of subtitled animation. You Are Umasou has flown almost completely under the radar in America, and deserves a little more attention.
- Official movie trailer on Youtube.
- Info resources: My Anime List, Anime News Network, AniDB, (no Wikipedia entry), and IMDB.
- If you like this, you might also like: The Lion King.
Sampling of Online Reviews:
- “This movie… is incredibly cute, to an almost unbearable degree. However, that aside, it has an amazing and deep plot that you might miss in the trailer. The idea of growing into what you were born as or living as how you choose is not exactly a completely original topic; but still the first time it is done in such an unique way. The story is told to an almost tear-jerking degree in some parts that can be likened to some of favorites Disney has put out.” – Obscure Geek
- “Ultimately though, since this is a family show, everyone will live happily ever after. But I would never rule this as a strictly for-kids movie; this plot is still filled with grin-inducing moments, fight scenes (they were pretty good), emotional moments and worthwhile lessons that, cheesy as it sounds, no one is too old to learn. Grade: 5/5.” – Moar Powah
- “Omae Umasou da na will make your heart tingle with joy about how understanding the world can be. Heart is an amazing kick ass dinosaur and he isn’t afraid to follow his heart. This movie is basically the Japanese version of The Land Before Time series. Especially movie 2 so it brought back a lot of childhood memories for me.” – Oshii Anime
- “There have been more of those “Wolf and Sheep” stories before, but these all had their share of flaws. The amazing thing about You are Delicious is that I have almost nothing I can criticize it for…This movie has multiple strong messages that are all more than they seem and that it doesn’t try to shove down the viewer’s throat. This movie really took me by complete surprise. Grade: 87.5/100” – Star Crossed Anime Blog
Miscellaneous Odds and Ends from 2010 left to review: Rain Town, Gag Manga Biyori +, Eden of the East: Paradise Lost, Hana Kappa, Crayon Shin-chan Movie #18, Ashiaraiyashiki no Junin-tachi, Kakko-kawaii Sengen, Shokupan Mimi, Mardock Scramble, Bleach: The Hell Verse, Votoms: Case;Irvine, Votoms: Finder, Pokemon: Best Wishes, Heartcatch Precure Movie