- "A source of gaming evil will change your homeworld forever. Things can't be the same if you don't go to America to resolve it."
- - Official tagline
The Drillimation Movie, known in Japan as 'The Great Battle of Minecraftia: A Drillimation Movie' (Japanese: 鉱山国の大戦い ～ ドリメーション映画; Hepburn: 'Kōzan-koku no Dai-tatakai ~ Dorimēshon Eiga') is a 2009 Japanese-American action-adventure comedy-drama live action/anime film directed by Susumu Takajima and produced by Drillimation Studios. The film was distributed by Toho in Japan, Walt Disney Pictures in North America, El TV Kadsre Films in El Kadsre, Azara Pictures in Azara and Enicova Entertainment in Schelipoerys.
The film follows the story of Susumu Hori, Konata Izumi, Wataru Hoshi, and Miyuki Takara who go to an arcade to play a controversial first-person shooter named Angry Video Game Nerd: Nerds of Fire. Their interest causes the other kids in town to do the same thing. However, the game's content causes many young players to begin impudently cursing and beating on each other, and Japan's government declares an all-out war on the United States for allegedly corrupting their children. The film was a success for Drillimation and received positive reviews, being the highest-rated video game film on Metacritic.
The film begins with two of Team Driller's admins Susumu Hori (Charles Martinet/Mitsuko Horie) and Wataru Hoshi (Charles Martinet/Toshio Furukawa), as well as two of the Lucky Stars Konata Izumi (Wendee Lee/Aya Hirano) and Miyuki Takara (Karen Strassman/Aya Endou) going to their local arcade to play Angry Video Game Nerd: Nerds of Fire. The Japanese live in an animated world in Japan. However, they are refused admission into the room the game is housed in due to the game being rated Mature by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (R20 in the Japanese version), so they get Kagami and Tsukasa's sister, Inori Hiiragi (Bridget Hoffman/Nozomi Masu), to get them inside. As they play the game, they learn the game's objectionable moves and mechanics, which causes the other kids in Kasukabe to play the game.
The next day at school, during a lunch break, Misao (Lara Jill Miller/Kaori Mizuhara) ends up in the emergency room after being beaten up by another student who also played the game. When numerous students speak to the school principal about this, they warn her about the risks the game can put players at. After the many consultations, the headmaster ups the school's dress code on jeans days and bans all AVGN-style clothing, including oxford shirts and speaking like him. This outrage causes students to protest, and after they go back and replay the game, Wataru bets Konata if she can beat him in an AVGN-style battle, Wataru does one and brutally injures Konata, sending her to the emergency room as well with one of her legs and arms being broken.
Later that day Wataru is grounded and Konata undergoes surgery to fix the broken bones. The Lucky Star Kingdom's monarch, as well as Masuyo Toby (Jen Taylor/Mitsuko Horie) and Taizo Hori (Grant Kirkhope/Toshio Furukawa), begin a group called Parents Against The Nerd (often called PAN), where they can get their kids to stop their destructive behavior. As days pass, Chuta (Charles Martinet/Toshio Furukawa) is angered by Masuyo's decisions and starts a petition to shut it down. However, the petition is turned down and his computer gets hit with an internet restriction.
Back in the hospital, Susumu, Konata, and Misao converse about how video games with violent and profane content can corrupt children, and how some of that stuff can get out of hand quickly. Later, Wataru and Miyuki visit and during an episode of This Hour Has America Has 22 Minutes, Rolfe is featured and tells his habits to the audience. However, the hosts tell Rolfe about what he has done to Japan with his game, and members of PAN arrest Rolfe as a war criminal. With Susumu shocked, he notifies everyone on social media that they must save Rolfe from being executed. As soon as they begin to leave, Konata leaves her hospital bed and Wataru apologizes to her.
When the Lucky Stars, as well as Team Driller, plan their plot to save Rolfe, they run into problems as Patricia Martin (Patricia Ja Lee/Nozomi Sasaki) is American. To prevent her from being killed, they exclude her and force her to stay in her home until the battle is over. At an Aya Hirano event in El Kadsre, selections from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya are performed before the execution of Rolfe. Susumu, Konata, Wataru, and Miyuki sneak into the event as Miyuki's paternal ancestor, Yukari Yakumo (Karen Strassman/Aya Endou), appears as a spirit and assists them to avoid being detected. When the execution finally begins, Susumu stops it by blowing up the power transformer with his drill, running on stage, and yelling at everyone saying that Rolfe cannot be executed. He then unleashes his rage by having Sceptile whip up a Leaf Storm, which destroys the venue and begins a huge battle between the Japanese and Americans.
As the battle ensues, Takumi Hearthcliffe (Kenny James/Susumu Takajima) and dozens of Shinkuns rise from the ground, cornering the Americans. Hearthcliffe says that he will destroy the entire planet with the Shinkuns he released, but Susumu denies it. The Groudon of the Japanese side and the Kyogre of the American side then attack Hearthcliffe, of which he evades. Chuta is able to corner Hearthcliffe and uses his fists which generate an earthquake every time he pounds the ground. Almost all the Shinkuns he attacks are killed and with Rolfe's encouragement, Kagami seals Hearthcliffe's soul and Chuta throws him up into the sky. With Konata unleashing a Master Spark, Hearthcliffe's soul dissolves and everything returns to normal with the friendship of the Japanese and Americans being reunited, everyone who fainted is revived, Konata's and Misao's injuries being cured, and the founders of PAN getting a "game over" from Rolfe.
|Character||Type||Japanese Version||English Version|
|Susumu Hori||Animated||Mitsuko Horie||Charles Martinet|
|Konata Izumi||Animated||Aya Hirano||Wendee Lee|
|Wataru Hoshi||Animated||Toshio Furukawa||Charles Martinet|
|Miyuki Takara||Animated||Aya Endou||Karen Strassman|
|James Rolfe||Live-action||Hirokazu Hiramatsu||James Rolfe|
|Misao Kusakabe||Animated||Kaori Mizuhara||Lara Jill Miller|
|Inori Hiiragi||Animated||Nozomi Masu||Bridget Hoffman|
|Kagami Hiiragi||Animated||Emiri Katou||Kari Wahlgren|
|Tsukasa Hiiragi||Animated||Kaori Fukuhara||Michelle Ruff|
|Kanata Izumi||Animated||Sumi Shimamoto||Rebecca Fordstadt|
|Soujirou Izumi||Animated||Hirokazu Hiramatsu||Tony Oliver|
|Masuyo Toby||Animated||Mitsuko Horie||Jen Taylor|
|Taizo Hori||Animated||Toshio Furukawa||Grant Kirkhope|
|Chuta Bigbang||Animated||Toshio Furukawa||Charles Martinet|
|Mary Walsh||Live-action||Aya Hirano||Mary Walsh|
|Patricia Martin||Animated||Nozomi Sasaki||Patricia Ja Lee|
|Aya Hirano||Live-action||Aya Hirano||Wendee Lee|
|Yuko Goto||Live-action||Yuko Goto||Stephanie Sheh|
|Minori Chihara||Live-action||Minori Chihara||Michelle Ruff|
|Yukari Yakumo||Animated||Aya Endou||Karen Strassman|
|Susumu's Sceptile||Animated||Yuuji Ueda||Bill Rogers|
|Takumi Hearthcliffe||Animated||Susumu Takajima||Kenny James|
The movie was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on May 8, 2009, in Japan and in North America on May 15, 2009. The film was made available for streaming on Hulu and Netflix the following year. In 2015, Disney packaged the film alongside Super Smash Keyboards: Rising of the Advent Kami Fist, Driller Engine Grand Prix, and The Touhou Project Movie in The Drillimation Feature Film Collection.
Seymour Games released a video game adaptation of the movie as a danmaku shooter in 2010. The game was titled under The Drillimation Movie: The Game, on the Nintendo Wii via Nintendo's WiiWare service, as well as PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, with its reviews being mostly positive.
Plans for a feature-length film based on The Drillimation Series had circulated around the mind of Hiroshi Takajima for a few decades, as early as the late 1970s. Takajima wanted to do a film based on Star Trigon after finishing it but had to be scrapped due to the high budget. Takajima attempted this again in 1985 during the production of Magical Girl Team Lucky Star, and Toho suggested putting in their famous Godzilla and make it a kaiju film. This film, being Godzilla vs. The Destruction Drill would mark it as the only animated Godzilla film to this date.
Drillimation attempted at the film business again in the early 1990s, by creating a film based on the Super Smash Keyboards games, which would eventually become Super Smash Keyboards: Rising of the Advent Kami Fist in 1995. Drillimation produced two more films in 2005 and 2006 respectively, being Lucky Star Kingdom based on an original story with original characters and Driller Engine Grand Prix being the first ever hybrid live-action anime film.
In early 2007, bids to purchase the rights to adapt The Drillimation Series into a feature film were submitted by DreamWorks Animation (who was owned by Paramount Pictures at that time), 20th Century Fox, and Walt Disney Pictures. Drillimation declined on DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox's ideas on what the film should be, as both studios wanted to make a CGI motion capture film. Disney eventually won the bidding war and Disney suggested the new Drillimation film be a CGI film like the other two. Drillimation declined and even insisted on doing a traditionally-animated anime film. Disney also had suggestions of doing a live-action adaptation, but Drillimation decided to mix the two, as a purely live-action Drillimation film would not sell well.
Production of the film was done under a torturous work cycle that spanned around 16 months. Animators at Drillimation, Kyoto Animation, and even Cinemassacre worked around the clock and even brought sleeping bags to the offices during all-nighters. To make matters worse, both the Drillimation and Kyoto Animation studios' heating had to be turned off at night to save energy, making nighttime work harsh. Susumu Takajima's sister-in-law, Yumi Ochiai, also got married in 2008 during production, and Susumu Takajima, as well as his wife Kagami Ochiai, had to join her and Yumi's newly wedded husband on their honeymoon. Despite this, the film's animation got so far behind on schedule and Takajima had to cancel his vacation with his wife.
The film was finished until three months before the film was planned to be released. Takajima also wanted Heath Ledger to play himself in the film aiding the Drillimation characters. This never came to fruition, as things took a tragic turn when Ledger died in January 2008 due to a drug overdose. Takajima later chose Donald Trump to play the role as the American president in the film. During the final battle in the film, the scene was filmed at the El TV Kadsre Film studio using one of the Technic Heroes sets.
The film received generally favorable reviews from critics and holds a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews. The film holds a 78% on Metacritic based on 22 reviews. Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes stated "a mishmash of anime and live action that will entertain kids and gamers, but leave adults less thrilled."
At Comic Con 2016, Drillimation and Disney made announcements for a sequel to the film. El Kadsreian film critic Scott Steinburg stated "it was one of my favorite movies when I was in junior high school. But now I want a sequel to happen."