It may be a little known fact, but for Animal Crossing fans, you need to watch the 2006 animated Animal Crossing Movie, known as Dōbutsu no Mori: The Movie in Japan. In the excitement for the lead up of the new Switch Animal Crossing title, I decided to rewatch this little gem of a movie to tide me over. The movie was made to promote the Nintendo DS and Nintendo Wii Animal Crossing games, (Wild World and City Folk / Let’s Go To The City, respectively) and does a great job in integrating the games event and feeling into the movie as short plot lines. As expected, the movie follows the main story line of a new human villager, Ai, moving to a new forest town with all of it’s inhabitants being animals. Funnily enough, much like the games themselves, there is no big overarching story, and instead follows a ‘slice of life’ type approach watching as Ai as she goes about her new life in the town, gets a job, going to festivals, exploring ruins, runs into neighboring town’s residents such as another human named Yū and makes friends as we see her life through all four seasons.

Source: Animal Crossing Fan Wiki

The movie is very relaxing and shows off the quirks of your favorite animal villagers in full 2D action, expressing all their emotions in a way you haven’t seen before. Sadly, the Animal Crossing Movie was only released in Japan, and as such has no English viewing option (unless you’re willing to track down a fan-subbed version) but with such a carefree and relaxing movie, and Animal Crossing fan will fall in love with it as much as I did. Don’t let the lack of a story line put you off either, the movie has tons of set pieces and characters to meet and let grow during the film, and even though not much happens, it does entertain you- even more so if you already know about all the characters and locations you get introduced to. Sadly, the movie’s official website has been since de-listed, but you can find an archive of it on the Wayback Machine here. I highly recommend giving this one a watch if you can track down a copy of Dōbutsu no Mori: The Movie, even if it is purely in Japanese, you’re sure to get a kick out of the experience.