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Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi is a 2003 American-Japanese animated adventure comedy film based on the Japanese pop-rock group Puffy AmiYumi. It was directed by Scott O'Brien, produced by Renegade Animation and Cartoon Network and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, with animation provided by Rough Draft Studios in California and South Korea and TMS Entertainment in Japan. The film features a ensemble cast with Janice Kawaye and Grey DeLisle as the main characters, alongside Keone Young, Jess Harnell, Cree Summer, Fred Tatasciore, Rob Paulsen, Nika Futterman, Mary Jo Catlett, Larry Drake, Fred Stoller, Vivica A. Fox, Jessica DiCicco, April Winchell, Jason Marsden, Jeff Bennett, Rodger Bumpass, Hynden Walch, Tom Kenny, Dante Basco, Pamela Adlon, Phil LaMarr, Lara Jill Miller, and John Rhys-Davies. In Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, Ami goes out on a journey of twists with her friend, Yumi and turns to get back Kaz Industries after his second-in-command replacement, Julie.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was released on July 18, 2003, by Warner Bros. Pictures. It received generally positive reviews and was a box office success, grossing $486.5 million worldwide against a $76 million budget and later gaining a cult following through television syndication and its home video release. This film along with fellow animated film, Sony Pictures's The Triplets of Belleville, Disney's Brother Bear and Disney/Pixar's Finding Nemo were nominated for the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in 2003, ultimately losing to Finding Nemo. It was the second Cartoon Network theatrical film, first being The Powerpuff Girls Movie. The film made its television debut on Cartoon Network on November 12, 2004, to promote the TV Series based on this film.

Due to its success, the film was spun off into a television series titled Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, which premiered on November 19, 2004, and ended on June 27, 2006. A sequel, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2, was released on September 8, 2006.

Plot

In 1992, Ami Onuki is an aspiring young musician from Machida, Tokyo who idolizes Kaz, a duo's well-intentioned yet money-grubbing manager, whose successes are usually balanced out by his foolish decisions, Ami buy a cat named Tekirai to assist her father Phil Onuki. When Phil's neighborhood confronts them, Tekirai panics and wreaks havoc on the outside, leaving Phil in debt. To help Phil pay for the damages and starting to be singer and musician, Ami decides to move to United States, hoping to present Tekirai to Kaz Industries to get a job there; despite objections from her mother Jane, Phil encourages Ami to pursue her dream, as he gave up her musical ambitions for forming a band and has regretted it ever since. Upon arrival at the United States, Ami is kicked out from Kaz Industries by her second-in-command Julie, who in Kaz's absence has stopped producing band, thereby "Pop-rock" band who are unable or refuse to pay for them. Julie's father, Bill Blake, runs the Abandon Shop, a facility that collects scrap and broken parts with trucks, and melts them to create ashes.

Ami meets Yumi Yoshimura under friendly circumstances; after her interest in rock music, he is taken in by Yumi and his fellow friends, known collectively as the "Gangs" (which they don't appear on the TV show itself): her brother John, Wendy, Marshall, Sara, and their boarding father Uncle James. Word of Ami and Yumi becoming bandmates, and both are hailed as a local band after she and the gang help to make themselves into a pop-rock band, although they are eventually unable to cope with the demand due to the rock shortage. Ami also receives news that Phil is in dire need of rock band. Hoping to enlist Kaz's help, Ami and Yumi attend the Kaz concert (where he is reputed to make an appearance), only for Julie to announce that he will not attend. Enraged, Ami publicly berates Julie, who orders her security team to eliminate him. Ned Davidson (who also does not appear on the TV show itself), a Kaz Industries executive opposed to Juliet's plans, rescues Ami and Yumi.

Yumi is captured by a truck and taken to the Abandon Shop, where she discovers Bill and Julie's plan to use a heavily-armed fleet of Super-trucks to destroy all of the instruments throughout the city to make them into more ashes and escapes. Meanwhile, Ami and Ned fly to Kaz's mansion, where Ami confronts Kaz, imploring him to return to Kaz Industries. A disgruntled Kaz reveals that Julie's greed and business sense won over his idealism in the management of Kaz Industries, and orders Ami to leave. Crushed, Ami calls her parents, intending to return to Machida, Tokyo, but Phil convinces her to stay and fight for his dreams. As the Gangs arrive to bid Ami farewell, Yumi reveals Bill and Julie's plot; Ami rallies Ned and the Gangs to stop them. They are soon joined by Kaz, who has regained his resolve, having realized how much he and his ideals meant to Ami.

The group returns to Kaz Industries where Kaz fires Julie, but Julie knocks him unconscious, planning on arrested him as well. Ami, Ned and the Gangs (who have left John and Uncle James behind for their safety) rescue Kaz, but Julie intercepts them and chases them towards the Abandon Shop, where Kaz drops off their magnet truck and rolls into the processing area. After creating improvised weapons, Ami, Ned, and the Gangs confront Bill before he can melt him down in her furnace. Outnumbered by Bill's workers, John and Uncle James join them with an army of grateful people that Puffy AmiYumi had become more popular. Ned, the gangs and the people battle the workers while Jang-Keng and Tekirai duels with Bill, who is destroyed when he falls into his own furnace; Ami and Kaz immobilize the Super-trucks and defeat Julie, leaving her tied up and hanging from the ceiling alongside her more polite mother, Taking control of Kaz Industries once again, Kaz promises to become a manager, available to Ami and Yumi.

Later, Kaz holds a public ceremony in Machida, Tokyo, where he nominates Ami and Yumi as his new second-in-command and eventual successor. Phil provides Ami with a new leader; as a final gift thanking her for always believing in her, he gives her a Guitar instrument to fulfill her dreams of being a pop-rock band. After a shaky start, Ami leads her family, Ned, Yumi and her gangs, Kaz and the townspeople in a rousing rendition of "Puffy's Rule".

In the mid-credits scene, Julie asks where Bill is. her mother states that her father died, Julie groans.

Cast

  • Janice Kawaye as Ami Onuki, an idealistic young pink-haired girl and aspiring musician.
    • Lorraine Nicholson as Young Ami
    • Liliana Mumy as Younger Ami
    • Grace Rolek as Youngest Ami
  • Jess Harnell as Ned Nicholas, a level-headed executive at Kaz Industries and Ami's love interest, However, he does not appear on TV Series of the same name.
  • Grey DeLisle as Yumi Yoshimura, a mature blue-haired girl who befriends Ami.
  • Keone Young as Kaz, a money-grubbing manager and the owner of Kaz Industries.
  • Lara Jill Miller as Julie Jewel, the treacherous, greedy right-hand-man of Kaz, and Bill Blake's daughter.
  • John Rhys-Davies as Bill Blake, the tyrannical owner of the Abandon Shop.
  • Fred Tatasciore as Yuri Yoshimura, a feisty blue-haired boy who is Yumi's younger brother.
  • Cree Summer as Zoe Zero, a pessimistic purple-haired girl who befriends Ami.
  • Mary Jo Catlett as Misaki Yoshimura, a mother who takes in boy and girl.
  • Rob Paulsen as Takuya Nagsako, a large, friendly green-haired boy who befriends Ami along with his little sister, Emi.
  • Nika Futterman as Emi, a cheerful obsessed little girl.
  • Jeff Bennett as Phil Onuki, Ami's father.
  • April Winchell as Chiyo Onuki, Ami's mother.
  • Frank Welker as Tekirai, Ami's pet cat and sidekick.
    • Welker also voices a Jang-Keng.
  • Rodger Bumpass as Mike Darling, a receptionist at Kaz Industries and Yumi's love interest.
  • Fred Stoller as Don, the gatekeeper at Kaz Industries
  • Tom Kenny as Corey Proctor, Phil's rude, inconsiderate neighbor.

Additional Voices

  • Jim Cummings
  • Carlos Alazraqui
  • Fred Tatasciore
  • Rob Paulsen
  • Kimberly Brooks
  • Bob Bergen
  • Richard Steven Horvitz
  • Jeff Fischer
  • André Sogliuzzo
  • Pat Fraley
  • Candi Milo
  • Bradley Pierce
  • Laraine Newman
  • Michael Sorich
  • Kath Soucie
  • Tom Kane
  • Bill Farmer
  • Justin Shenkarow
  • Teresa Ganzel
  • Sherry Lynn
  • Nika Futterman
  • Michael Beattie
  • Cathy Cavadini
  • Philip Proctor
  • Maurice LaMarche
  • Roger L. Jackson
  • J. Grant Albrecht
  • Susan Blu
  • Cree Summer
  • Jess Harnell
  • Danny Mann
  • Phil LaMarr
  • John Kassir
  • Jack Angel

Production

Development

Scott O'Brien, Michelle Lamoreaux, and Robert Lamoreaux started working on the film in 1997 when O'Brien came up with the idea. In May 1999, Variety reported that O'Brien would direct in his directorial debut on an animated musical comedy film based on the Japanese rock band. It was once expected to be released in 2002 under the title Puffy AmiYumi, Production began in June 2000.

In August 2001, it was announced that Cartoon Network had won the bidding war against Fox, Nickelodeon, and Disney over production rights to make the film.

In November 2001, Warner Bros. Pictures and Cartoon Network revealed the film's new title to be Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi, which would be produced by Sam Register, with Ramsey Ann Naito, Michael Ouweleen, and John Pomeroy writing the film's screenplay. In April 2002, it was announced that Adam Beechen would be added as a story writer.

Casting

In January 2001, it was announced that actress E. G. Daily and Grey DeLisle was cast as Ami and Yumi, This is E. G. Daily eight animated feature film role, However, on July 11, 2001, Daily was too busy voicing for other projects, such as ChalkZone, The Powerpuff Girls, and Rugrats and the new actress for Ami was yet to be announced. By October 2001, it was later announced that Janice Kawaye would replace the late Daily. The rest of the cast was announced in March 2002.

Animation

Soundtrack

Main article: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (film)/Soundtrack

The film's score was composed by John Debney. Michelle Lamoreaux and Robert Lamoreaux wrote the songs for the film. The score was released on July 11, 2003.

Release

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was originally going to be released in 2002; however, in January of 2000, the date was changed to 2003. This happened because Cartoon Network released The Powerpuff Girls Movie in July 2002, thus pushing Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi to 2003.

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi premiered in Japan on June 20, 2003, and was theatrically released on July 18, 2003, in the United States and Canada, in Australia on August 14, 2003, and in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2003. The film's theatrical release was preceded by Summer Bummer, a Robot Jones short.

Marketing

The film was backed by a large marketing campaign, with various merchandise becoming available throughout 2003, Such as:

  • Burger King, having put 9 toys for their Kids' Meal in the US and UK. The toys are Ami, Yumi, Ned, Kaz, Julie, Bill Blake, Yuri, Tekirai, and Jang-Keng.
  • in the US and UK Mattel release Action-Figures, Toys and Board Games (Which is shown on here, expect Board Games, along with other characters from the film like Ned, Julie, Bill Blake, Yuri, Zoe, Takuya, and Misaki)
  • in the US and UK Kellogg's cereals have one of 11 Mini Plushes including Ami, Yumi, Ned, Kaz, Julie, Bill Blake, Tekirai, Jang-Keng, Yuri, Zoe, and Takuya.

Home media

Main articles: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (film)/Home media

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was released in the United States on DVD and VHS on November 18, 2003. The VHS included the "Hi Hi" music video by Puffy AmiYumi. The DVD included a new short film titled Game Girls, audio commentary, behind-the-scenes featurettes, music videos, production notes, interactive games, and trailers and television spots.

The film was re-issued on DVD on August 8, 2006. It includes a movie ticket to its sequel Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 30, 2013, to promote the 10th Anniversary of this film. A 4K Ultra HD of this film along with a sequel was released on November 19, 2019, to promote the 15th Anniversary of the show.

On July 1, 2018, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi became available on Netflix.

Television broadcasting

Main articles: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (film)/Television broadcast timeline

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi had its network television premiere on Cartoon Network on Friday, November 12, 2004, at 7:00 pm. It then aired on Disney Channel on June 18, 2005. ABC Family also aired this movie on October 22 of that year. NBC aired this on February 18, 2006. TBS also aired it on Saturday, May 20, 2006. TNT aired this movie on August 19, 2006.

Video game

A video game based on the film was published by Midway Games and released on June 21, 2003, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and Xbox.

Reception

Critical reception

Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi has received positive reviews from critics. Based on 183 reviews, the film holds an approval rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 6.3/10, with the consensus stating "Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi rides the beginning of the AmiYumi to grand effect, and the final result is an emotionally effective, visually stunning, and wholly witty adaptation that will satisfy both children and adults." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film has an average score of 73 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".

Box office

The film opened at the fourth position behind Bad Boys II and Johnny English with $32,584,941 in 3,783 theaters with an average of $5,385; on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the film was in second. The film closed in October 2003 after grossing $86 million domestically. The film grossed an additional $58 million overseas for a total of $84 million.

Accolades

Award Category Recipient Result
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie Janice Kawaye Nominated

Expanded franchise

Sequel

Main articles: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2

A sequel titled Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2 was released on September 8, 2006. It was directed again by Scott O'Brien, written by Michelle Lamoreaux, and Robert Lamoreaux and produced by Sam Register, Ramsey Ann Naito, and Michael Ouweleen. Janice Kawaye, Grey DeLisle, Keone Young, Jess Harnell, Fred Tatasciore, Cree Summer, Yuri Yoshimura, Mary Jo Catlett, Rob Paulsen, Nika Futterman, Jeff Bennett, April Winchell, and Frank Welker reprised their roles as Ami, Yumi, Kaz, Ned, Yuri, Zoe, Misaki, Takuya, Emi, Phil, Chiyo, Tekirai, and Jang-Keng respectively. New cast members include Pamela Adlon as Ryou Onuki, Russi Taylor as Erika Onuki, Carolyn Lawrence as Cowgirl Casey, and Hank Azaria as Eldwin Blair.

Television series

Main articles: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi

On February 26, 2004, it was confirmed that a television series based on the film is being produced and will premiere on Cartoon Network on November 19, 2004, until June 27, 2006.

Sound Effects

Main article: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (film)/Sound Effects

Transcripts

Main

To see the main transcript of the film, click here.

Trailers

To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.

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