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, David Hyde-Pierce, Rob Paulsen, Nika Futterman, Mary Jo Catlett, Larry Drake, Fred Stoller, April Winchell, Jeff Bennett, Rodger Bumpass, Tom Kenny, Lara Jill Miller, and John Rhys-Davies. In the film, Ami and Yumi must band together as friends in order to stop Julie Jewel and her plans for world domination.
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 August 25, 2006.
After Ami and Yumi timeline, Ami was at the woods with her drumsticks to find a monster. Then, she spots the monster, but Ami heard a voice. It was Yumi. She tells Ami what's he dreaming about. Kaz comes here to say that it's time to pick up Ned Nicholas from School.
Ami, Yumi and Kaz went in the Puffy Van to pick up Ned. Ned Nicolas sees the Puffy Van. Ned gets in the Puffy Van and drove away. Ami asks Ned how's his day going. She said that he went to arcade with Zoe Zero and Yuri Yoshimura, Kaz tells Ami, Yumi and Ned who wants ice cream. Then they spot on Takuya Nagsako holding his skateboard at his front lawn. Kaz tells him want to go for a ride. Takuya gets in the Puffy Van to go for a ride. Behind the other side of the red car, it's Julie Jewel. Julie Jewel was an evil villain which she was planning to get rid of Ami Onuki.
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- Janice Kawaye as Ami Onuki, an idealistic young pink-haired girl and aspiring rockstar.
- Daveigh Chase as Young Ami
- Liliana Mumy as Younger Ami
- Grace Rolek as Youngest Ami
- Grey DeLisle as Yumi Yoshimura, a blue-haired girl who is friends with Ami.
- Lorraine Nicholson as Young Yumi
- Alyson Stoner as Younger Yumi
- 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.
- 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 father of Julie Jewel.
- David Hyde Pierce 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.
- 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.
- Jennifer Hale as Yumi Mum
- 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
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 June 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.
On February 2002, after seeing the four teaser trailers that blue creature that ruin movies fourth time, Scott O'Brien, Michelle Lamoreaux, and Robert Lamoreaux dedicated to do this same thing, but with Ami and Yumi ruin four Cartoon Network shows for their teaser trailers are released in theaters; with Ami Onuki ruin Ed, Edd n Eddy and Dexter's Laboratory, and Yumi Yoshimura ruin Grim and Evil and The Powerpuff Girls. The four teaser trailers was released in July 5, 2002.
In January 2001, it was announced that actress Tara Strong and Grey DeLisle was cast as Ami and Yumi, This is Tara Strong eight animated feature film role, However, on July 11, 2001, Strong was too busy voicing for other projects, such as The Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly OddParents, and The Proud Family 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 Strong. The rest of the cast was announced in March 2002.
The film was animated in-house by Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, California and Renegade Animation in Glendale, California.
Additional animation was done both domestically and overseas at Rough Draft Studios in both Seoul, South Korea and Los Angeles, California, TMS Entertainment Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan, AKOM Production Co., Ltd. in Seoul, South Korea, Wang Film Productions Co., Ltd. in Taipei, Taiwan, Bardel Entertainment, Inc. in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Mercury Filmworks in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and Yowza! Animation in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The layouts for the movie were done at Studio B Productions in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The digital production services for the movie were provided by Warner Bros. Animation in Burbank, California.
- 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 15, 2003.
Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi was originally going to be released in July 2002; however, in July 2001, 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 July 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 Little Suzy's Dog, a Johnny Bravo short.
- The film's first four teaser trailers was released with Scooby-Doo on June 14, 2002, and was also shown before Lilo & Stitch, Hey Arnold!: The Movie, Like Mike, The Powerpuff Girls Movie, Stuart Little 2, The Country Bears, Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, Pokémon 4Ever, Tuck Everlasting, and The Santa Clause 2.
- The first theatrical trailer was attached on November 15, 2002, and was shown before Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Treasure Planet, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Kangaroo Jack, The Jungle Book 2, and Agent Cody Banks.
- A second theatrical trailer was attached on March 21, 2003, and was shown Piglet's Big Movie, Holes, The Lizzie McGuire Movie, Daddy Day Care, Pokémon Heroes, Finding Nemo, Rugrats Go Wild, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas.
- TV Spots began to air between June and August 2003.
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.
- 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.
The movie (along with sequel and series) will be available as part of HBO Max as of its launch May 27, 2020.
- 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 Cartoon Network again on June 18, 2005 as part of Cartoon Theatre. 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.
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.
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".
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.
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie||Nominated|
|Favorite Voice From an Animated Movie||Janice Kawaye|
- Main articles: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2
A sequel titled Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi 2 was released on August 25, 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.
- Main articles: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi
On late 2003, 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.
- Main article: Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi (film)/Sound Effects
To see the main transcript of the film, click here.
To see the transcript for the trailers of the film, click here.