Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, later released in Japan as Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: Pyramid of Light (遊戯王デュエルモンスターズ 光のピラミッド Yūgiō Dyueru Monsutāzu Hikari no Piramiddo, lit. "Game King Duel Monsters: Light Pyramid"), or simply Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie, is a 2004 Japanese-American animated adventure fantasy film produced by 4Kids Entertainment based on the Japanese manga and anime Yu-Gi-Oh! It stars the cast of the Yu-Gi-Oh! television series in a new adventure that takes place between the third and fourth seasons of the show.
The film was first released in United States theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label on 13 August 2004, and was released on DVD and VHS on 16 November 2004. The film was released in theaters in Japanese by Toho on 3 November 2004 and aired on TV Tokyo on 2 January 2005. A remastered version of the film was released in theaters by 4K Media Inc. in 2018 on 11 and 12 March in the US, 25, 28 April, and 29 in Canada and 13 June in the United Kingdom, and will be released on Blu-ray by Konami Cross Media NY and Cinedigm 8 October 2019.
Five thousand years ago, an unnamed heroic Pharaoh imprisoned Anubis, the Egyptian lord of the dead, after he tried to destroy the world by persuading the kings to play the mysterious Shadow Games. In the present day, Anubis' tomb is uncovered by archaeologists, amazed with his strongest and most valuable treasure: the Pyramid of Light. A devastating spiritual force unleashes from the relic and liberates the Egyptian sorcerer. Anubis, now free, intends to conclude his plan.
Meanwhile, the Battle City Finals have recently concluded, and young Yugi Muto has achieved international fame by defeating his arch-rival Seto Kaiba and obtaining the three legendary God Cards: Slifer the Sky Dragon, Obelisk the Tormentor, and the Winged Dragon of Ra. Kaiba, determined to defeat Yugi once and for all, turns to Pegasus, the creator of Duel Monsters, in order to obtain any new cards designed to defeat the almighty God Cards. Pegasus tells Kaiba that he has a card he is looking for, but will only give it to Kaiba if he can beat him in a duel. Kaiba defeats Pegasus and claims two cards, one of which was secretly planted by Anubis.
Meanwhile, Yugi and Téa go to the local museum where Anubis' corpse and the Pyramid of Light are on display. They meet up with Yugi's grandpa Solomon, who reads a foreboding prophecy:
- The eye that sees what's yet to come
- Its vision shall be fulfilled
- Unless blinded by events predetermined
- Thus light and shadows both be killed
It is then that the vengefully dark spirit of Anubis attacks the group, with Yugi having a vision of Anubis himself manipulating Kaiba and his closest friend the Pharaoh being hurt in a Shadow Game. He awakens to find Anubis and the Pyramid of Light missing. Kaiba's younger brother Mokuba arrives, and Yugi is taken to Kaiba's duel dome with his friends Joey and Tristan in pursuit. Kaiba arrogantly and ignorantly forces Yami Yugi into a duel, unaware that Anubis is manipulating him into using one of the two new cards, Pyramid of Light, which covers the field in a huge replica of the actual pyramid and destroys the God Cards. Yugi, Joey and Tristan are sucked into the pyramid while Mokuba flees the crumbling building.
Yugi, Joey, and Tristan awaken within the Millennium Puzzle, finding Anubis' tomb within. Anubis reveals that his monsters will destroy the modern world. Yami Yugi and Kaiba continue their duel, each blow to their in-game Life Points draining away their physical energy. To make matters worse, Kaiba's Deck Destruction Virus sends more than half of Yami's deck to the Graveyard, leaving him with barely any cards, and attacks from his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon and Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon (his second new card), both with 4500 Attack Points, drop Yami's Life Points to 200. Pegasus figures out what is going on and arrives in a helicopter to rescue Téa, Solomon, and Mokuba. Téa sends her soul into the Millennium Puzzle to aid Yugi, Joey and Tristan. Yugi finds the Dagger of Fate within Anubis' tomb, and uses it to destroy the all-seeing eye, as predicted by the prophecy.
When Kaiba deviates from Anubis' plan and attempts to destroy the Pyramid of Light, Anubis materializes, casts him aside, and takes command of the duel. Yami, reunited with Yugi, destroys the Pyramid of Light card with Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon and then uses Kaiba's planned strategy to summon the God Cards and end the duel by destroying Anubis.
However, Anubis transforms into a monster and allows any monster to become real when summoned. This proves to be his undoing when Yugi and Yami summon Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon to beat Anubis with ease, ultimately destroying the Egyptian God of Death and Chaos for good. An injured Kaiba departs with Mokuba, with the promise to defeat Yugi next time they meet. Yugi thanks the spirit of Yami, and his three best friends for their strong enduring friendship which makes one a true winner.
|Character||Voice Actor (Japanese)||Voice Actor (English)|
|Yugi Mutou / Yami Yugi||Shunsuke Kazama||Dan Green|
|Seto Kaiba||Kenjiro Tsuda||Eric Stuart|
|Anubis||Kouji Ishii||Scottie Ray|
|Joey Wheeler||Hiroki Takahashi||Wayne Grayson|
|Tristan Taylor||Hidehiro Kikuchi||Frank Frankson|
|Téa Gardner||Maki Saitou||Amy Birnbaum|
|Mokuba Kaiba||Junko Takeuchi||Tara Jayne|
|Solomon Mutou||Tadashi Miyazawa||Maddie Blaustein|
|Maximillion Pegasus||Jiro J. Takasugi||Darren Dunstan|
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie Soundtrack feature various vocal artists (most notably The Black Eyed Peas, who contributed the song "For the People"). It was released on 10 August 2004, on RCA on Audio CD and Compact Cassette. The score for the film was never released.
|1.||"You're Not Me"||John Siegler||Marty Bags||3:16|
|2.||"For the People"||Will Adams, Taz Arnold, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair, Jamie A. Dávila "Tame" Gómez, Shafiq Husayn||The Black Eyed Peas||4:01|
|3.||"One Card Short"||John Siegler"|
|4.||"Step Up"||Eddie Montilla, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair||Jean Rodriguez||3:53|
|5.||"Shadow Games"||Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair, Wayne Sharpe||Trixie Reiss||3:32|
|6.||"It's Over"||Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair||Fatty Koo||3:49|
|7.||"Blind Ambition"||Russel Velazquez||The Deleted||3:18|
|8.||"The Great Pretender"||Jon Frederik||The Jon Frederik Band||3:14|
|9.||"How Much Longer"||Jen Scaturro||Jen Scaturro||3:12|
|10.||"U Better Fear Me"||Russel Velazquez, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair||The Deleted||4:17|
|11.||"Power Within"||Wayne Sharpe, Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair||Dan Metreyeon||3:09|
|12.||"Believe In"||Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair, Jake Siegler, Alex (Llocks) Walker||Skwib||3:07|
|13.||"Yu-Gi-Oh! Theme"||Paul "DJ White Shadow" Blair||2:07|
The English-language version of the film retains most of the regional changes made to the TV show, like the use of different character names (for instance, the character known in Japan as "Anzu Mazaki" is named "Téa Gardner" in other markets). Unlike the regular series, the trading cards seen in the film actually look like their real-life counterparts; the English-language series would normally edit them to alter their appearance.
The version of the film released in Japan featured twelve minutes of additional animation. It utilized the characters' original names, along with the original soundtrack and sound effects heard in the Japanese version of the television series.
Attendees of the premiere got 2 of 4 free Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game cards (Pyramid of Light, Sorcerer of Dark Magic, Watapon, and Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon) when filmgoers purchased tickets for the film.
The film was released on DVD and VHS on November 16, 2004.
Yu-Gi-Oh! – The Movie: Pyramid of Light opened at 2,411 screens across the U.S. and made a theater screen average of $3,934. By the end of the weekend, it made $9,485,494 and place #4 on the Box Office Top 10 behind Collateral, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and AVP: Alien Vs. Predator, which took the #1 position. It is currently the #3 Japanese animated film in the US Box Office, after Pokémon: The First Movie and Pokémon 2000. The film grossed $19,765,868 in the United States and Canada, with only $29,170,410 worldwide, making it a failure compared to the first three Pokémon films dubbed by the same company, which were highly successful, with a total worldwide gross of $363 million.
The film was met with an overwhelmingly poor reception from critics. The criticism was much like that of the Pokémon films. It was only appropriate for fans of the franchise. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 68th in the "100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s", with a rating of 5%, based on 65 reviews while the consensus reads "Don't watch the TV show or play the card game? Then this movie is not for you." The film was also the lowest rated animated film on Metacritic (until it was surpassed by 2017's The Emoji Movie), with an average of 15 out of 100 meaning "overwhelming dislike", based on 18 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, it is the second lowest rated animated film of the 2000s behind Happily N'Ever After.
Fathom Events Re-releases
On 1 February 2018, it was announced by Fathom Events and 4K Media that the film would be getting a remastered re-release in 800 American theaters through 11 to 12 March.
In October 2018, a trailer for the Remasters preview for the current Yu-Gi-Oh anime, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, was shown alongside the film, in which the Yu Gi Oh Film is on Blu Ray, which came out on 8 October 2018.
- After Kaiba beat Pegasus, he said "That's all Folks!", referring to the slogan of other cartoons of Warner Bros., also mocking Pegasus's Toon Deck.
- Four different Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were given away at theaters in the USA. They were of: Pyramid of Light, Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, Sorcerer of Dark Magic, and Watapon.
- Though elements of the Dawn of the Duel story arc from season 5 of the show are used, the plot of this film greatly mirrors that of season 4. An ancient enemy arises and uses the Pharaoh's power against him in some way, they wear powerful stone and use its card counterpart to surround the field and prevent any interference, Yugi is prevented from using the God Cards until the end, after the enemy loses the final duel from a combined attack of 3 Legendary Monsters they take the form of or combine with a great beast to attack Yugi and his friends (Joey even uses some of the same monsters to fight both), the enemy uses Pegasus to manipulate Kaiba when he seeks him out for answers, Pegasus later shows up to provide background information and other answers for Yugi and/or his friends, and Yugi and the Pharaoh are separated for a sizable portion of the story and are only reunited once the enemy suffers some form of defeat and loses what was originally going to be the source of power for their attack on the world.
- When Tristan saw the mummies for the first time, he yelled "Zoinks!", this is the exclamation of Shaggy Rogers from "Scooby-Doo", another show of Warner Bros.
- Norman J. Grossfeld (Executive Producer), Lloyd Goldfine (Writer) and Matt Drdek (Writer) are credited as the photographers of the Egyptian artifacts in the newspaper.
- The movie released in theaters in North America, Europe, Australia, but not in Japan. The movie was shown on Special Screenings in Japan on November 3rd, 2004. The movie then aired on TV Tokyo on January 2, 2005. The Japanese version is known to run 11 minutes longer.
- This is 4Kids Entertainment's fourth and final theatrically animated movie to be inspired by anime, after "Pokémon: The First Movie" released 5 years prior, "Pokémon: The Movie 2000" released 4 years prior and "Pokémon 3: The Movie" released 3 years prior.
- VIZ Media released an "ani-manga" comic book version of the movie with the Egyptian God card "Slifer the Sky Dragon" as part of their Shonen Jump lineup.
- The original Japanese story calls for the Pharaoh's past to take place "3000 years ago", but the English translators misread this as "3000 BC". The English version thus puts the story 5000 years ago, but some believe this was intentional: nothing is known about Ancient Egypt 5000 years ago, and therefore the non-existence of Pharaoh Atem cannot be proven (or disproved).
- A few times during the movie, Seto Kaiba's hair glowed green, which could be a homage to the first series.
- The English version of the movie was completely edited when it first appeared in theaters in the US, but the Japanese language version (released in Special Screenings on November 3rd, 2004 and later aired on TV Tokyo in January 2nd, 2005) differs in content, uncut, and is complete with cards in Japanese. The Japanese version is in 101 minutes and the English version is originally in 90 minutes. Many scenes in the English version were omitted, switched, and some were altered.
- Ryan Kelly (Compositing/Design) is credited as leading the archaeological team which discovered the Tomb of Anubis.
- The movie was written originally for an American audience, although it was made in Japan.
- The film aired on TV Tokyo on January 2, 2005.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie Soundtrack was released August 10, 2004 by RCA in the USA and Canada.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light hit theaters in North America before the Battle City Finals episodes aired, somewhat spoiling the ending for those who saw the movie.
- In the United States, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light is the only part of the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe to have the text on the cards included. Unlike the Japanese original version, the English Dub of the TV anime series completely edited the text out of the cards due to FCC regulations, expanding the art on them to fill the gap. The cards in the movie also retained the visual rarity that their real-world card game counterparts have, with the rarer cards having gold lettering on them to match those of an Ultra Rare card. In addition, the Life Point counters used in this duel are the same used in the original Japanese series. However, there are portions throughout the film in which the cards are displayed with the picture and text mirrored backwards. Due to cards being displayed this way, you can see that it says [Spell Card] under each Spell Card's name. In Yu-Gi-Oh! second series anime, and the movie itself Spell Cards are still called Magic Cards.
- Much like the early Pokémon theatrical releases, the movie released limited-edition promotional cards in the Movie Pack alongside the tickets bought for the movie. To further stretch the card game tie-in, the Exclusive Pack was released in card shops to help garner interest in the movie. The DVD versions stated that there were 4 promo cards included in the DVD; however, most versions instead came with a "Pyramid of Light" card and a fee was required to be sent to 4Kids Entertainment to be able to receive those cards.
- The movie character, Anubis, does not exist within the anime or manga (outside of this movie).
- Although the musical score (background instrumentals) was released for the Japanese version of the movie, the score for the English version was never officially released. Joel Douek, one of the series' composers for the dub, unofficially released these tracks on his YouTube account and FTP.
- Near the beginning of the movie, when Solomon is reading the newspaper, we can see that the picture was taken by Norman Grossfeld - the writer and executive producer of the movie.
- In the beginning of the movie, a group of archaeologists discovered Anubis's tomb. Their appearance is similar to the archaeologists who discovered the Dark Puzzle in the first episode of the first series.
- The "Dagger of Fate" was a plot device added to the English version to give meaning to Yugi throwing it at the eye inside of the Millennium Puzzle. In the Japanese version, the dagger was never mentioned at all before that scene and Yugi just needed to find a hard object to throw at the eye and break it.
- Despite the movie debuting in 2004 for the US, the cards still have the lore from when they were first printed in the US. Some cards like Magician's Valkyria have the incorrect typeface for things like the name possibly due to the fact that the card didn't yet exist in English, though this also occurred for Toon Summoned Skull, which was definitely released before the movie.
- An image of "Blue-Eyes Toon Dragon" appears on the label of Pegasus's red wine bottle.
- Although the film's original release is in 1.85:1 aspect ratio, the movie was cropped to 1.33:1 for the Region 1 DVD release, The REgion 2 and Region 4 DVD releases are in their original aspect ratio, however.
- The Region 1 North America DVD has English, French and Spanish language tracks while the Region 2 UK / Ireland DVD has English, German and Hebrew languages tracks.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! cards were made available (for a small mail-in fee) with the DVD version of the Movie. Some of the cards were: Pyramid of Light, Blue-Eyes Shining Dragon, Sorcerer of Dark Magic, the Sphinxs, and Watapon.
- Michael Pecoriello is the writer of the "Fact or Fiction" article in the newspaper.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light hit Special Screenings and on TV Tokyo in Japan after Yu-Gi-Oh! (second series anime) ended there. Thus, Yami Yugi already returned to the Spirit World, the Millennium Items were sealed away forever, and Yu-Gi-Oh! GX already began broadcasting in Japan.
- Main article: Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light/Credits