A year ago I saw an animated movie based on a anime magna series name Naruto and much to my surprise I liked the film adaptation. Now I should go on record and say I'm not an anime fan, but if there is anything "Akira" has proven is if done right even the uninitiated can be drawn into it. This sequel however alienates those who are not familiar with the source material.
Naruto: Legend of the Stone of Gelel is about...I have no idea. I tired paying attention as much as I could but the plot kept loosing my interest. It had no real direction heavily being convoluted. The so called "twists" can be seen from a mile away. Things that appear to be important are poorly explained. Our main characters are annoying. Naruto is meant to be our hero, but he never stops shouting his lines. Then there is Sakura who for some reason is the only female ninja and does not have any special abilities. Seems odd that the guys can control sand, control people shadows, make clones, and one is a puppet master yet the only female character has no remarkable abilities. Hmm...could this movie undertone be saying that women are inferior? I wouldn't count it out since most of the villain henchman are women that are defeated easily by men. Well one evil henchman is defeated by Sakura, but only by being tricked into her death by sheer stupidity. While I'm on this subject the only female hero is a brat. That's her only character trait and is one dimensional without contributing anything major to the plot. Which also reminds me 95% percent of her dialogue has something to do with a guy. She also hardly acts on her behalf mostly taking orders from her male friends.
Back on topic after that unexpected detour. The film also does not explain to the regular movie viewer what happened before the events of the movie. Last time I remember there was a guy name Susake who accompanied Naruto on his journey. What happened to him? The only context the movie gives us is the two walked past each other in a empty field one time without any sort of social contact. Am I suppose to assume just because these two didn't talk to each other that one time that these two characters are no longer friends. I guess so since that's the closest that it comes to explaining Susake absent. While I'm still talking about fictional characters the new ones that are introduced are not developed. There is a guy who controls sand, but that all I know on him. There is a puppet master, but I know nothing on him nor how he controls his puppet without strings. Then there's Chicamaru who name I've most likely gotten wrong that I have no reason to care about. Who is he? How does he know Naruto? What's his back story? IT NEVER EXPLAINS!
Before I linger on this film too long the plot in general in not engaging in any way. We learn nothing on the characters of the story nor their motivations. There's little explaining on major plot points and even less time to flesh out any kind of back story. The ninja do have battle techniques know as "Plot Contrivances". These ninjas have master plot contrivances to the point where they all avoid death, over powered their enemies easily, and just so happen to be immune to any injury. The humor is too force making the characters more annoying than likable. The animation is a downgrade. I'm not suppose notice tiny details like a character hair color being less pink than in the last movie. I'm also not suppose to notice when the dubbing keeps talking when no mouth is moving. The characters movement is award and wonky. They look more like rag dolls than teenagers. The ninja battles are incredibly lame. It's the same thing over and over. Characters are either jumping around to much or one character stands in place while their opponent does an attack for them to counteract. They end too quickly. Last time I saw an Orca iced-whale attack nearly demolish a mountain, but nothing here is as cool. At least the voice acting is passable.
Naruto: Legend of the Stone of Gelel is not for non-fans of the series. The first Naruto film at least gives you enough information to care about the characters, know what's going on, and had animation to go with the action. This sequel does not work as a movie for it explains to little for non-fans, relies to heavily making stuff up along the way, and weak animation. This is strictly for the fans who might enjoy it, but for those are not fans this won't change your mind on the series.