Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time won’t be going beyond in Canada this month
Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time is the third theatrical film based on Kazuki Takahashi’s world famous Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise after 1998’s Yu-Gi-Oh! (Japan-only), and the 4Kids Entertainment backed Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Movie – Pyramid of Light (2004). This film unites the stars of the previous three Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yugi Moto (Yu-Gi-Oh!), Jaden Yuki (Yu-Gi-Oh! GX), and Yusei Fudo (Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds) as they battle a common foe in Paradox. This movie has been positioned as the main attraction in the anniversary celebrations, with viewers receiving free trading cards, and manga just for watching. The film opened in January 2010 in Japan, but is receiving another run with an extended cut, and a preview of the next Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal. The English version will be released in the next few weeks, and will be based on this extended cut, with what may be an English exclusive 10 minute recap, though it is unknown if the Zexal preview will remain. For Canadian Yu-Gi-Oh! fans, it appears they won’t be jumping in this celebration in theatres.
For the 10th Anniversary film, rather than allowing the film to getting a mainstream full film distributor, like the 2004 release (which was handled by Warner), licensee 4Kids decided to go for a limited 4 -day event with specialty distributor Cinedigm, on the 26, and 27 of February, alongside the 5 and 6 of March. The thing is, Cinedigm’s clients are all US based theatre chains, leaving us Canadians out of luck.
4Kids Entertainment, and the other associated companies with the English release of the film haven’t actually confirmed a Canadian theatrical screening won’t happen, but it appears if one were to happen it would be well after the Cinedigm release as no Canadian theatres I’m aware of are listing the film. 4Kids, and the rest of the companies involved have also neglected to mention if Canada is part of what they perceive the international community to be, as a UK, and other European countries have a theatrical release set in for 2012, to celebrate the franchise’s tenth anniversary in those markets (the various press releases 4Kids has released use very vague wording like “North American version”, etc.). The only issue is that Canada received Yu-Gi-Oh! in the same year as the US… As well, as an aside, it should be noted that the first trailer for the film on its official site was geo-locked, and Canadian viewers were greeted with a “This content is currently unavailable” message. A 4Kids rep did confirm that this wasn’t meant to happen, but that error wasn’t corrected until the second trailer (embedded below) was released.
I’m actually really disappointed that it appears we won’t be getting the movie. I’m not exactly the world’s largest Yu-Gi-Oh! fan or anything, but still, I would’ve went just for the novelty of seeing the three main protagonists interacting with each other. Not to mention that seeing 2D animation in 3D would be very cool. I do hope 4Kids is able to make it work, because it would be quite silly when a movie based on a series which never aired in Canada was able to get on so many screens when a film based on a media franchise that still airs on mainstream TV can’t.