Naruto The Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow (大活劇! 雪姫忍法帖だってばよ!!, Daikatsugeki! Yukihime Ninpōchō dattebayo!!; Literally meaning "Great Action Scene! Snow Princess' Book of Ninja Arts") is a 2004 film which was directed by Tensai Okamura and written by Katsuyuki Sumisawa. It was released in Japan on August 21, 2004. The popularity of the series has spawned several sequels, beginning with Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel. The movie was released on DVD on April 28, 2005. The film chronologically took place right after episode 101 Gotta See! Gotta Know! Kakashi-Sensei's True Face!. The ending song is called Home Sweet Home and is sung by Yuki Isoya. The English version replaced this song with "Never Give Up" by Jeremy Sweet due to licensing restrictions.
As a bonus, the short and non-canonical OVA, Konoha Annual Sports Festival!, was included with the Japanese release of the film. The ten-minute opening short revolves around Naruto being repeatedly interrupted whilst trying to use the bathroom while participating in the tournament. It is notable because virtually every character, living or dead, in the Naruto universe made an appearance in it (most of them shown standing in the male restroom queue, for example Itachi Uchiha, Kisame Hoshigaki and Zaku Abumi). The dead Fourth Hokage also made an appearance in the shot.
In America, the film was released as a one-day showing on June 6, 2007. Instead of the OVA included with the Japanese release, the American release included a short featurette entitled "World of Naruto", as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette afterwards with interviews with the main English cast and select members of the main Japanese cast. The OVA did, however, appear in the U.S. DVD release. The DVD was released September 4, 2007. The movie premiered on Cartoon Network on September 8, 2007. The film was also shown at Cineplex Odeon and Empire Theatres cinemas in Canada, distributed via Bell ExpressVu to play the film at all cinemas at the same time. The film aired at the Great British Museum in London, U.K. on July 28, 2007 for a single showing. The film was also slated for one-day showings in Australia on October 14.
On November 13, 2007, a 3-disc Deluxe Edition of Naruto the Movie was released in the United States. It has many extras and features that the standard U.S. DVD, which had been released a few months earlier, had not included. It includes the ten-minute short "Konoha Annual Sports Festival" which was originally shown with the Japanese release of the film, the complete soundtrack to the movie, documentaries of the American voice recording of the movie, movie art postcards, and more.
The movie begins with a heroine previously unknown in the Naruto continuity: Princess Fūn (Princess Gale in the US version). Fūn's nemesis, Mao, challenged her group with an army of undead soldiers. His dark intentions seemed to prevail; that is, until Princess Fūn and her cohorts, Shishimaru, Brit, and Tsukuyaku, unleashed the power of the Seven-Colour Chakra upon him. They saved the day, and Naruto, watching from afar, couldn't have been more elated.
As it turned out, Naruto was actually watching the scene in a movie, as was the rest of Team 7. However, the audience of the movie began to throw objects at the team for making so much noise whilst arguing with the cinema manager. Kakashi had sent them to watch it as preparation for their next mission: guarding Yukie Fujikaze, the actress who played Princess Fūn, while she made the next movie in the Land of Snow. As it turned out, Yukie was actually the princess of the Land of Snow, which had been taken over by rogue ninja when she was a child. The leader of the rogue ninja, Dotō Kazahana, wanted Yukie's crystal necklace in order to unlock the Land of Snow's treasure, which Yukie's father had hidden before being assassinated. After various battles between Team 7 and the rogue ninja, resulting in the death of all of the latter and Nadare, their leader, Dotō succeeded in obtaining Yukie's necklace, only to discover that the "treasure" of the Land of Snow is a generator designed to melt the snow and thus bring Spring to the country. Dotō was then killed by Naruto in a manner reminiscent of Princess Fūn's defeat of Mao, involving "rainbow chakra".
With the rogue ninja all gone, Yukie decided to resume her position as the princess of the Land of Snow, which would eventually become the Land of Spring after the technology behind the generator was perfected. Despite being a princess, Yukie intended to continue acting. At the very end of the movie, Naruto, who had desperately wanted an autograph from the actress, was given an envelope from Sasuke afterwards, who received shocked looks from the other members of Team 7, including Naruto himself. Inside was a signed photograph from Yukie. The picture was of a bandaged up (and apparently unconscious) Naruto in the hospital, who was receiving a kiss on the cheek from the actress.
At the end of the credits, the crew that had made the Princess Fūn movie said cut, and all cheered.
- The characters and setting of "The Adventures of Princess Fūn" paid homage to the Chinese novel, "Journey to the West".
- Princess Fūn is a take-off of Xuanzang the priest.
- Tsukuyaku is a take-off of Sun Wukong the monkey.
- Shishimaru is a take-off of Zhu Bajie the pig-monster.
- Brit is a take-off of Sha Wujing the water-demon.
- This movie reinforced the notion that Naruto takes place in a modernised age, due to the existence of a movie theatre and cars.
- This movie also reveals Kakashi as an ANBU, saving a younger Princess Koyuki from the burning palace.