Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom (劇場版 NARUTO -ナルト- 大興奮!みかづき島のアニマル騒動だってばよ, Gekijōban NARUTO Daikōfun! Mikazukijima no Animaru Panikku Dattebayo; Literally meaning "Naruto the Movie Great Excitement! The Animal Panic of the Crescent Moon Island") is a 2006 film written and directed by Toshiyuki Tsuru. It is the third Naruto movie. It was announced on August 6, 2005, at the opening of Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel. TVTokyo's website states that Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom! was released in DVD format on April 25, 2007. The movie takes place after episode 196, during the original anime's filler arcs. Footage of this movie is seen in the opening and ending credits for episodes 197 through 199.
The movie premiered in Japan on August 5, 2006, while the English dubbed version premiered on Cartoon Network on November 8, 2008. It was then released on DVD in America on November 11, 2008.
The first 100,000 people to see the movie in certain theatres received a Naruto-themed yo-yo. It had a picture of Naruto on it, and, when spun, it lit up to look like a Rasengan.
Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake, Sakura Haruno, and Rock Lee were assigned to a B-rank mission, to protect the prince of the Land of the Moon, Michiru, during his world trip; other escorts had been hired, but had quit due to being treated poorly. The Land of the Moon is a very wealthy nation, so Michiru tended to buy whatever he wanted, and had a very materialistic world-view. His son, Hikaru, also acted in much the same manner, which irritated Naruto.
During the trip, the caravan stopped at a circus. When Hikaru took a liking to a rare sabre-toothed tiger, Chamū, which was featured there, Michiru ended up purchasing not only it, but the rest of the circus as well, placing it under the team's protection. Hikaru attempted to befriend the tiger, but found that it disliked humans. He lost interest in the circus, and, during a sea voyage, when a storm hit, he appeared unconcerned about the animals' well-being, causing Naruto to become disgusted at his lack of value for them. Upset by Naruto's view of him, Hikaru went out to help Chamū get to safety, and Naruto saved both of them after they were washed overboard. The next day, Naruto, Sakura and Lee become friends with Hikaru.
After returning to the Land of the Moon, the team found that the country had been taken over by Shabadaba, one of the nobles and a former friend of Michiru. Having hired three powerful ninja to assist him, Shabadaba had disposed of the king, and planned to do the same with Michiru and Hikaru, the remaining heirs to the throne. He ordered the military forces to kill them all, but the team was able to escape with the help of some soldiers still loyal to the king.
Escaping to a hidden cave, Michiru found that his father was still alive, but Sakura, although able to heal his petrified arm, was only able to keep him alive for a little while. The king revealed that he had suspected that something like this would happen, and had arranged for the journey to keep Michiru out of harm's way. Before dying, the king told Michiru and Hikaru that people are truly important in life, not material goods. During an attempt to escape the country by boat, the three ninja hired by Shabadaba attacked, disabling Naruto, Kakashi, Sakura, and Lee with reaction-dulling poison that slowed their reactions. The prince was captured, but the emergence of Naruto's fox chakra allowed him to repel the attacking ninja before the prince's son could be taken.
At the castle, Shabadaba's reasons for taking over the country were revealed to be purely material, the same things Michiru had considered important, as he intended to use the nation's wealth for himself rather than the people. Michiru was disgusted by Shadabada's attitude, and realised the truth of what his father had said. Shabadaba decided to put him to death by a drawn out hanging: he had Michiru balance on a board of wood not strong enough to support his weight while wearing a noose, ensuring that, sooner or later, he would fall and be hanged.
With the help of the circus Michiru had purchased earlier, Kakashi's team made a rescue attempt with Hikaru and the rogue soldiers, infiltrating the palace by disguising themselves as members of the circus. One by one, Kakashi and his team fought individual battles: Kakashi fought the many soldiers in the courtyard, while each of the genin fought one of the ninja. Lee wielded a pair of nunchaku that had the ability to connect to other staffs hidden in his leg weights, creating weapons such as a long staff and a chain whip. He killed his opponent, Kongō, using Reverse Lotus. Sakura was able to dispatch her poison and genjutsu-using opponent, Karenbana, by shattering a chandelier to locate her by watching where she moved, and subsequently killed her with one punch. It turned out Karebana had worn too much perfume (which had helped Sakura locate her opponent while in a genjutsu by smelling for the perfume).
Naruto fought against Ishidate, the leader of the three ninja, while helping Hikaru reach his father. Hikaru shot an arrow, severing the rope around Michiru's neck, and Naruto's shadow clones caught the prince and his father. Ishidate was enraged, and attempted to kill Naruto, but Shadabada ordered him to deal with Michiru. Ishidate powers up his petrification glove to the fullest as Shadabada continues to tell him which target to pick. Enraged by his constant bicker, Ishidate accidentally petrifies Shadabada. In the penultimate scene, Naruto, his leg disabled by his opponent's strange petrification technique, rode on Michiru's shoulders to attack with his Rasengan, which then reflected the light of the moon in such a manner that it grew and took on a crescent shape, creating the Crescent Moon Rasengan. He hit Ishidate with this attack, sending him flying and destroying Shadabada's stone remains.
After Ishidate's death, Michiru took the throne of the country, and promised to rule as his father had done while starting on a diet, beginning weight training and once the country settles down he was going to pick Hikaru's mama, Amayo. As Kakashi was immobilised due to overuse of the Sharingan, his team decided to take a vacation in the Land of the Moon while he recovers. Two weeks later, Kakashi has regained his strength and the team departs as the saviours of the Crescent Moon Kingdom. King Michiru decides to once again try reconnecting with his wife, now knowing what he shouldn't do.