The film was first released in United States theaters by Warner Bros. Pictures under their Warner Bros. Family Entertainment label on August 13, 2004. The film was released in theaters in Japanese by Toho on November 3, 2004 and aired on TV Tokyo on January 2, 2005. A remastered version of the film was released in theaters in 2018 on March 11 and 12 in the US, April 25, 28, and 29 in Canada and June 13 in the United Kingdom.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
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 prophecy, describing a clairvoyant eye which will prevent the world's ultimate and inevitable destruction unless "blinded by events predetermined." Anubis' spirit attacks the group with Yugi having a vision of Anubis himself manipulating Kaiba and him 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.
|All spoilers have been stated and have ended here.|
|Character||Voice Actor (Japanese)||Voice Actor (English)|
|Yugi Muto / Yami Yugi||Shunsuke Kazama||Dan Green|
|Seto Kaiba||Kenjiro Tsuda||Eric Stuart|
|Anubis||Kōji Ishii||Scottie Ray|
|Joey Wheeler||Hiroki Takahashi||Wayne Grayson|
|Tristan Taylor||Hidehiro Kikuchi||Frank Frankson|
|Téa Gardner||Maki Saito||Amy Birnbaum|
|Mokuba Kaiba||Junko Takeuchi||Tara Jayne|
|Solomon Muto||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 August 10, 2004, on RCA on Audio CD and Compact Cassette. The score for the film was never released.
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.
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 severe disappointment 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. Rotten Tomatoes ranked the film 68th in the "100 worst reviewed films of the 2000s", with a rating of 5%, based on 65 reviews. The criticism was much like that of the Pokemon films. It was only appropriate for fans of the franchise. 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-releaseEdit
On February 1, 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 March 11 to 12.
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.