Naruto The Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom
US 2-disc DVD cover
August 5, 2006 (Japan)
US$ 25 million
Naruto The Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom (大興奮!みかづき島のアニマル騒動だってばよ! Dai Kōfun! Mikazuki-jima no Animaru Panikku Dattebayo! , lit. Great Excitement! The Animal Panic of Crescent Moon Island!) is a 2006 film written and directed by Toshiyuki Tsuru. It is the third film based on the popular Naruto anime and manga series by Masashi Kishimoto. It is the last of the original Naruto series films before the Naruto: Shippūden series and Naruto: Shippūden the Movie started the following year. 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 Great Excitement! The Animal Panic of Crescent Moon Island! was released in DVD format on April 25, 2007. The movie takes place after episode 196, during the anime's post Sasuke era. Footage of this movie is seen in the opening and ending credits for episodes 197 through 199.
Cartoon Network has dropped Toonami effective on September 20, 2008, but the movie was still shown on Cartoon Network at its release date on November 8, 2008, at 9:00 P.M., as part of the Action Flicks programming block. After it aired on Cartoon Network, it was then released to DVD November 11, 2008. The movie was available for viewing via the Toonami Jetstream website until December 15, 2008.
The film's theme music is "Tsubomi" by MARIA. The first 100,000 people to see the movie in certain theaters were to receive a Naruto themed yo-yo. It has a picture of Naruto Uzumaki on it, and when spun it lights up, imitating the appearance of a Rasengan.
Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake, Sakura Haruno, and Rock Lee are assigned to protect the prince of the Land of the Moon, Michiru, during his world trip; other escorts had been hired, but quit due to being treated poorly. The Land of the Moon is a very wealthy nation, so Michiru tends to buy whatever he wants, and has a very materialistic worldview. His son, Hikaru, also acts in much the same manner, annoying Naruto.
During the trip, the caravan stops at a circus, during which Hikaru shot an apple that was in one of the circus acts. Amused, the ring master said if he can hit the apple with the monkey holding it moving he'll get a prize. Hikaru made the shot. Hikaru took a liking to a rare sabertoothed tiger, Chamu, featured there, so he asked for it. The ringmaster claimed it to big and dangerous to take as a prize. Michiru ended up purchasing not only the saber toothe, but the whole circus as well, placing it under the team's protection.
Before heading to the docks, they stop at the house of Michiru's ex-wife Amayo. At the docks, Hikaru attempts to befriend the tiger, but finds that it dislikes humans. He loses interest in the circus and during a sea voyage, when a storm hits, he appears 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 goes out to help Chamu get to safety, and Naruto saves both of them after they wash overboard. The next day, Naruto and Hikaru become friends.
After returning to the Land of the Moon, the team finds that the country has been taken over by Shabadaba, one of the nobles and a former friend of Michiru's father Kakeru. Having hired three powerful ninjas to assist him, Shabadaba has disposed of Kakeru and plans to do the same with Michiru and Hikaru, the remaining heirs to the throne. He orders the military forces to kill them all, but the team is able to escape with the help of Korega, a soldier captain who leads the soldiers that are still loyal to the king.
Escaping to a hidden cave, Michiru finds that his father is still alive, but Sakura, although able to heal his petrified arm, is only able to keep him alive for a little while. Kakeru revealed that he had suspected that something like this would happen, and arranged for the journey to keep Michiru out of harm's way. Before dying, Kakeru tells Michiru and Hikaru that people are truly important in life, not material goods. During an attempt to escape the country by boat, Ishidate, Kongou, and Karenbana (the three ninja hired by Shabadaba) alongside the soldiers on Shabadaba's side attack. Ishidate, Kongou, and Karenbana disable Naruto, Kakashi, Sakura, and Lee with sense-dulling poison that slows their reactions. The prince is captured by the soldiers, but the emergence of Naruto's fox chakra allows him to repel the attacking ninja before Hikaru can be taken.
At the castle, Shabadaba's reasons for taking over the country are revealed to be purely material, the same things Michiru considers important as he intends to use the nation's wealth for himself rather than the people. Michiru is disgusted by Shadabada's attitude, and realizes the truth of what his father had said. Shabadaba decides to put him to death, by a drawn-out hanging: he has Michiru balance on a board of wood not strong enough to support his weight while wearing a noose, ensuring that sooner or later he will fall and be hanged.
With the help of the circus Michiru purchased earlier, Kakashi's team makes a rescue attempt with Hikaru and the rogue soldiers, infiltrating the palace by disguising as members of the circus. One by one, Kakashi and his team fight individual battles: Kakashi fights the many soldiers in the courtyard while each of the Genin fight one of the ninja. Lee wields a pair of nun-chuks that have the ability to connect to other staffs hidden in his leg weights, creating weapons such as a long staff and a chain whip. He defeats Kongou after some effort and by driving him down through the floor to the bottom level with a ferocious burst of punches from above. Sakura is able to dispatch Karenbana's poison and genjutsu-using opponent by shattering a chandelier to locate her by watching where she moves and subsequently defeat her with one powerful punch.
Naruto fights against Ishidate while helping Hikaru reach his father. Hikaru shoots an arrow, severing the rope around Michiru's neck, and Naruto's shadow clones catch Michiru and Hikaru. Ishidate is enraged and attempts to kill Naruto, but Shadabada orders him to deal with Michiru. Ishidate then turns on Shadabada accidentally petrifying him when he grabs the collar of his robe. In the penultimate scene, Naruto, having had his leg disabled by his opponent's strange petrification jutsu, rides on Michiru's back to attack with his Crescent Moon Rasengan which reflects the light of the moon in such a manner that it grows and takes on a crescent shape. He hits Ishidate with this attack, sending him flying and destroying Shadabada's stone remains.
After Ishidate's defeat, Michiru takes the throne of the country and promises to rule as his father did. As Kakashi is immobilized due to overuse of the Sharingan, his team decides to take a vacation in the Moon Country while he recovers.
In the post credits scene when Kakashi's group leaves, Michiru tells Hikaru that he will one day rekindle his relationship with Amayo.