To be fair to Digimon: The Movie, the Japanese films it was drawing from were all shorts and not fit to release to theatrical audiences expecting a full 90 minutes. Additionally, combining two or more shorts into one feature film is far from unheard of in the context of anime adaptations, hell, the aforementioned Pokémon: The First Movie is broken down into three segments itself, though the main one “Mewtwo Strikes Back” runs a respectable 75 minutes.
Still, for mainstream American audiences not yet fully accustomed to the rhythms of anime, Digimon: The Movie was mostly a dud. Though the film has its Digi-fan defenders today *meekly raises hand* it was far from the successful Pokémon competitor Saban and Fox hoped it would be, taking in a paltry $16 million and enduring much critical deriding. For most people, Digimon: The Movie‘s ultimate legacy is that of a curious, largely forgettable fad flopping. “Remember when that other ‘mon franchise thought it could come at the king? Hilarious.” For others, however, Digimon: The Movie is remembered fondly for one unexpected reason. Its soundtrack.
On the off chance you’re not familiar with the Digimon: The Movie soundtrack yet, I want you to take a second and think of what types of songs might make it onto the soundtrack of an animated film about children raising, training, and fighting digital monsters.
Got it? Great. Whatever you were thinking of, you’re wrong. Because THIS is what’s on the Digimon: The Movie soundtrack.
The first track is pretty much what you’d expect. You can’t have an early aughts animated property without a good-old fashioned rap. And since it’s not on Spotify, here is the YouTube link to fully appreciate it.
But after the perfunctory rap track, things truly go off the digital rails. Yes, that is Smash Mouth’s seminal 1999 hit “All Star” there as track two. In addition to becoming just generally inescapable for the better part of a decade, “All Star” also became inextricably linked with its use in Dreamwork’s 2001 animated film Shrek. It’s so disarming to see it there one year earlier as though Smash Mouth label Interscope knew it needed an animated film to make the song a hit and just happened to whiff SO hard on the first attempt.