Since the anime adaptation of Masashi Kishimoto’s Naruto debuted in 2012, there have been 11 different movies of varying quality. So from Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow to Boruto, we’ve broken down which ones serve to provide better context to the story and which ones are skippable filler.
Naruto The Movie: Ninja Clash In The Land Of Snow (2004)
In the series’ first film, Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura are tasked with a mission to escort a movie crew into the Land of Snow. The main actress, Yukie Fujikaze, refuses to travel there and creates obstacles to make the mission more difficult for Team 7, and Yukie’s scarred past comes to light after a confrontation with shinobi. The first half of Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow is pretty funny, and the rest is pure action. While the production value and fight scenes are decent, the first Naruto film is really just filler and worth a skip unless watching solely for the action.Continue Scrolling To Keep ReadingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.
Naruto The Movie: Legend Of The Stone Of Gelel (2005)
Taking place after Sasuke departed Team 7, Legend of the Stone of Gelel sees Naruto, Sakura and Shikamaru getting attacked by an army of knights led by Temujin while on a low-stakes mission. Eventually, the trio resolves to help Temujin protect a powerful stone. While the wonderful animation complements the action scenes well, the plot is pretty predictable, using a lot of anime tropes. Legend of the Stone of Gelel is a great movie to look at, but the story itself doesn’t have much. This movie is a skip.
Naruto The Movie: Guardians Of The Crescent Moon Kingdom (2006)
In Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom, Rock Lee accompanies Team on a mission to escort a spoiled Prince back home to the Moon Kingdom. However, the mission goes awry when the team is attacked by a group of ninja mercenaries. Kishimoto actually had no involvement in this film, which is pretty evident. This entry mainly focuses on side characters and is clearly filler. There also really aren’t many action scenes, although the animation is still well-done. The main thing Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom has going for it is that it shows Naruto maturing and growing stronger before the main story enters Shippuden. All in all, this movie is a skip.
Naruto Shippuden The Movie (2007)
Shippuden opens on young Priestess Shion predicting Naruto’s death at the hands of a powerful demon. To prevent his death, Shion wants to seal the demon away forever, and Naruto is tasked with protecting her, despite being cautioned to stay away from her. Compared to the previous Naruto films, this one deals with more mature themes that increase the stakes of the story, making it more exciting than the previous three movies.
However, Shippuden is still filler, which undercuts the tension surrounding Naruto’s potential death. Still, the action and fighting is fluid and wonderfully animated, with Rock Lee stealing the spotlight at points. If you’re not looking for another filler story, this might be another skip, though.
Naruto Shippuden The Movie: Bonds (2008)
In Bonds, the Hidden Leaf Village is suddenly attacked and the threat of another World War looms large. Naruto, Sakura and Hinata are tasked with protecting a skilled doctor, Shinnou, and his apprentice, Amaru, as they travel back to their village. Sasuke makes an appearance to fight alongside Naruto as the two temporarily put their rivalry aside to defeat a common enemy. Bonds highlights their rivalry and past friendship, serving as a teaser for their interactions in the Naruto: Shippuden anime.
However, Bonds doesn’t just highlight Naruto and Sasuke’s relationship. Instead, the villain, Shinnou, is exceptional in medical ninjutsu and has mastered dark chakra, and his bond to Amaru is one of the film’s driving forces. Again, the fight scenes and animation are gorgeous. However, Bonds also sets up a lot of themes for the main series as a whole, making it a fun film that’s probably worth the watch for most fans.
Naruto Shippuden: The Will Of Fire (2009)
In The Will of Fire, ninjas with bloodline limits across the world begin disappearing. To prevent a war, Tsunade orders Kakashi to sacrifice himself. However, when Naruto finds out, he disapproves and begins to fight both enemies and friends to prevent Kakashi’s sacrifice. While previous films features only a small handful of characters, The Will of Fire incorporates pretty much everyone except Sasuke. The film then highlights each character’s opinion on Kakashi’s sacrifice, pitting friend against friend. This fundamentally challenges the Fire of Will, which is a philosophy that every single person in the village is part of a large family and that love is the key to peace. Of all the Naruto films, The Will of Fire is the most inspiring and heartfelt, making it definitely worth a watch.
Naruto Shippuden: The Lost Tower (2010)
While on a mission to capture a missing-nin, Naruto stumbles upon ancient ruins that send him 20 years into the past. There, he meets the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze. Overall, the concept is pretty novel, and the highlight of The Lost Tower is definitely Naruto fighting alongside Minato. Naruto is also unaware that Minato is his father for the majority of the film, so having him present definitely gives this film some weight. Still, a later Naruto: Shippuden film will do this same thing better. Overall, if you’re not watching this film to see Minato or a young Kakashi, then The Lost Tower might be a skip.
Naruto Shippuden: Blood Prison (2011)
In Blood Prison, someone tries to assassinate the Raikage, leader of the Land of Lightning, and the assassin looks a lot like Naruto. Tsunade sets up a trap for Naruto, who is wrongfully accused before being captured and sent to Blood Prison. Unlike previous films, Naruto is not on a mission, but instead isolated from all his friends. This new concept is very interesting, though unfortunately, the plot follows that of a typical shounen movie. The final battle is massive and intense and the action is well-done, but the story is predictable, with not much being done with the side characters or the interesting premise, which is a disappointment. Blood Prison is probably a skip for most people, though anyone looking to see Naruto characters in an unusual situation may like it.
Naruto Shippuden: Road To Ninja (2012)
In Road to Ninja, upon returning home after a successful fight against the Akatsuki, Naruto is consumed by feelings of jealousy and loneliness as he watches his friends being congratulated by their parents. Naruto, who longs for a family, and Sakura, who is embarrassed of her family, have an argument over their differing opinions.
Madara seizes this opportunity to send them into an alternate reality: One where Naruto’s parents are alive and Sakura’s are gone. They are forced to protect this world, while also trying to find a way back to their own, but unlike The Lost Tower, this film has a stronger focus on Naruto’s bond with his parents. This film is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, showing us what could have been for Naruto while exploring his relationship with his parents. This movie is a must watch.
The Last: Naruto The Movie (2014)
Taking place two years after the Fourth Great Ninja War, Hinata’s younger sister Toneri Otsutsuki kidnaps Hanabi. It’s up to Naruto, Hinata, Sakura, Shikamaru and Sai to save her while also keeping this new threat at bay. Overall, the main purpose of The Last is to establish Naruto and Hinata’s relationship, which was underdeveloped in the series. Arguably, it’s better than nothing. The animation gets taken up a notch in The Last, and the film features some great fight scenes. As this does a lot with Naruto and Hinata’s relationship, The Last ends up being a must-watch movie for the franchise.
Boruto: Naruto The Movie (2015)
Before the Boruto anime premiered, Kishimoto created an anime film to establish Naruto’s son. Also titled Boruto, the film features the new generation of shinobi preparing for their chunnin exams. Boruto also introduces the title hero’s complicated relationship with his father, Naruto, who is now the Seventh Hokage and often too busy to be a consistent father figure.
The animation is some of the best among the Naruto films, and the fight scenes are bigger and more spectacular than ever before. However, the anime does eventually cover the chunnin exams and much of what the Boruto film goes through. Those planning on watching the Boruto anime can likely skip the movie. Otherwise, Boruto is a great way to become more familiar with the next generation of the Naruto franchise.
Source of: ComicBookResources