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Those encountering the wide-mouthed blue robot that is Doraemon for the very first time could be forgiven for not realising that he’s supposed to be a cat. And even once filled in we’re sure that few people would ever imagine that this earless robo-feline should be any more popular than the thousands of other quirky anime characters that exist in popular culture today.

But for most Japanese, and perhaps a handful of Westerners who were introduced to the anime as kids, Doraemon is a seriously big deal, and fans are currently buzzing with excitement following the news that one of Japan’s most-loved characters is not only getting a brand new movie of his own, but will be appearing in gorgeous 3-D computer generated form for the first time ever.

Debuting as a comic book in 1969 and adapted into an animated series – which ran for a whopping 1,787 episodes and is still aired today – roughly a decade later, Doraemon is considered something of a national treasure here in Japan. The silver screen has played host to numerous feature-length Doraemon adventures, but this is the very first time the robot cat from the future has been presented in three dimensions, not to mention with such lush visuals.

Due for release in Japan next summer, the computer-generated film is being directed by none other than Takashi Yamazaki, the man responsible for 2005’s Always Sanchōme no Yūhi – a fact that, before we had even laid eyes on the following promotional trailer, gave us a fair hint at what to expect from this new adventure. Coupled with the themes of friendship and morality that Doreamon‘s plotlines are known for, Yamazaki’s involvement means that you can expect emotions to be toyed with and heartstrings to be pulled from the outset of this CG outing.

Here’s the recently released trailer in full.

See what we mean?

We’re definitely excited to see one of Japan’s most iconic animated characters get a 21st-century makeover, and we have absolutely no doubt that the film will be a smash at the box office, but is no one else thinking its makers could have come up with a slightly less “borrowed” title than Stand By Me?

Source: Sponichi Annex
Video: YouTube DoraemonTheMovie