An extension of the popular cartoon and trading-card game, Yu-Gi-Oh! takes place in a world dominated by “Duel Monsters,” a card game that allows players to simulate combat between the creatures in their deck. The all-time dueling champion is Yugi Moto (voice by Dan Green), but there is more to this young man than card-playing savvy. Yugi possesses the magical millennium puzzle and a powerful alter-ego, the ancient Pharaoh Yami Yugi. More than that, he knows that “Duel Monsters” has the power to release evil powers and unleash a new diabolical round of the shadow games. So Yugi, like the Pharaoh before him, must contain these evils by dominating the games. Unfortunately, Yugi’s naive arch-rival Seto Kaiba (Eric Stuart) wants nothing more than to defeat Yugi and become champion. And so Kaiba is the perfect pawn for the ancient Anubis, to make his return and attempt to destroy the world.
Yu-Gi-Oh!, though rated PG, is clearly marketed to the Saturday-morning cartoon audience and may be difficult for some adults to sit through. The film tells a story about the battle between good and evil with positive messages about friendship, loyalty and integrity. Yugi is concerned not only for the well-being of the world, but also for his rival, Kaiba. The film loses some acceptability points from the continuous combat violence. But more serious are its repeated references to gods, magic and ancient powers that may be summoned. While some of these ideas may have their place in fiction, parents are strongly cautioned about the topics in this film.