Navigating the Straw Hat’s Journey: One Piece Watch Guide Pt. 5 – The Big Screen!

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Hello again! You might be wondering why we’re back so soon when we just caught up with the Straw Hats in Wano. Well, while we have covered everything in the anime from major plot points, to filler arcs, to TV Specials and crossovers, to animated shorts we did leave one thing off: the movies. But that was for a good reason! None of the One Piece movies have any relevance to the main storyline and are all non-canonical. At best, they can be placed in-between the many (many) sagas of the Straw Hats’ adventures (movie intro filler arcs aside).
However! This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider checking them out. From great animation (in some) to great storylines (in some), the 14 (soon to be 15) One Piece films are all over the place! Luckily, we’re back with our One Piece Watch Guide to tell you which movies to try out. So, without further ado, here are the One Piece Movies!


So, while the movies are fun (especially once Oda gets involved) and we definitely recommend watching them if you have the time (or are riddled with nostalgia, after having caught up with the anime), you most definitely do not have to watch them to enjoy the Straw Hats’ journey. Some are great entertainment and some kind of miss the mark, but any die-hard fan will appreciate more time with the Straw Hats. Take a look at our list of movies, and you can decide for yourself which ones (if any) you’d like to check out, and if you can’t pick, we’ve shortlisted some for you at the very end!
Also, just keep in mind that if you’re having trouble placing some of the films, there are episodes (read: filler) in the anime that serve as introductions or backdoor avenues into the films (as mentioned in the previous editions of this guide), so check those out too for whichever movie you pick!

Set sometime in-between the Syrup Village Arc and the Baratie Arc, the Straw Hats are somehow dragged (by virtue of Luffy’s appetite) into a fearsome and gold-obsessed pirate’s quest for a legendary treasure. We’d suggest skipping this one, it’s not much to write home about other than the fact that it’s the very first One Piece movie.

Sometime in-between the East Blue Saga and the Arabasta Saga, the Straw Hats find themselves chasing after their stolen ship all the way to the dream-like but deadly Clockwork Island. This one was pretty interesting, but we’d hardly call it essential.

Heavily focused on Cotton-Candy Lover Tony Tony Chopper, this film is an adventure to Crown Island where Chopper may have just found his new calling as an island lord: King of Beasts. We barely get to see the rest of the crew and story hardly progresses beyond Chopper becoming King, with Luffy coming in at the end for the boss fight so we suggest leaving this one behind.

Set some time in-between the Arabasta Saga and the Sky Island Saga this film is where One Piece meets Whacky Races! Stone-cold broke, the Straw Hats enter an anything-goes, secret pirate-race to earn some quick cash, but things are never as they seem. You most definitely should check this one out, because while it’s definitely old (as one of the earlier films) it’s super memorable with great original characters (gasp, Gasparde!) and a great adventure.

This one’s start picks up where the last one let off and is set before Skypiea. Heavily focused on our favourite swordsman, this film has the Straw Hats at odds with Zoro! Lies, betrayal, and a legendary sword, what’s not to like? That and Zoro really shines in this one, so you should definitely give it a chance.

The Straw Hats are mysteriously invited to a mysterious island by an extremely mysterious host. The art style in this film really deviates from what we’re used too, so it usually divides most audiences. However, we suggest giving it a chance because this is definitely one of the darker One Piece storylines, and while we’re used to curveballs in the anime, this movie really had us at the edge of our seats. Plus, the animation, while different is still so memorable and unique.

Set before the Water 7 Arc, this storyline finds the Straw Hats en route to Mecha Island, which somehow seems to be a Zou meets Vegapunk hybrid (if such a thing could exist), in the company of an anxious, little old lady they found in a treasure chest. A fun story with some quirky challenges, you could take it or leave it really, unless you’ve already seen all the ones we recommend checking out.

The Desert Princess and the Pirates: A condensed version of the Arabasta Arc, we suggest sticking with the anime rather than watching this as a lot of content that rounds out the action and events (and explains things) is cut in lieu of fitting it to the feature film length. Definitely skip it!

A remake of the Drum Island Arc, this one doesn’t fit the original story’s timeline given that certain crew members make an appearance on Drum Island before the events of their official debuts. Don’t bother unless you’re in the ‘What-Ifs.’ We don’t suggest watching this because the disparity in the continuity, given the major deviation in timeline, is just unnecessary.

Written by Oda himself, the tenth film celebrates One Piece’s 10th anniversary. Until now, Oda had only supplied design references and approved story ideas, and so far we’ve had a couple of good movies (and a lot we could skip) but with the maestro himself leading the way, how could this not be a must-watch? We’re used to the whacky characters, OTT plots and general Straw Hat chaos from the anime, and this movie has all that trademark One Piece goodness that makes it a great watch. If you had to pick only one of the films to watch, we’d say this is it.

A 30-minute film where we see One Piece animated through CGI for the first time. Luffy’s all-important Straw Hat goes missing and the rest of the crew get roped into all sorts of shenanigans as they search for it. There’s really not much else to the story (how could there be when it’s only 30-minutes long?) so you won’t miss anything at all if you skip it. This is also the last film set before the time-skip.

This continues where the Ambition of Z Arc left off (Episodes 575-578) and is a direct continuation from Glorious Island. We finally find out the secret agenda of the infamous former Marine Admiral ‘Z’ and his fleet of Neo Marines.A story that gets you emotionally invested, Z looks at one of the biggest threats to the age of piracy with stylish designs and fantastic fights to boot. Definitely make time for this one!

Following the Silver Mine Arc (Episodes 747-750), One Piece Hear of Gold and directly in continuation from One Piece Film: Gold Episode 0, the 13th film take us on adventure to the Monaco of the New World, the luxurious Gran Tesoro, and we finally get a glimpse of the man that had Bill of the Silver Pirate Alliance shaking in his boots. We recommend checking this one out, it’s campy, funny, and epic with unexpectedly serious undertones, so it’s quintessentially One Piece!

In commemoration of One Piece’s 20th Anniversary, we have a festival ‘made by pirates for pirates’ and the Straw Hats are reunited with some of the most colourful characters from the high seas. Everything in One Piece can be traced back to Gol D. Roger, so how could a movie about his treasure be anything less than a must-watch? We won’t say much else, but you absolutely must check it out because it brings all the best bits of One Piece together and knocks it right out of the park!

The 15th film, One Piece Film: Red will be coming soon in 2022. We don’t know a whole lot about it so far except that Oda will be introducing a new character for the film as seen in the poster, and that we’re probably going to learn more about Shanks (the OG Straw Hat man).
With how well the movies have been turning out lately (the last three all being must-watches), we can hardly wait for the new one! Can you?

While all of the movies are good to pass time with, here are our must-watch Mugiwara movies:

And that’s a wrap! And yes, we really mean it this time. Now you’re up to date with all anime, movies, tv specials, and short special releases regarding One Piece. While it’s goodbye for now (really this time), we promise we’ll be back again as long as the anime continues to air and the movies keep coming, so keep your log poses on hand for when we get back to Navigating the Straw Hats’ Journey!
So which was your favourite One Piece movie? How many did you check out? Are you excited about One Piece Film: Red? Let us know in the comments below!
Writer

Author: G
An aspiring animated filmmaker, graphic designer, writer, I’m pretty much a jack-of-all-trades hoping to master some! I’m an artist with a knack for software, so epic fight scenes, campy aesthetics and artsy animation are right up my alley. Webcomics, late-night cartoons, obscure movies, rare books and of course, anime take up the bulk of my free time (and my not so free time too! ). So I spend my days cycling between my anime obsessions and existential dread over my never-ending watchlist.
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