Toei Animation announced over the weekend that a Digimon movie is currently in development to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise. The announcement was made in Tokyo at a special Digimon event. The movie is titled Gekijō-ban Digimon Adventure, which translates to Digimon Adventure The Movie, and will see the return of all of the original characters, including Tai, Matt, Sora, Izzy, Mimi, Joe, TK, and Kari, who are all now 22 years old. The movie announcement is exciting on its own, but the aging of the main characters is also huge news.

The animation studio also released a teaser image of what Tai and Matt look like now, at the age of 22. The Digimon movie shows a significant break from the Pokémon series, which has never had the characters age before. Although the movie will be released 20 years later, the characters aren't aging a full 20 years later, just enough to where they have all matured from being little kids. Original Digimon creator Hiromi Seki, and original producer of the anime, will be a supervisor for the upcoming film, while original character and monster designers Katsuyoshi Nakatsuru and Kenji Watanabe are returning as well.

Digimon was originally created in 1997 to take advantage of the Tamagotchi and Giga digital pet toys, which were massive at the time. The small electronic devices had users taking care of and interacting with their monsters, which is where the Digimon name came from: Digital Monsters. In 1999, the anime, Digimon Adventure, started up as well as the video game, which was titled Digimon World, both of which were a huge success.

The 15th anniversary of Digimon saw the release of a six-part series that serves as a direct sequel to the first two television series, Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02. The different installments of the series were released from November of 2015 to May of 2018, and each one is over an hour long. However,only parts 1-4 have been released in the states. Parts 5 and 6 have only been released in Japan as of this writing, but they are expected to be released in North America this year. This has led to some questions as to when the 20th anniversary movie will premiere stateside.

The 15th anniversary of the Digimon franchise did not show the main characters aging like the upcoming film does, which is a pretty big deal. The announcement over the weekend was expected to be something else entirely, so the reveal that a movie is in development was shocking, especially since the characters will all have new mature looks. There is no release date for the film set in Japan or North America, but a Japanese date should be announced in the coming months. While we wait for more news about the Digimon movie, you can check out the new mature looks of Tai and Matt from the Toei Animation announcement over this past weekend below.

Kevin Burwick