Knowing nothing of the Final Fantasy game or the plot, I rented this DVD specifically because of the intriguing preview. I wasn't aware if each was part of a single far-reaching story or a standalone film. Though this one seemed a mere episode, with very little explanation and a negligible individual plot, I found this snippet intriguing. I also was confused of the relationship between the characters in the prologue and this was never really explained. Those who follow the story probably had no such problem. One irritating point throughout was the way scenes would fade to black with several seconds of blank space between scenes. I also thought the presence of very contemporary-looking cars, as well as hollow-point bullets in the weapons to be a little anachronistic set alongside the monsters and magic.
What mainly impressed me, however, was the animation, which is...fantastic! To date, my viewing of live-action animations using computer graphics has been limited to three films, and this is the best one yet. It doesn't take much to accept that these characters are real actors and not computer graphic images. In spite of the fact they sometimes moved faster than an actual human could and performed impossible feats, they did look real. With only two exceptions, they appear lifelike. Lip movement and mouth shape was synced perfectly with the words being spoken. Where usually the features on these kind of images are bland, on these the detail, from wrinkles and expressions to individual strands of hair is near-perfect. Only the eyes gave away their artificiality. Though they moved and blinked, there was still a certain glassy, unfocused quality about them, as if the artists neglected them and instead concentrated on the faces.
One character was a little disconcerting--and disturbing--the Tom Baker Dr. Who-lookalike Neflheim councilor. With his big floppy hat and long muffler, he seemed completely out of place among the flowing robes and slightly medieval garb of the other characters, making me wonder if this was a tongue-in-cheek homage.
This was an entertaining film. Since it was an episode instead of a complete story, it did made me wish I'd come in at the beginning. I'm now intrigued enough to look up the others.
Review by tvsweeney-39052 from the Internet Movie Database.