Advent Children What does Advent Children mean to you?

silentfuzzle

Newbie
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
3
Location
THE INTERNET
Gil
0
Hello all!


Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children has been my favorite movie ever since it came out, and for the past few years, Ive been studying it to find out why I like it so much. This has included examining similar CGI movies to see why nothing has quite reached its caliber. I recently wrote a series of articles in which I discuss a theory that Advent Children tells a story primarily through action and visuals that can be interpreted in multiple ways.


Im curious to know what this film means to other people. As a CGI movie enthusiast who hasnt spent much time with the Final Fantasy VII game, I interpret Advent Childrens story mostly through the imagery and themes, such as reunion and solitude, life and death, and mental illness, in the film itself. Over the past few months, Ive read interpretations from Final Fantasy VII fans that I would have never thought of. One review pointed out the similarity between Clouds relationship with Sephiroth in the game and Kadajs relationship with Cloud in the movie. Some reviewers say that Clouds personality in the movie didnt match what they expected from what happened in the game. Others argue that it makes sense. Some say that Cloud fights alone at the end of the movie because hes the only one with a reason to fight. In the game, all his friends had personal reasons to fight Sephiroth. Others say the battle with Cloud and Sephiroth at the end of Advent Children is irredeemably pointless fanservice.


Gathering these opinions through film reviews has been difficult though since reviews of this movie rarely discuss its storytelling or filmmaking techniques. Most reviewers simply say that the story is incomprehensible or non-existent, or they claim that the creators dont know how to make a film, dont understand their own universe, or only made this film to make money off fanservice. In Advent Childrens case, I think this is rather insulting and disrespectful, especially when reviewers make no attempt to understand what the creators were doing and explain why it didnt work for them.


So I thought I would find some Final Fantasy forums and ask you all directly. Why do you like or dislike this film? What does this film mean to you? Do you have favorite scenes or favorite shots? What do you like about them? Who are the children? Who is Denzel? Who or what does the wolf represent? Why did we need to see a scene of Clouds phone falling to the bottom of a pool? What is the point of Cloud and Tifa lying in a field of flowers while whimsical music plays in the background?


If youd like more information/examples on this topic, you can read my articles on Advent Children on the Extra Life Community website here:


http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/advent-children-what’s-beneath-the-fan-service-part-1-r991/


http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/advent-children-what’s-beneath-the-fan-service-part-2-r999/


http://community.extra-life.org/articles.html/communitycontent/advent-children-what’s-beneath-the-fan-service-part-3-r1011/


Note that Im discussing the original film, but feel free to talk about the added/modified scenes in Advent Children Complete. Make sure to specify which version of the film youre talking about.


Thank you for your time!
 

Example

Ex-Soldier
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
76
Gil
0
Aerith
Vincent
Tifa Lockhart
Cloud Strife
I used to like it when it first came out, but after completing FF7 for the first time a few years back I understand and even agree with why it's so hated. Even setting aside the fact that it doesn't make a lick of sense unless you've played the game, it's the ultimate nostalgic cashgrab that was 100% made for the money, no different than the notorious straight-to-video Disney sequels. It just went through the motions without doing anything new in terms of story, character development or lore, and it's even worse due to the majority of the game's beloved cast being shoved into the background to make room for three uninteresting, nearly identical villains with the same personality. At times it even detracts from the original FF7; it almost seems after playing the game for over 40 hours you never accomplished anything at all, since Sephiroth is destined to come back and probably still could come back at any time, and the Shinra corporation that had caused so much damage the planet is still in operation.

Basically it just had no real reason to exist besides making money off the fans.
 

silentfuzzle

Newbie
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
3
Location
THE INTERNET
Gil
0
So when comparing it to the game, you hate Advent Children, but when comparing it to nothing, you liked it? Advent Children is arguably a bad sequel, but does that make it a bad movie?


Advent Children actually does some really interesting and unique things with its story, character development, and filmmaking techniques. Consider that this is an action film that features a personal drama about a guy struggling with the deaths of two friends and memories of past enemies. This story could have taken place in a brand new universe, but it instead told this story through Final Fantasy VII elements. The film tells its story almost entirely through action and visuals as opposed to spoon feeding an obvious tale through dialog. Finally, it is a fully computer generated, feature length film that approaches but purposefully avoids photorealism and stars human characters that successfully cross The Uncanny Valley. This is an extremely unconventional action movie, both the story and the way it is told.


I'd also argue that this film makes sense but can be difficult to understand regardless of whether you've played the game or not. There are certainly things that only Final Fantasy VII fans will understand or care about, but I think almost anyone, fans and non-fans, can relate to Cloud and follow him through the film's strange setting. The problem is that Advent Children rarely uses dialog, and when it does, the characters rarely explain to the audience what's happening. The film gives its viewers the respect and space to put its pieces together themselves, which opens it to interpretation. It has a story... but only if you take the time to find it in its action and visuals. Unfortunately, many assume that it doesn't contain a story, or a good story, for a multitude of reasons without even examining the movie.


I find it hard to believe that this film exists only to pull money out of fans. It attracted many new people to Final Fantasy VII and Final Fantasy in general. You sound like one of them. Of course, the creators wanted to make money. Artists need money to continue making art, and this film can be examined and classified as art. Its association with a video game only makes it more often examined and classified as fan service. This film chose to experiment with CGI, a very young storytelling medium, and unconventional filmmaking techniques over creating a straightforward tale stuffed with characters, details, and references to the game as every other fan service film would do. If it exists only for fans, then why did it do so much else?
 

Example

Ex-Soldier
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
76
Gil
0
Aerith
Vincent
Tifa Lockhart
Cloud Strife
I actually first played FF7 before I ever saw the movie, but didn't really get into it until many years later. I enjoyed AC in the "turn your brain off and just watch the action" way, even though I didn't understand what was going on I mentally filled in the blanks and assumed it would have all been explained in the original. In a way I was right, but then I realised just how much AC detracted from the original FF7 experience. I had pretty much the exact same experience with MGS4, which was my favourite game for years until I played the first three games, then I perfectly understood all the hate it received since it crapped all over the story, characters, lore and legacy of the previous games, tied up all the loose ends in the laziest, most spiteful way possible. and provided one of the most unsatisfying conclusions ever told in a video game, all in the name of squeezing money from fanboys (Kojima admitted on record that he only made the game for the fans). Much like what AC did to FF7, but at least MGS4 had fun gameplay to make up for it (for like 4 or 5 hours, unfortunately).
 

silentfuzzle

Newbie
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
3
Location
THE INTERNET
Gil
0
Some things I'd believe were only created for the money. Personally, I hate Advent Children Complete because almost everything added to the original film is fan service and pointless action. The new Star Wars movies are formulaic cash cows because Disney is too scared to try anything new. Final Fantasy XV is broken into so many pieces that I don't know if any of them can be enjoyed in isolation. I've only played the first MGS, so I can't really comment on it. MGS4 can still provide a fun gaming experience just as Advent Children can provide an excellent action movie in isolation though, even with the awareness of their faults in general or in the context of related media.


I have a hard time believing that Advent Children was only done for the money and only ruins the game. Really, I've heard as many theories from fans who defend the movie with content from the game as I've heard from FFVII fans who claim it undermines the game. I've talked to people who never played the game but understood the movie's basic premise. I've heard fans of the game claim it doesn't make sense to anyone on the assumption that the story in the movie is in the game. I've written reviews about why this movie's action and character-driven story entertains better than any CGI action movie out there (which admittedly, isn't a high bar). It has nothing to do with action for action's sake (unless the viewer is just the type of person who likes watching empty action). You can look at this film as something that malicious people who don't understand their own world created or as something that the creators made because they love Final Fantasy VII and wanted to do something unique with it. This film's openness to interpretation is both a blessing and curse.


...But the existence of Advent Children Complete is kind of an admittance that the creators have no idea what they made or why it was so effective... or some clueless producer thought it was a good idea.
 
Last edited:

Example

Ex-Soldier
Joined
Feb 26, 2017
Messages
76
Gil
0
Aerith
Vincent
Tifa Lockhart
Cloud Strife
Yep. Pretty much how I feel about Advent Children is exactly the same way I feel about the new Star Wars movies (or any of them outside the original trilogy) and MGS4. And let's not forget Square did the exact same thing to FFX with X-2.5
 

JigoKuu

Cyberfujoshi
Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
206
Age
27
Location
Sopron/Budapest (Hungary, EU)
Gil
2
Andre the Adamantoise
Carlos el Cactuar
Barry the Behemoth
Build-A-Member
Chocobo Egg
Thief
FFXIV
Jun Sasaki
FFXIV Server
Lamia
Free Company
FFF
Advent Children was the first connection I have ever had with the FF franchise, so it's normal that it means me a lot, and it didn't change even these years.

As a teenager who hadn't played the original game before watching the movie, AC was still a powerful film to me. It had stunning visuals, great characters with such strong bonds I could feel even without playing the game. It had exciting plot, great twists, epic fight scenes and brilliant music. I just wanted to watch it again and again because it had everything I needed that time (and even now, hahaha). I knew it is just the top of the iceberg and the game has much more depth but I could still enjoy it with all my being.

But after playing the game and knowing the characters and the other parts of that iceberg, AC started to mean a lot more. It was the sequel of a legendary (and simply mind-blowing) game with all the greatness of it - condensed in a movie. As I see the game was the fall/failure Cloud (I know it's quite cruel/raw to say, but I'll explain it later), and AC was Cloud's propitiation.

I mean of course I realise that unbelievable depth FFVII has, but as I see AC's protagonist and main focus/centre character was Cloud, so I try to narrow the game's happenings just to Cloud's character to explain how I interpreted the movie's basic topic. So in the game we were able to find out what the real truth was behind Cloud's past. He (as ofc the other characters, too) suffered a lot, especially when

Aerith died.

But as I see, in AC he was able to finally find himself. I do believe he couldn't do it in the game (not even after realising his own past), but he had the opportunity to fix his broken character/soul. He couldn't turn time back, so he had all the scars caused by his past, but finally he was able to become the true and full Cloud. He was released from the pain caused by the guilt of you-know-which-character's-deaths. He was finally saved. He had to live with his sins, he had to bear the consequences of his/his friends' actions, but he finally was a whole again. Thanks to Aerith and the others.

So... yeah, basicly this is how I feel about this movie. It wasn't simply a nice show, but it was really important when it comes to the development of Cloud's character. And of course we could saw Sephiroth again~~~


Edit:
I answered (or at least tried to answer) these questions. :D

Do you have favorite scenes or favorite shots? What do you like about them?

My favourite part is when Sephiroth appears again, and Cloud starts to fight him. That moment when Cloud say "You don't understand anything. There's no such thing that isn't important." is a scene I always makes me shiver - I love it! And I also love the AC Complete's extra scenes, too!

Who are the children? Who is Denzel?
As I interpret the story, Denzel is the guilt all of the AVALANCHE members. All the pain they caused to innocent citizens, in the form of a young boy. I must say I love how they put him into the story, he fits great!

Who or what does the wolf represent?
Haha, great question! When I think about it, I am always reminded of Cloud when it comes to that wolf. Cloud is a loner, a lone wolf. But after meeting all his friends, he finally gets that troop/flock (due to the fact that I'm not a native speaker, I really don't know which noun to use, lol. My translator gave me about 10 nouns when I searched for the word which means "group of wolves" xD These seemed to be the best from that list of words).

Why did we need to see a scene of Cloud’s phone falling to the bottom of a pool?

When it comes to that scene, I always associate to that scene when

right after Aerith's death, the White Materia fell into the water.

What is the point of Cloud and Tifa lying in a field of flowers while whimsical music plays in the background?
Omg, I really don't know. Maybe to show how beautiful they are outside, but how destroyed their soul is inside? Maybe?xD
 

Rammy

Newbie
Joined
Sep 30, 2017
Messages
3
Gil
0
​To me it was a comfort seeing Cloud be able to come to terms with what happened to Aerith and knowing that she would be his spiritual guide when he needs her. I would like to think that could happen in real life although only certain people believe it.
 

Lioncourt

Newbie
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
9
Age
35
Location
UK
Gil
0
FFXIV
Dantiego
FFXIV Server
Cerberus
I'd been waiting for this movie for years, following its inception from a short movie to a feature length. I often wonder how much time I wasted keeping up to date with it... I was so excited when it finally saw release in the UK! To me, it was like catching up with old friends, a Reunion if you will. To see them in a way I can relate to even more, modernized and without the pixels and hooves, almost made me cry. Its by no means a perfect movie, and oftentimes I wish they'd done more with the opportunity, but I'm ever grateful for it. And with a remake of the installment that spawned the Compilation on the horizon I believe that VII isn't going away any time soon!
 

Six

𝗦𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗱𝗲 °˖✧
Staff member
Admin Support
Social Media Team
Veteran
Joined
Mar 24, 2009
Messages
11,607
Location
Saturn.
Gil
1,355
I actually quite liked Advent Children and I'm sometimes a bit baffled to see that so many people hate / dislike it.

I certainly think it was better than Spirits Within, although that might be my bias for FFVII, lol. I wish it was a bit more fleshed out, and of course, as a Cloud and Tifa lover, I wish we had a few more scenes with them, but overall I really enjoyed it.

I also enjoyed Advent Children: Complete.
 

Verena

Member
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
178
Location
Korea/Germany
Gil
97
Garnet
Chocobo
Celes' Tent
Tifa Lockhart
Serah Farron
Moogle
i luvved acc! it was the first video after crisis core showing full animated realistic ff7 figures. ofc the detailed main figures were fascinating and cool battles in there. 2years after the showdown of ff7 and reborn of sephiroth
 

Galadín

☽ ★ Imaginary ★ ☾
Staff member
Global Moderator
Veteran
Joined
Jul 15, 2013
Messages
1,732
Location
Somewhere in time
Gil
668
Coloured Thread
Moogle
Cloud Strife
Sephiroth
Aerith
Mog's Tent
FFXIV
Salvae Celeres
FFXIV Server
Lamia
Free Company
Symphony
I really loved Advent Children, I was gifted it for Christmas the year I finished playing Crisis Core (a game which left me so bereaved and so bereft I thought I would never smile again - maybe a little dramatic here but not by much). Anyways, yes, I watched it about three times that week, I think thematically it just really spoke to me and seeing the characters and locals in CG just made me so excited! Kadaj's hair having a personality of its own, the beautiful defused lighting in the church and highway chase scenes, the clothing textures - just everything looked so pretty!

The soundtrack too was truly something special. I was part of a basketball team around the time I was going through this phase, and this soundtrack was pretty much what I worked out too trying to get match fit, and man, was it motivating!

I later got the Complete edition of the movie and was loving every second of the additional scenes. Especially seeing Zack included during the showdown with Sephiroth just.....yeah, it broke me :cry:

I know there's objectively a lot which people could pick apart from this movie but honestly I don't really care. It's so nostalgic to me that no matter how valid the criticism might be, it doesn't make any difference - I am 100% biased and there's no real way of changing that.

Also, that "Good to see you Cloud" moment still gives me chills to this day...
 

Verena

Member
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
178
Location
Korea/Germany
Gil
97
Garnet
Chocobo
Celes' Tent
Tifa Lockhart
Serah Farron
Moogle
i dont see Ac negatively at all. On tbe contrary, there are many things i could not follow and still thinking about them. Maybe when i see it now again, many things become clearer, maybe still not. But i met my game friends in like real persons and that made me very happy. in the ff7 remake its same thing. the original game had not the graphic standard acc and ff7r brought up. i wanna meet my beloved friends....
 

Vivi-Gamer

Veteran
Joined
May 5, 2007
Messages
732
Gil
393
Vivi
I've always held Advent Children in high regard! It was a very big deal when it came out and I rememebr importing it via eBay jsut so me and my friend could see it in our teens - Think the copy was just on a blank DVD-R but the quakity was legit :P

But I liked what it covered, Kadaj and crew made for a good set of antagonists and it offers a lot of decent action scenes! The concept of the newely formed disease was interesting and I liekd the art direction it had. Don't have anything really bad to say about Advent Children other than the horrendous dub - i always watch it in Japanese so I don't get dilly-dallyshillyshallied! :LOL:

I haven't actually got aroudn to the Complete version yet, I've always wanted to after replaying the game again, but then Remake appeared and now I am waiting to see that through before experiencing it.
 
Top