Naruto the Movie 3: Guardians of the Crescent Moon Kingdom

The third movie of the Naruto Anime series was released in theaters in Japan on August 5, 2006. It was written and directed by Toshiyuki Tsuru. The English dubbed version premiered on Cartoon Network on November 8, 2008. It was then released on DVD in America on November 11, 2008.

Naruto Uzumaki, Kakashi Hatake, Sakura Haruno, and Rock Lee are assigned to protect the prince of the Land of the Moon, Michiru, during his world trip. The Land of the Moon is a very wealthy nation, so Michiru tends to buy whatever he wants, and isn't too quick to follow the directions of his escorts. His son, Hikaru, also acts in much the same manner, annoying Naruto. When Hikaru takes a liking to a rare sabertoothed tiger featured at a circus, Michiru ends up purchasing not only it, but the whole circus as well. Now the team has to look over both their client and his newly-acquired pets.

After returning to the Land of the Moon, they find that the country has been taken over by Shabadaba, one of the nobles. Having hired three powerful ninja to assist him, Shabadaba has disposed of the king and plans to do the same with Michiru and Hikaru, the remaining heirs to the throne. He orders the military forces to kill them all, but the team is able to escape with the help of some soldiers still loyal to the king.

Escaping to a hidden cave, Michiru finds that his father is still alive, but Sakura was only able to keep him alive for a short period. Before dying, the king tells Michiru and Hikaru that people are truly important in life, not material goods. During an attempt to escape the country by boat, the three ninja hired by Shabadaba attack, disabling Naruto, Kakashi, Sakura, and Lee with sense-dulling poison. The prince is captured, but the emergence of Naruto's fox chakra allows him to repell the attacking ninja before the prince's son can be taken.

At the castle, Shabadaba's reasons for taking over the country are revealed to be purely material, the same things Michiru considers important. He realizes what his father meant as Shabadaba decides to put him to death. Rather than do this quickly, Shabadaba decides to amuse himself by conducting a drawn-out hanging: he has Michiru balance on a board of wood not strong enough to support his weight while wearing a noose, ensuring that sooner or later he'll hang.

With the help of the circus Michiru purchased earlier, Kakashi's team makes a rescue attempt with Hikaru and the rogue soldiers. One by one, Kakashi and his team fight individual battles: Kakashi fights the many soldiers while each of the Genin fight one of the ninja. Using an array of chain and staff weapons, Lee defeats his opponent after some effort. Sakura is able to dispatch her poison-using opponent by shattering a chandelier to be able to locate her opponent and subsequently defeat her with one punch. Naruto's battle takes the longest, as it varies between trying to rescue Michiru and actually fighting. In the penultimate scene, Naruto, his leg disabled by his opponent's strange petrification jutsu, rides on Michiru's back to attack with his Rasengan, which reflects the light of the moon in such a manner that it grows and takes on a cresent shape.

With the threat over and the country now in the hands of Michiru, who plans to be a generous ruler in honor of his father, Kakashi's team sets out for a vacation.

Related Links:
- Naruto the Movie: Ninja Clash in the Land of Snow
- Naruto the Movie 2: Legend of the Stone of Gelel
- Naruto: Shippuden the Movie
- Naruto Shippuden 2: Bonds
- Naruto Shippuden 3: Inheritors of the Will of Fire