Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Every One Piece Movie Ranked Worst To Best

One Piece has been an anime and manga juggernaut for more than two decades. The series follows fearless pirate captain Monkey D. Luffy and his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates, as they search for the story's titular treasure. The manga, written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda, debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump way back in 1997, and is still going strong. How strong, you ask? Well, One Piece nabbed a Guinness World Record in 2015 for having the most copies published of any comic series created by a single author, and has sold a whopping 470 million copies as of 2020.

The long-running manga is at the core of a larger media franchise that includes light novels, video games, and, of course, anime. The One Piece anime series got going in 1999, and has spawned 14 movies featuring original, self-contained stories. While a number of them are considered absolutely essential viewing, some should be avoided like tree fever. This is every One Piece movie, ranked from worst to best. Spoilers ahead.

Straw Hat Chase (2011)

Straw Hat Chase was the first One Piece film to use computer animation, and the results are disappointing. The cel shading feels completely jarring to long-time One Piece fans, to say nothing of the problems with the plot — or lack thereof. As the title suggests, the story revolves around Luffy and the crew attempting to locate his beloved straw hat. After a search of the Thousand Sunny turns up nothing, the crew discover that an eagle took off with the hat and give chase.

The issue here is style over substance. Far East Films called Straw Hat Chase a "visual spectacle" in its review, but admitted that the film "isn't exactly loaded with depth." That's primarily due to the movie's brief runtime: At a mere 30 minutes long, it's hard to compare this forgettable 3D caper to the legit feature-length One Piece films. Why was it released as a movie if it's so short, you might be wondering? Straw Hat Chase actually came out as part of a double feature, debuting alongside Toriko 3D: Gourmet Adventure in 2011. It hasn't gained many fans in the years since.

Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals (2002)

2002's Chopper's Kingdom on the Island of Strange Animals is an unremarkable movie that struggles to hold the audience's interest, despite its short runtime of 45 minutes. The film starts out like most One Piece movies do, with the Straw Hats on the hunt for some treasure. They arrive at an island they've never set eyes upon before, and prepare to do their thing. But wouldn't you know it — this island turns out to be full of strange animals.

When crew member Tony Tony Chopper (a reindeer who has been able to take on a humanoid form ever since he ate some Devil Fruit) accidentally kills the king of the animals, he is crowned their new leader, on account of being able to speak the human language. This is despite the fact that an actual human boy has been living on the island for years, using the same language the residents suddenly revere. Don't overthink it — the movie certainly doesn't. It's a borderline nonsensical film that barely features the other crew members.

One Piece: The Movie (2000)

The first ever One Piece film dropped back in 2000, and hasn't aged particularly well in the two decades since. Like the majority of anime movies released during the run of an accompanying TV show, One Piece: The Movie is essentially filler from beginning to end. The Straw Hat Pirates decide to deviate from their planned route after Eldorrago's crew try (and fail) to rob them. Luffy learns of Eldorrago's plans: He has obtained a map to the legendary pirate captain Woonan's hidden treasure, said to contain a third of the world's gold. Luffy and his crew encounter some competent but ultimately forgettable enemies as they attempt to beat Eldoraggo to the riches.

The truth is, One Piece: The Movie just isn't that memorable. There are only four Straw Hats at this stage (we're talking pre-Sanji early, here) and certain group dynamics that formed later in the series are sorely missed. The art style is most definitely of its time, too. When The Hollywood News reviewed the One Piece Movie Collection 1 DVD release in 2014, it noted that the animation in the first movie "doesn't look as good as the show" and that it "seems older" than its actual age. The last two decades have only made that divide more glaring.

Clockwork Island Adventure (2001)

The Straw Hat Pirates' beloved ship, the Going Merry, is stolen by the fearsome Trump Pirates in 2001's Clockwork Island Adventure, the second One Piece movie. Luffy and his crew set out to get her back, but things get complicated when navigator Nami is also snatched by the Trumps, who operate from a stronghold located on Clockwork Island. Their leader, the Bear King, the oldest Trump brother and the film's main antagonist, intends to take Nami as his bride, but the Straw Hats have other ideas.

When they arrive at the island, the pirates pair off with their respective opponents and a series of one-on-one fights ensues, most of them pretty predictable. Sanji the cook has joined the crew by this point, bringing the total number of Straw Hats up to five. He takes part in one of the film's better battles, but it's not enough to make up for the lackluster finish — the Bear King may look tough, but it only takes Luffy a couple of blows to finish him off. There are some truly great One Piece movies that fans would love to see made canon, but Clockwork Island Adventure isn't one of them.

The Desert Princess and the Pirates (2007)

Released in 2007, The Desert Princess and the Pirates is the eighth One Piece movie and an abridged, feature-length version of the beloved Alabasta Arc. It begins when the crew comes across a stranded man, who turns out to be a gang member loyal to the Devil Fruit-powered Crocodile, the main villain of the aforementioned arc. The remastered animation is crisp, and there's plenty of classic One Piece action to be had: The film plays out like a tournament as the Straw Hat Pirates go up against Crocodile's formidable henchmen in a series of big battles. So why doesn't The Desert Princess and the Pirates place higher on this list?

The trouble is, if you aren't already familiar with the arc and, to some extent, the overall Alabasta Saga (in which the Straw Hats aid Princess Nefertari Vivi as she tries to reach Alabasta before war destroys her kingdom), you're going to be a little lost. "The humor can be enjoyed by anyone, but watching a movie with no explanation of what has happened [prior] can leave newbies confused," IGN said in its review of the DVD. That's pretty much the problem in a nutshell. If you're familiar with One Piece's second saga, you'll probably get a kick out of this one. If you're not, steer clear.

Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura (2008)

2008's Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura takes the Drum Island Arc from the anime and condenses it into a 113 minute movie, with a few interesting twists. Characters that weren't yet part of the crew when this all played out in the anime are now present, complete with their future power sets. This kind of thing could create all kinds of headaches in terms of continuity if the films were considered canon, but they aren't, so don't let the fact that Franky and Nico Robin are present put you off. This is, all in all, a pretty entertaining One Piece film.

Bloom in Winter, Miracle Sakura opens with Nami running a serious fever. A concerned Luffy decides to dock at the nearest island, but the island is blanketed in snow and there's only one doctor on it. Luffy nearly dies of exposure trying to save her, but luckily for him, a little stranger named Chopper saves the day. The Drum Island native cures Nami's disease and becomes the crew's doctor. This is the second One Piece film based on Chopper, and it's without a doubt the better of the two.

Mega Mecha Solider of Karakuri Castle (2006)

By 2006, Toei seemed to have realized that a good One Piece movie needs more than just large scale fight scenes and a few belly laughs. The seventh One Piece film, Mega Mecha Soldier of Karakuri Castle, contains both of those things, but the Straw Hats are also asked to use their brains a little by taking on puzzles and solving riddles. The film opens with Luffy and his crew plundering a sunken ship for treasure. They recover just a single chest, and when they open it, they find an old woman hiding inside — turns out she dumped the treasure and hid in the chest to survive a crazy storm. Nami is far from pleased, but the crew quickly come around when the lady tells them about the legend of the Golden Crown.

With the promise of treasure and adventure ahead, the Straw Hats agree to transport the woman to her home on Mecha Island, which isn't actually an island but a giant sleeping sea turtle that only wakes up every thousand years. The place is run by a mad inventor who plans to use his advanced knowledge of machinery to take over the world like an evil Tony Stark. Things get even more complex when the turtle wakes up to lay its eggs. This is a fun little adventure that proved to be a step in the right direction for the One Piece movies.

The Cursed Holy Sword (2004)

2004's The Cursed Holy Sword upped the ante when it came to bloodshed in One Piece films. It isn't the goriest anime you'll ever see by any stretch, but the opening contains some pretty extreme violence for the sunny series, in which the eponymous blade slashes people to ribbons. The man wielding it is Saga, who took up the cursed sword to defend his home from pirates. It helped him save the residents of Asuka Island, but its power quickly consumed him, turning him into a cold, power-driven person.

It turns out Saga is a childhood friend of Roronoa Zoro, former bounty hunter and first member of the Straw Hat crew. When the Straw Hats land on Asuka Island some time later in search of the sword, Zoro turns on his friends and joins up with his old buddy. This leads to a showdown between Zoro and Sanji, the only time the two Straw Hats fight for real — Sanji is cut down by Zoro, but lives to fight another day. The Cursed Holy Sword contains another first: It's the only One Piece movie in which Zoro (who, of course, comes to his senses and rejoins Luffy's side) deals the final blow to the antagonist. All in all, a solid adventure featuring a wealth of great character moments.

Dead End Adventure (2003)

2003's Dead End Adventure is one of the older One Piece movies, but unlike other pre-timeskip entries, it's stood the test of time. Strapped for cash, the Straw Hat Pirates enter a competition known as the Dead End Race, a no-holds-barred sailing event with a huge prize purse. It's essentially the Cannonball Run on the high seas, and it's hard to take your eyes off it. The typical One Piece thrills and spills happen along the way, but what really makes Dead End Adventure stand out is its supporting cast.

Original characters aren't usually fleshed out very well in tie-in anime movies. They exist to serve a purpose during that contained story and, most of the time, aren't heard from ever again. As a result, they're typically pretty forgettable — but Dead End Adventure bucks the trend. Shuraiya Bascùd, a bounty hunter tracking the man that murdered his family, and Gasparde, the villainous ex-Marine that he's hunting, are both genuinely memorable characters with engaging storylines. If you're interested in early One Piece but want to get straight to the good stuff, start right here.

Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island (2005)

The first thing you notice when you sit down to watch 2005's Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island is that it looks totally different from the One Piece films that came before it. Director Mamoru Hosoda's signature style, as seen in Summer Wars and Digimon: The Movie, is present here, giving the Straw Hat Pirates a looser, more sketchy look. Animators scaled back the detail when it came to Luffy and his crew, concentrating instead on creating rich scenery and backgrounds. This new direction turned out to be a good idea: Baron Omatsuri and the Secret Island is a fine entry into the One Piece film canon.

The story begins when the crew find a flyer for Baron Omatsuri's island, a resort for the strongest pirates sailing the Grand Line. Deciding some downtime would be good, the Straw Hats set sail for the island, but (surprise, surprise) discover the place isn't what it seems. The Baron convinces Luffy to enter his crew into a bizarre competition called the Trial of Hell, and ends up driving a wedge between them, testing their bonds of friendship. Add in an evil, carnivorous flower and a colorful cast of supporting characters, and you've got a One Piece film that is definitely not to be missed.

One Piece Film: Gold (2016)

The 13th One Piece movie, 2016's One Piece Film: Gold, has an Ocean's Eleven vibe to it. The Straw Hats find themselves in the glittering casino city of Gran Tesoro, a hive of thrill-seeking millionaires and renowned pirates that operates outside the World Government's jurisdiction. Luffy and his crew decide to try their hand at winning big, but end up getting fleeced out of a fortune by the city's filthy rich leader, Gild Tesoro, who takes Zoro hostage. Seeing no other alternative, the Straw Hats plan a heist — they'll steal from Zoro's kidnapper and pay the ransom with his own money.

The film's themes seemed to strike a chord with Western critics. "The story really resonates," Nerdist said in its glowing review. "It's all about the fight between the haves and the have-nots, the oppression of the poor by the absurdly rich." The Los Angeles Times also waxed lyrical about the anime, writing: "On the surface it's a very silly comic adventure, but beneath the slapstick lies a blunt critique of economic inequality and the contemporary culture of greed." One Piece Film: Gold can be enjoyed by everyone, and is undoubtedly one of the jewels of the film collection.

One Piece Film: Strong World (2009)

Eiichiro Oda has always approved plot ideas for the One Piece movies, but One Piece Film: Strong World marked the first time he personally created the story and oversaw its production. The film sees the Straw Hats go up against Shiki the Golden Lion, a pirate so darn pirate-y, he cut off his own legs to escape captivity and replaced them with swords.

Strong World devolves into a rescue mission when Shiki becomes the latest crazed pirate to kidnap Nami. Plenty of over-the-top One Piece madness ensues, including flying ships, monstrous beasts, and a truly special bird named Billy. The film (which introduces Brook, the ship's musician, to English-speaking audiences for the first time) remains "true to the characters and the general feel of the pirate epic, and really, no one can come up with weird laughs or monsters quite like Oda," Anime News Network said in its review. It's a showcase of everything that has made One Piece the towering success it is today.

One Piece: Stampede (2019)

With a cavalcade of good reviews to its name, it's safe to say that the majority of critics and fans enjoyed 2019's One Piece: Stampede. The movie, released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the anime series, brings together the world's most notorious marauders for the Pirates Expo. The Straw Hats set out to search for Gold Roger's lost treasure as part of the festivities, but they soon discover that the event is a trap set by ambitious pirate Douglas Bullet, also known as the Demon Heir.

One Piece: Stampede quickly surpassed records set by One Piece: Gold in Japan, and went on to get a lot of love overseas as well. "Each scene is brimming with excitement, and it's an experience that only a franchise like One Piece can provide," ComicBook.com said in its review, while Den of Geek called Stampede "a gorgeous example of what the anime is capable of doing." Collider urged fans to see Stampede on the big screen to appreciate it in all its glory, while IGN praised the film for staying true to its roots: "It basks in the absurdities of '90s [shonen anime] and boasts about One Piece's own faithfulness to itself and its tone." Now that's a crowd-pleaser.

One Piece Film: Z (2012)

The first feature-length offering set after the timeskip, 2012's One Piece Film: Z often ranks as the number-one movie among fans of the franchise, largely because of its unforgettable villain. Z (pronounced "Zed") is a former Marine who has become obsessed with ridding the world of pirates and anyone else who stands in his way after acquiring the destructive  Dyna Stones. This puts him on a collision course with Luffy and the Straw Hats, though Z is gradually revealed to be a sympathetic villain — a pirate warlord murdered his wife and son. "The backstory of Z is both dramatic and, more importantly, convincing," Kotaku said in its review, "So much so that while you may not agree with his goals, you totally buy into it."

One Piece Film: Z is also a very stylish movie (the Straw Hats wear actual Armani Exchange outfits in it) with some truly memorable fights that, unlike the vast majority of One Piece films, actually have real stakes. Because the film releases aren't considered canon, it's sometimes hard to get emotionally invested in them, but Z goes way bigger than all the other antagonists by threatening to destroy the New World — and, therefore, the One Piece itself. If you're looking for the best One Piece film out there, look no further.