Keroppi: Let's Play Baseball is a 1996 Japanese-American animated sports comedy film directed by Ean Manley, Simon Wells, Gary Trousdale and Masami Hata.
It stars the voices of Jill Frappier, Tracey Hoyt, Julie Lemieux, Jeff Lumby, Nadine Rabinovitch, Elva Mai Hoover and Rino Romano. The film is about Keroppi and his friends being hectored by bullies, known as the Gammas, when they have fun in the playground. Both of them agree to have a baseball competition. So, Keroppi and his friends teamed up to fight against the Gammas.
Keroppi: Let's Play Baseball was released on July 20, 1996 to critical acclaim and was a box office success.
The story begins with Soak running to go tell Keroppi (who was taking a nap) at Donut Pond the bad news that happened at the playing field today. He tells him that their playing field has been taken over by some bullies which happened just now. Soak was playing volleyball with Curtis over at the field and they were having fun until the bullies called the Gammas, who come from Toadsville, show up to kick them off by scaring them to make Curtis cry.
They tried to stand up to them, but they couldn't. So Keroppi and his friends go back to the field to talk to them. They tried to confront them by keeping their cool, but it didn't work. Just then, a man named Professor Johannson, who was an inventor and lives in a workshop behind the park, heard them fight across the park, and came to challenge Keroppi and his friends against the Gammas in baseball by making them promise to play fair and square and observe the rules of good sportsmanship by saying aye.
Back at Donut Pond, Keroppi, with his friends and siblings gather together to prepare for the baseball game next week by picking a name for their team called the Keroppies which everyone agrees with that name. Everyone is nervous about it, but Junk tells them that they'll have to think positive.
Later, that evening, Keroppi, Kevin, and Curtis look for some baseball gear so they can practice. Their mother, Keroma, then walks in to ask them if they wanted to play catch, but they didn't want to since they were having a big game next week. She was surprised and tells them that she had to make uniforms for the whole team. At the field, Junk was going to be coaching the Keroppies since he has the most experience and TeruTeru reads the lineup. Practice starts with some round ups, but it doesn't go exactly as planned, so Junk decides to give up and started to storm off. Keroppi tries to confront him to come back and play, but it didn't work.
That night, Keroppa gives Keroppi, Curtis, and Kevin just the pep talk that they needed to motivate the whole team. The next day, at the field, baseball practice starts to get better thanks to Noberun's success which gave everyone a big boost for batting practice, and made them actually have fun. On the night before the big game, everybody went to bed early to be rested, including the captain who was pretty good at snoozing already.
The next day, it was finally game day, and both teams have showed up as planned and the Gammas sure looked ready to play, especially the Keroppies as well who sure looked ready for the big league in their new uniforms that Keroma made. The two captains do paper scissors rock to decide who gets first ups since Professor Johannson forgot his coin and they win and were first up.
Later, TeruTeru announces today's game between the Gammas and Keroppies with DenDen to get her the slow motion replay. Benjamin "Boom Boom" Franklin starts the Keroppies off, but he gets three strikes in a row and he was out, and so were Curtis and Keroppi, but Soak tells everyone to stay positive. The Keroppies take the field and the Gammas are up now, but Newton was still having trouble getting the ball who still gave it a good shot. Alfred the Catcher was next up and Keroppi was ready to throw some heat which made it a high fly up to center field. Soak was about to back Keroleen up, but the ball lands on her glove, and was relieved that she caught the ball. The Gammas still put together a couple of big hits, and they drive in Mighty Mike for the first run in the game.
Meanwhile, Keroppa rides his bike to watch his children play baseball until he notices that Junk wasn't over at the field and offers him the bike so he would be able to catch most of the game, which made him change his mind and he was good shape from playing so many sports so he could peddle very quickly.
Back at the field, during the big game, everyone was at the top of the ninth thinning with Keroppies at bat. Both teams have played excellent ball with the Gammas leading six to four, and Newton was coming to the plate which made everyone cheer for him. Just then, Junk arrives at the field, but Newton doesn't get out of the way which made the ball hit his bandage, making it fly away. He was still relieved that he made it to the game after all, and they missed having him around. Junk then apologizes to Newton for blowing, and Soak gets the idea to let him get in the game and he accepts it. Now back into the game wearing his uniform, Junk starts to play and keep his cool throughout the entire game. He had a good eye waiting for his pitch, and makes the team. The game starts to continue, and Newton finally catches the ball on his glove which made the Keroppies win by one. Suddenly, it starts to rain.
Luckily for the Gammas and Keroppies, there were lots of big trees for shelter in the park, and Keroppi states that game is gonna be called on the count of rain. Wally reveals that the Gammas lose, so Junk suggests that they should call it a tie game. Suddenly, Professor Johannson tells them that the only one who can decide the results is the empire and that happened to be him. He told them that when they got here, all they could think about was their differences, but now that has all changed which was the best result they can ask for. The Gammas and Keroppies start to become friends, and Junk and Wally state that it's not whenever you win or lose, and it's how you play the game.
In the end, TeruTeru and DenDen reveal that Keroppi's parents are really proud of how they work things out, and Keroppa makes it to the game, stating that he didn't miss too much excitement if the game got cancelled on the count of rain.
Ean Manley became interested in baseball and Sanrio ask Ean to make a baseball project featuring Keroppi the Frog, which he accepted. He asked Paramount to distribute the movie, which they accepted.
Keroppi: Let's Play Baseball was theatrically released on July 20, 1996 in the United States and Japan.
A baseball mascot version of Keroppi in his baseball uniform was shown in baseball games in 1996, just to promote the film.
Burger King made promotions for the film, giving out toys based on the Keroppi characters in their baseball uniforms, in Big Kids Meal and Kids Meal orders.
Theatrical release promotions
- A baseball mascot version of Keroppi in his baseball uniform was shown in baseball games in 1996, just to promote the film.
- To promote the release of Keroppi: Let's Play Baseball, Burger King made promotions for the film, giving out toys based on the Keroppi characters in their baseball uniforms, in Big Kids Meal and Kids Meal orders.