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Pokemon: The First Movie
As the very first Pokemon movie, Mewtwo Strikes Back is rather straight-forward in plot as Ash and pals encounter genetically-engineered Pokemon, Mewtwo, and try stopping its plans of world domination against humans and human-raised Pokemon, at least as far as what the English dubbed version wants you to assume. In the original Japanese version, Mewtwo was more a morally ambiguous villain questioning its very existence after being created by Team Rocket scientists and there was a prologue animated for home video releases of the film that provided more back story to Mewtwo's origins than what was covered in the first 10 minutes of the film. Recent releases of the movie from Viz Media lack this prologue, so would be understandable if many assumed Mewtwo was a cookie-cutter baddie seeking global domination with his cloned Pokemon. |
As a whole for the English dub, the film's rather forgettable and makes a laughable attempt at trying to push a moral on Pokemon not being used for fighting, in spite of the fact that it is the very premise for the franchise's existence. The film sports clean visuals and fluid animation that are a noticeable improvement over the more restrictive TV budget for the Pokemon TV anime. But beyond the visuals, this is perhaps one of the more mediocre offerings within the Pokemon franchise.
Last updated Friday, February 22 2019. Created Friday, February 22 2019.
Pokemon: The First Movie
The Pokemon Movie is essentially a TV episode with better animation and a longer running time. Not that there's anything wrong with that. We can thank Pokemon for helping to make anime more accesable, and this theatrical feature is mainstream anime. |
The story follows the Pokemon MewTwo, the most powerful Pokemon created, as it attempts to clone Pokemon for its own nefarious purposes. Ash, Misty and co get wind of this and attempt to stop it. The fairly connect-the-dots story is simple and fine for children.
What bugged me about this is when the pokemon are fighting without powers, punching and bludgioning one another, Ash cries out that this isn't right, that pokemon shouldn't fight like this. Um...excuse me, but wouldn't fighting with fists be less damaging than, oh, I don't know...electrocuting each other with lightning or burning each other with fire?!?! The hipocrytical message that fighting isn't the way to solve things when the series is ABOUT pokemon battles kind of nags at me.
Still, Pokemon is harmless fluff, and even...brace yourselves...enjoyable. Kids will love it, as evidenced by the Great Pokemon Boom a few years back, and there's nothing objectionable for the concerned parent. If nothing else, Pokemon may introduce an entire new generation to the wonders of anime.
Last updated Sunday, December 09 2001. Created Sunday, December 09 2001.