To give you an idea of just what kind of impression the first Pokémon movie had on me, consider this: it’s been over 20 years since I first saw Pokémon: The First Movie, and portions of the film have remained with me to this day. Don’t ask me why it took 20 years to watch the film for a second time, but that is indeed the approximate length of time between views.
In summary, Pokémon-The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back deals in large part with the introduction of Mewtwo, for me one of the most iconic Pokémon to be found in the entire franchise. Mewtwo is a clone of the ancient Pokémon Mew, and this knowledge drives Mewtwo to discover his purpose in life, a purpose that he ultimately decides (after some unfortunate encounters with Team Rocket) is to purge the world of humans and “inferior” Pokémon.
I still remember sitting and watching this movie in 1999 and being in awe of all of it. Mewtwo terrified me then, and if I’m honest he’s still pretty scary even now in the year 2020. The extent of his psychic powers is pretty intimidating from his introduction, and they only grow from there. I honestly forgot just how intense Mewtwo’s introductory scene is, the movie certainly starts off to a bang from the word go.
I was pleased to discover that even after all this time, I still enjoy the first Pokemon movie. Mew was one of my favorite parts of the movie. To tell the truth, I’d completely forgotten about everything Mew does in this film, and certain scenes had me positively squeaking with delight.
And then, of course, there’s THAT scene. Anyone who’s seen this movie knows exactly what I’m talking about. That moment with Ash at the climax of the film. The moment that broke us all when we were kids and damn it all but it completely broke me all over again the minute I saw it. Anyone who tries to tell you that Pokémon is “just for kids” has clearly never seen this movie because that moment is sad, it’s heartbreaking, and it’s downright DARK (before it gets better anyway). I was worried I wouldn’t be able to “feel” that moment now that I’m all grown up, but clearly there was no need to be concerned.
Finally, the overall message of this film deserves a mention. While it’s somewhat ironic for Pokémon (a franchise about fighting monsters) having an anti-fighting message, it still works in my opinion. What they’re trying to say is that Pokémon shouldn’t be made to fight by someone else’s whims. In theory, trained Pokémon fight because they’ve formed a relationship with their trainer and they choose to obey, so it’s not quite the same thing. And of course there’s also Meowth’s little monologue about how we “share the same Earth, the same sky” and maybe if we focused more on THOSE things, then the world would be a much better place.
Watching Pokémon: The First Movie brought back a lot of feelings for me, mostly good ones. For a lovely 90-odd minutes, i was 11 years old again, just enjoying the adventure of Ash and his friends. I would definitely say the movie holds up after all this time, and should be seen at least once by anyone even remotely interested in the Pokémon series. I’m glad I sat and watched the film again. The animation feels “alive” in a way that you just don’t see these days.
Let me know what you think about Pokémon: The First Movie-Mewtwo Strikes Back in the comments below and have a great day!
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