And now we come to the last Pokémon movie that I know for sure I watched back in the day. I remember sneaking off to watch Pokémon 3: The Movie and being completely enthralled by the story, as I usually am by anime stories.
In summary, Pokémon 3: The Movie centers around the mysterious Unown (pronounced “Unknown”), extremely powerful psychic Pokémon that can bend reality itself to their will. When the Unown are accidentally summoned by Molly Hale, a young girl who has just lost her father (and her mother two years previously), a strange world of crystal and fantasy is created that threatens everything around it if it isn’t stopped.
One thing that jumps out to me right away, especially compared to the first and second films, is the presence of the obviously CGI Unown. Their appearance is almost jarring because of how different they look compared to everything else in the film. Given the mysterious nature of the Unown, this isn’t exactly a bad thing, and the CGI holds up really well given the film turns 20 this year. Also, another thing related to the Unown that I really like is the little “nexus” they develop once they’re fully ensconced in Molly’s home. You know, when they’re all orbiting each other and singing that little song to themselves. It’s almost like they’re working together as a hive mind to obey whoever has summoned them.
Another thing that stuck with me as I watched this film is how deep some of this film’s themes are. I had a sense of this when I first saw the film, but now that I’m two decades older, I think I understand the message even better. If you think about it, at its core Pokémon 3: The Movie centers around grief and the various ways one can handle it. And keeping that in mind, Molly’s actions make perfect sense. If you’re a little girl who has just lost her father and you find yourself in the company of Pokémon who can give you anything you want just by wishing for it, then of course you’re going to retreat into a fantasy world where you don’t have to face the cold reality that your parents are gone. That’s a powerful thing for any movie to deal with, and I think it’s handled fairly well in the end.
And speaking of altering reality, the crystalline world created by the Unknown is so beautiful, I’d actually forgotten how gorgeous it looked. It’s like a bizarre piece of art that is lovely but deadly at the same time (because there’s nothing that’s actually “alive” out there). Everything, the flowers, the trees, and so on, is preserved in crystal so that it never dies (which also feeds into my earlier point about the movie dealing with a child’s handling of grief).
Finally, I need to talk about Entei. While it’s made plain that this is only an illusion of Entei, he feels perfectly real. A lot of this has to do with Entei’s animation, which absolutely brings him to life on the screen in my opinion. Another interesting note, and one I wasn’t even aware of until I checked the cast notes, is that Entei and Molly’s father are voiced by the same person (which makes so much sense when you remember that Molly views Entei as her father). I love little details like this that make the story so much better every time I watch it.
It was so much fun to watch Pokémon 3: The Movie again, and relive some amazing childhood memories. Let me know what you think about the third Pokémon movie in the comments below and have a great night!
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