In coming to Pokémon 4Ever, I finally reached terra incognita. For while I’d seen the first and third Pokémon movies, and new of the second one, I’d never seen much less heard of any of the Pokémon films after that (with the possible exception of Arceus and the Jewel of Life, but that’s a story for another day). So I was very excited to sit down and watch this film for the very first time.
And from what I can see, Pokémon 4Ever is a really enjoyable film (with spot-on animation for the most part). The story sees Ash, Misty, and Brock set out to help save Celebi, a Pokémon who functions as the “Voice of the Forest” and has the ability to travel through time. To escape from a hunter, the Pokémon travels to the future, inadvertently bringing along a young boy named Sam with him. Together, Sam, Ash and company must work to save Celebi from forces that are hunting Celebi for the great power he possesses.
This movie really makes you feel for poor Celebi. I thought watching the first movie was an emotional experience, but this movie takes it to a whole different level. Most of the movie sees Celebi being chased, abused, and otherwise scared out of his mind. And even after the situation is fixed, more enemies appear and make the situation worse. This Pokémon really goes through a beating.
And then there’s Team Rocket. Oh, not Jessie, James, and Meowth. Oh sure, they’re as persistent as always, but they’re nothing compared to Iron Masked Marauder, the Team Rocket Member chasing Celebi. This is the first time I can recall being actually scared of Team Rocket, before watching this film I thought Team Rocket was only meant to be a joke, not to be taken seriously. This film definitely proved me wrong on that count.
I’m not completely satisfied with this film’s plot twist. While I find it interesting that Sam is revealed to be a young Professor Oak, I’m not sure I’m okay with how the details are worked out. How Oak remembers something that Ash and company haven’t even done yet doesn’t quite make sense to me. Perhaps I’m thinking too hard about it, but the plot details don’t quite mesh and that bothered me quite a bit while I was watching. Also, the CGI of…whatever that thing is that Celebi creates doesn’t quite hold up now that it’s nearly 20 years old. The contrast between it and the surrounding animation is just weird.
Also, is it weird that I was expecting Suicune to talk? Maybe I was spoiled after seeing Entei in the third film, but I was fully prepared for Suicune, as a legendary Pokémon, to have dialogue and it doesn’t, which completely subverted my expectations.
On a final note, the very concept of the Dark Balls is a scary one. It actually reminds me somewhat of Mewtwo’s plan in the first film, only instead of cloning Pokémon that are stronger than the originals, the Dark Balls just corrupt the existing creatures instead.
All in all, I enjoyed Pokémon 4Ever. It’s not perfect by any means, but it is enjoyable, and it was nice to finally move past the first three Pokémon films.
Let me know what you think about Pokémon 4Ever in the comments below and have a great day!
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