Tag Archives: Pokemon

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 4Ever- Celebi – Voice of the Forest (2001)

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.

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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.

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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!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Pokemon-The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (1999)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 3: The Movie: Entei – Spell of the Unown (2000)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

Animated Film Reviews

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My Thoughts on: Pokémon 3: The Movie: Entei – Spell of the Unown (2000)

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.

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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.

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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!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Pokemon-The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (1999)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 4Ever- Celebi – Voice of the Forest (2001)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

Animated Film Reviews

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

 

My Thoughts on: Pokemon-The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998)

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (1999)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 3: The Movie: Entei – Spell of the Unown (2000)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 4Ever- Celebi – Voice of the Forest (2001)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

Animated Film Reviews

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

 

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: The Movie 2000 (1999)

While I’ve been a fan of Pokémon in general since they arrived in the United States, I actually haven’t seen that many of the cartoon series or movies (with the first movie being a notable exception). So that’s how it came about that today was the first time I ever saw Pokémon: The Movie 2000, the second Pokémon movie.

In brief, Pokémon: The Movie 2000 follows Ash Ketchum as he attempts to save the world from a mysterious collector who is attempting to collect the three legendary Pokémon Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno to his collection in an attempt to lure out Lugia, an equally legendary creature, despite the catastrophic effect his attempts are having on the planet.

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Considering I’ve been watching the Pokémon movies in relative isolation, I’m not sure how many details I’m missing out on by skipping over the various series. However, I can say that even without knowing anything else, I really did enjoy this movie. I like the idea of several legendary Pokémon living in close proximity to each other, in fact it reminded me a bit of Godzilla and Monster Island, with the similar concept of various kaiju living so close together.

Moltres, Zapdos, and especially Articuno (my favorite) are amazing to look at. Each legendary creature gets the chance to show off what they can do, and I really liked watching them fight each other. Another awesome thing? Team Rocket. They were in prime form in this feature, and their little plot twist at the end had me giggling.

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The collector makes for an interesting villain, as he is so obsessed with collecting the legendary creatures that he pays no mind to the fact that doing so will result in the destruction of the Earth. There’s something horrifying about people like that, and I couldn’t help but notice that the last we see of him, he’s plotting to start his collection all over again (implying to me that this could all happen again).

I also can’t get enough of the music in this movie. “Lugia’s Song” (I presume it to be called) is beautiful, with a simple but compelling melody. I really love that the sounds Lugia makes form the basis of the song.

If you haven’t seen Pokémon: The Movie 2000 before, I highly recommend it. It’s a cute, fun little movie that all Pokémon fans should see at least once.

Let me know what you think about Pokémon: The Movie 2000 in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

My Thoughts on: Pokemon-The First Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back (1998)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 3: The Movie: Entei – Spell of the Unown (2000)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon 4Ever- Celebi – Voice of the Forest (2001)

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

Animated Film Reviews

Become a patron of the blog at: patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook

My Thoughts on: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

*note: very minor spoilers, but otherwise I did my best to avoid them.

Let me start this review by making one point clear: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu is not a bad movie. In fact, there were times I quite enjoyed myself.  The first live-action Pokémon movie could have easily gone the way of so many other video game films and been so much worse.

But then again, it could have been a lot better too.

Sticking with the positive though, I have to say all of the Pokémon in the film are beautifully rendered. Each Pokémon looks real and believable, I’m not even upset there’s only 60 different species represented in the film (for context there are currently around 800 Pokémon). My particular favorites in the film are Charizard and especially Bulbasaur. I also surprisingly enjoyed Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Detective Pikachu. I wasn’t sure about that in the beginning but it works.

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The film’s story is also a minor positive. Once you have all the core components, the film’s premise is essentially sound. We have a setting, a protagonist, a villain, and the villain’s motivations for doing what they do. We also have some convenient twists along the way along with a boy meets girl sort-of-romance angle that felt slightly forced. The problem is, the execution of this plot left something to be desired. Certain plot points are presented in such a convoluted manner that I was left asking questions in my head until almost the end of the film. I understand the writers were trying to create a sense of mystery, but as a result so much time was spent on a winding path of plot points that the story lost something. And while I liked most of the characters, I feel like more time could have been spent with the villain and the villain’s motivations. More character development would have made certain key scenes that much more impactful.

The film’s biggest weakness, for me at least, is the sheer amount of awkwardness. Early on, it felt like the actors were each interpreting the script differently. Some were playing it more or less straight, some were acting over the top, and this is one of the first times I can remember being distinctly aware of a lack of onscreen chemistry between certain characters. I think some of the scenes were meant to be awkwardly funny on purpose, but that kind of humor has never gone over well with me and the film would have been better without it.

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*minor spoiler for this next paragraph*

However, above all else, the thing that bugs me the most comes mid-way through the film when two characters go exploring in a certain rather dangerous area. The way these characters enter this area demonstrates such a lack of common sense and thinking that I was dumbfounded as the scene played out. I know these characters aren’t experts in investigation, but come on, EVERYONE knows you’re supposed to at least try to be sneaky about these things.

To conclude, I did enjoy Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, even though it didn’t blow me away. There’s certainly ample potential for a sequel and I’m not against seeing one made. Let me know what you thought about Pokémon: Detective Pikachu in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Soundtrack Review: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu (2019)

Film Reviews

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