Pokemon: The First Movie
Gotta Catch 'Em All.
Even if you don't understand any of them.
Pokemon: The First Movie has been unleashed upon us all. Since the
darned thing opened number 1, I had to go catch it and review it. Even
though, having lived through puberty, I'm not expected to understand it
or even enjoy it. In fact, I think the entire purpose of this movie, as
well as the TV series, books, video games, trading cards, diapers,
cooking utensils, contact lenses and birth control pills, is to
undermine the authority of the grown-up.
What is Pokemon? Well, if you know the answer to that question, then
you've already seen this movie, in fact you saw it on opening day. If
you don't know the answer to that question, then you have no intention
of ever seeing this movie anyway, so who really cares? Lots of major
publications didn't bother to review this movie for that very reason.
There is absolutely nothing I or any other less-accomplished movie
critic could say about this movie that would make someone decide to see
or not see it. You are either addicted to the franchise, fighting
withdrawl pangs every seven days because KidsWB only shows it six days a
week, or not. But anyway, here's a quick synopsis.
Pokemons are pocket monsters. A bunch of human Pokemon trainers catch
them in little balls and use them to save the world. An evil,
bio-engineered Pokemon, Mewtwo wants to kill everyone, human and
Pokemon, and take over the world. They meet on an island. They fight.
The world is saved. (Hope I didn't ruin the movie for anyone.)
Actually, what would have really made this movie work for me would have
been if the evil, bio-engineered Mewtwo won. Instead of him
acknowledging that fighting just isn't nice, he should smash all of the
pathetic Pokemons in attendance and rule over all with an iron fist of
Alas, there's a happy ending.
Actually, when seeing Pokemon:The First Movie, you actually see two
flicks. A little short called Pikachu's Vacation, and then the main
feature. So I guess the experience should be called Pokemon: The First
Couple of Movies. In Pikachu's Vacation, Pikachu (he's the main
Pokemon, everyone's favorite. An unholy union of Tweety Bird and
Nermal, the annoying little kitty in the Garfield strip.) travels around
and meets all the Pokemons. All 150 or so of them. One by one. You
almost think the short's meant to test all members of the Pokemon Army,
make sure they're up to snuff on their knowledge of Pokemon, for when
they are called to battle to help Pikachu take over the world.
You laugh, it'll happen. The Army of the New Millenium is being trained
under our very noses.
Is this a good movie? Depends -- are you still teething? From an
non-disciple's point of view, the animation is pretty crude and the
script doesn't actually exist (I think the writers just played the video
game for a while and wrote down what happened.) However, on the plus
side for Pokejunkies everywhere, Pikachu is, like, fifty feet high on
the movie screen! You can't beat that!
I think Pokemon has gone far enough. Barney and The Teletubbies were
cute, but did they inspire an empire? We should start some 12-step
"Hi, my name is Ronald, and I love Poliwrath."
Oh, OK, before I forget, one last thing that is proof that Pokemon is
demon-born. None of them talk. Well they talk, but they can only say
their name. So Pikachu walks around muttering "Pikachu! Pikachu!
Pikachu!" like a sad, deranged grandfather high on helium. But the
kids, somehow, understand this. They get it. They run around spouting
"Pikachu! Machop! Eevee!" and then others respond. "Psyduck!
Diglett! Jigglypuff!" Nonsense to us, but to them, the code of the
So I want to give Pokemon: The First Movie a rating, but I can't. 1,
2, 3 Babylons. Who knows? Who cares? You've either already seen the
darned movie or you were alive in the eighties.
Editor! Editor editor! Editor...editor? Editor editor, editor editor
Pokemon: the First Movie
Directed By: Michael Haigney and Kunohiko Yuyama
Starring: Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, Venusaur, Rattata, Raticate, Spearow,
Fearow, Ekans, Arbok, Pikachu, Raichu, Sandshrew, Sandslash, Nidoran
(Female), Ninetails, Vulpix, Clefable, Clefairy, Nidoking, Nidorino,
Nidoran (Male), Nidoqueen, Nidorina, Pidgeot, Pidgeotto, Pidgey,
Beedrill, Kakuna, Weedle, Butterfree, Metapod, Caterpie, Blastoise,
Wartortle, Squirtle, Charizard, Charmeleon, Charmander, Jigglypuff,
Wigglytuff, Zubat, Golbat, Bolbat, Oddish, Gloom, Vileplume, Paras,
Parasect, Venonat, Venomoth, Diglett, Dugtrio, Meowth, Persian, Psyduck,
Golduck, Mankey, Primeape, Growlithe, Arcanine, Poliwag, Poliwhirl,
Poliwrath, Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam, Machop, Machoke, Machamp,
Bellsprout, Weepinbell, Victreebel, Tentacool, Tentacruel, Geodude,
Graveler, Golem, Ponyta, Rapidash, Slowpoke, Slowbro, Magnemite,
Magneton, Farfetch'd, Doduo, Dodrio, Seel, Dewgong, Grimer, Muk,
Shellder, Cloyster, Gastly, Haunter, Gengar, Onix, Drowzee, Hypno,
Krabby, Kingler, Voltorb, Electrode, Exeggcute, Exeggutor, Cubone,
Marowak, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Lickitung, Koffing, Weezing, Rhyhorn,
Rhydon, Chansey, Tangela, Kangaskhan, Horsea, Seadra, Goldeen, Seaking,
Staryu, Starmie, Mr. Mime, Scyther, Jynx, Electabuzz, Magmar, Pinsir,
Tauros, Magikarp, Gyarados, Lapras, Ditto, Eevee, Vaporeon, Jolteon,
Flareon, Porygon, Omanyte, Omastar, Kabuto, Kabutops, Aerodactyl,
Snorlax, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, Dratini, Dragonair, Dragonite,
Mewtwo and Mew