Projections - Movie Reviews

Pokémon: The First Movie

The Pokémon phenomenon began in 1996, when Nintendo introduced software for its Game Boy portable video game system called Pocket Monsters.  The adventure has exploded in popularity and the shortened name, Pokémon, is well known by nearly all kids.

In this first movie scientists working in a secret laboratory create from Pokémon Mew DNA a new genetic code to bio-engineer Mewtwo.  The new Mewtwo has extraordinary power and destroys the scientists and their laboratory.  Mewtwo, believing his creators have made him a Frankenstein monster, swears revenge on the world.

Ash Ketchum with his pals Misty and Brock and his favorite and first Pokémon, Pikachu are drawn to a party held at the palace on New Island, hosted by a beautiful girl and her master, who claims to be "the world's greatest Pokémon trainer."  Ash's rivals, Team Rocket (the duo of Jessie and James and their Pokemon mascot, Meowith) secretly watch the information hologram and vow to attend the party as well.

When they gather at the ferry station seeking passage to New Island, a hurricane shuts the ferry service down, but using their Pokémon both groups cross the waters and meet the beautiful girl in a great hall.  There they meet Mewtwo, who reveals his plan to hijack the globe with a specially created race of Super-Pokémon.

The battle then begins between the Pokémon and the DNA clones of the originals.  A lesson about the futility of battling arises after we see each of the characters take on their clones.

The animation is simple as is the story, and the feature is pegged toward young children, the twelve year old who accompanied me found the film "better for little kids".  The seven year old enjoyed the experience.  The young crowd interacted with the action on the large screen by calling out the names of the characters and cheering on the good guys.  The parents had some difficulty following the names and sustaining interest.

Accompanying the feature is a short called Pikachu's Vacation which introduces two new Pokémon, Snubble and Marill.

For kids this is an event, for adults it is far less attractive.

Pokémon: The First Movie

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