Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town is 10 years old today. This means he is now old enough to become a Pokémon Trainer. Ash dreams big about the adventures he will experience after receiving his first Pokémon from Professor Oak.
(There won’t be spoilers and even if there are, I will not be specific and give out the story)
As a way to promote 20 years of Pokemon in the video games, the team behind the anime decided to release the 20th film and rather it focuses on Sun and Moon, they decided to go way back to the first adventure in the first generation. With an updated English cast and smooth animation, fans can relieve the epic beginning of Ash and Pikachu’s quest to becoming the Pokemon Master and Champion. In this review, I am going to talk about the pros and cons of this new retelling story. I ended up watching this movie on November 25th on Disney XD. After I watched the movie, I went ahead read and watched the reviews of my blogging friends Shay from Anime Reviewer Girl and DReager1 blog to help further write out my blog review.
Story: Start your quest Rainbow Hero!
Just like the first ever episode of Pokemon, the story begins with Ash meeting Pikachu from a bumpy beginning; Ash had to deal with a stubborn Pikachu who refuses to obey to him. After dealing with an eventful encounter, Ash and Pikachu later bonded and became best friends; however, the story of the movie begins when they see the legendary Pokemon Ho-oh fly past them like the anime. A feather drops on them and eventually, Ash learns that the feather left by Ho-oh is a message to him that anyone with a pure heart can use this feather to call upon Ho-oh at Mount Tensei. Along the way, Ash battles other trainers, catches iconic Pokemon from the show like Charmander and even meets new friends.
Feedback: Not sure if it’s like the original
According to the trailers and synopsis, the movie is suppose to retell the story of Ash and Pikachu’s beginning. However, to some fans (especially old fans of the anime like myself) will encounter a misleading plot. Just like the reviews I mentioned, this movie doesn’t exactly follow the original series. For one thing, they added new Pokemon from different regions in which I will mention later. Some like Entei, Raikou, Suicune enter the movie but they originally appeared in the second generation region Johto and we even get an introduction the recently new mythical Pokemon from Sun and Moon, Marshadow. Another thing I want to mention is the pacing, it’s too fast! Going back what I said that Ash catches iconic Pokemon, he does get the Pokemon he becomes friends with but not all make it to the cut and their moments in the spotlight is too brief. We do get to see Charmander but we don’t see the same connection like TV series. Also, Caterpie does join Ash and become Butterfree and we do get that “moment” in the movie but personally, it felt forced in my opinion. The battle moments with Ash and the trainers are over less than a minute especially the gym battle in Celadon City (apparently it’s the 3rd gym).
Characters: Retelling the story with replaced characters
In the movie, Ash encounters new characters exclusive to the movie. As opposed to having Brock and Misty, Ash is teamed up with Verity, a female trainer with Piplup, and Sorrel, a male trainer with Lucario who wants to learn medicine. Instead of having Professor Oak’s grandson Gary being Ash’s rival, Ash meets a ruthless trainer named Cross and his Pokemon, Incineroar.
This is kind of nitpicking but I felt a little bit neutral with these characters. I would have liked to see the movie use Brock and Misty like the classic series and it doesn’t make sense replacing them if they were going to get similar characters. If you think about it, Misty and Verity are similar because they use water type Pokemon and Brock and Sorrel specializes on medicine and taking care of Pokemon. I won’t spoil but as we learn about these characters, I only cared about Sorrel and I wish the movie also shared some time to explore more of Verity. Same with Cross, I wish we had Gary instead. Cross felt more like Paul from Diamond and Pearl series. We also got Team Rocket, but unfortunately; my expectations of them went down to the ground because they are treated as a joke.
Overall review: A film worth for every fan?
After seeing this movie and giving away limited information, I still think it’s a good movie. However, this movie may bother old fans who grew up with the classic series. The movie has some amazing fight scenes, English Dub, return of the Pokemon intro song and characters. The downside is that it doesn’t really like like the classics with new characters replacing the old cast and adding new Pokemon from different regions and adding them into Kanto. The movie does point out some moments from the series but the way it is handle is too fast paced. I like the original story of trying to find Ho-oh but I would think it be better if we got to see Ash tackle all the gyms and experience Ash’s personal growth in Kanto. I only wished that Disney XD showed the credits.
What do you guys think of the movie? comment down below
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