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Review M22: Mewtwo Strikes Back—Evolution

Not Dead
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Other than Misty's face, those images indeed look good.

dding more scenes of the Ash/Pikachu relationship
Ash went above and beyond to protect not only Pikachu (which he did, especially), but all the Pokemon. And everyone knows about their relationship, anyway.
 
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I'm not really that active these days, sorry
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I can agree with you Dogasu, the problem is they'll be more vocal in numbers than us weebs are
 
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I lost interest in the main series a while back, but was so curious as to how TPCi would handle this movie that I decided to give it a quick watch.

First of all, I'll address the giant elephant in the room that is the new art style and animation. I actually think it looks quite good for the most part! However, I understand the criticism it gets. The majority of the human characters' faces, quite frankly, look like cheap plastic figurines. The expressiveness is still there but the way it's drawn just makes it all look stiff and not believable at all. Especially Ash's mouth. If you can get past that part, you can see that the environments, special effects and Pokémon actually look pretty good. But again, I can totally see where the criticism is coming from.

Secondly, the script. I think the dubbers did the best they could with preserving the 4Kids script's most memorable lines while staying more true to the original Japanese overall. There are a few old lines that I wish made the cut, like "We dreamed of creating the world's strongest Pokémon...and we succeeded", and I know a lot of people will miss some more infamous dubisms like Ash's Minnesota Vikings joke. But considering the nostalgia factor, and how much 4Kids changed originally, they simply weren't going to be able to please absolutely everyone. Besides, it's not like the original movie isn't readily available regardless.

Lastly, the music. This is the change that hurts the most for me personally, as I still do have a soft spot for the original movie's dub score and genuinely didn't see anything wrong with it. But once again, there wasn't much TPCi could do that wasn't going to make someone upset.

So for those of you who wanted a more faithful dub of the Mewtwo movie with the Japanese soundtrack, congratulations, this is basically it.
But if you're looking for a definitive version of the movie as a whole, I would still recommend the Kanzenban version of the original (whether in Japanese or English). Not only for the more consistent art style, but also for the full Birth of Mewtwo segment that was still unfortunately left out of this version.

Still, Mewtwo Strikes Back Evolution is far from the abomination people hyped it up to be. If you haven't seen the movie before and this is your only way of watching it, I would say it's worth your time. For longtime fans, however, it's likely to be an inferior experience unless, again, you're interested in a more faithful dub.
 
My Little Ponyta
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Finally got to finish watching this movie that I have been waiting so long to see! I will preface this by saying the original Mewtwo Strikes Back was one of the first (if not the first) movie I ever watched in theaters as a kid, so I've really been looking forward to getting to see the dub version of this remake. A lot of people aren't big on the nostalgia factor, but it gets me pretty good.

As for the movie, I actually really enjoyed it. The CGI didn't bother me all that much; it was definitely a little bit weird at first on the human characters (the Pokemon all looked fantastic) but I got to used to it relatively quickly. I give them credit for attempting something a little different for a change. I don't know if I would want every movie or a future series to look this way (probably not) but for one movie, especially one that's a remake of familiar material, I think it's just fine. I've seen much worse CGI in recent animated movies than I saw here.

The voice acting was all pretty solid, but Sarah Natochenny blew it out of the park for me as Ash. I think her performance in this movie was exceptional. If I had to complain about one voice, I'd say I didn't totally love James. He just sounded super off at times. But it was definitely nice to not hear Team Rocket speak in alliteration! That I'd like to see more of in the dub, please. I also actually liked that a lot of the dialogue was taken directly from the Japanese version. Sure, there are a couple of dub lines from the original movie I was missing a bit (Meowth's famous one in particular) but it was interesting to get a dub closer to the original this time around. I do agree with those who wished that they had included more of Mewtwo's backstory here, however. That was one thing I missed from the original dub and would've liked to seen included in this iteration of the film.

I'm not a big music critic, nor does it make a huge difference for me like it does for others, but I have to say it's pretty funny that they kept the Japanese music for once and I'm seeing a lot of complaining about the music (not necessarily here, but on other sites). The Pokemon theme remix in the beginning was awesome! I love how it recalled the original track from the first movie but was still slightly different.

It feels weird to rank this movie with the other Gen 7 ones, since this is a remake, but I'd have to say this was probably my favorite of the bunch. I just had such a fun time watching the movie and can't wait to watch it again. The Power of Us definitely had the best original story out of the last three movies, and just narrowly loses out to this one for me based solely on pure fun factor. I Choose You is the only downer for me; while still better than many of the more recent films that came before it, that one remains a movie I won't watch a second time.

Overall, however, I'm a big fan of how the Gen 7 movies turned out!
 
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Overall, however, I'm a big fan of how the Gen 7 movies turned out!
This is nitpicky, but I wouldn't call this a Gen 7 movie anymore than I'd call LGPE Gen 7 games. It isn't just the remake thing, but there is just no compatibility to speak of. Coco has far more to do with Movies 20-21 than this movie does.

This movie is a special case for now, just like Meltan and Melmetal were proved to be "etc" Pokemon rather than Alola ones.

but also for the full Birth of Mewtwo segment that was still unfortunately left out of this version.
Reminder that the full backstory is exclusive to the radio drama, which is over one hour long. The drama is just as compatible with the remake as it is with the original movie, and if you've never listened to it, that should be fixed.
 
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追放されたバカ
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Seeing casuals complain about things like
-4kids lines being removed (in actuality the lines are now actually translated)
- the "original" music being removed
- "Brother My Brother" is apparently actually liked

And this is how TPCi gets to do what they want with the dub. People who care about the JP version are a minority
For a Pokemon dub enthusiast you seem to be awfully hostile over the 4kids. I think any pokemon fan will prefer the original soundtrack over Miyazaki's score because that is the first pokemon movie for them. When people recall ash being turned into stone, they remember tears of life and when they recall the Pokemon fight, they recall brother my brother. By the way, I still believe that 4kids version far exceeds the original work and the score is vastly greater than Miyazaki's work. I'm an advocate for the original score being left in the anime, but I think it's been long known that the first movie is one of the rare instances where the dub exceeds the original. And please, just because you don't like brother my brother you don't have to assume it's bad. It's childish of you to criticise our version of the movie because you personally doesn't like it.
 
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Several people seem to be commenting on the fact that they kept the original Japanese score. Personally I’m a big fan of Shinji Miyazaki so I’m glad they preserved it. My problem with the American score was that it was way too bombastic and it just never seemed to stop. So much dramatic tension was lost as a result. Miyazaki’s score I always found to be more appropriate. I also like a lot of the new tracks he added.
 
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The American score being gone didn't bother me because we heard most if not all the score from the Japanese version in the TV series, so even if it wasn't nostalgia from the movie the nostalgia was still there, although I still heard some of the tracks in my head watching it such as the theme when Mewtwo escapes Giovanni's base and the Dragonite theme.
 
I'm not really that active these days, sorry
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For a Pokemon dub enthusiast you seem to be awfully hostile over the 4kids. I think any pokemon fan will prefer the original soundtrack over Miyazaki's score because that is the first pokemon movie for them. When people recall ash being turned into stone, they remember tears of life and when they recall the Pokemon fight, they recall brother my brother. By the way, I still believe that 4kids version far exceeds the original work and the score is vastly greater than Miyazaki's work. I'm an advocate for the original score being left in the anime, but I think it's been long known that the first movie is one of the rare instances where the dub exceeds the original. And please, just because you don't like brother my brother you don't have to assume it's bad. It's childish of you to criticise our version of the movie because you personally doesn't like it.
Sorry if I came across as hostile, I didn't mean it that way! I love the 4Kids dub and the 1st movie! I also do think its more memorable for us in the US. I don't really mind dub music either, but I also do know how important it is to a ton of peeps that thw original JP version is kept! I was trying to say that those who don't keep up with the show will ultimately have the majority say in how TPCi responds for the next movie.
 
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I agree that Tears of Life is good, almost like Lugia's song. There's nothing wrong with Brother My Brother, but as a vocal song it disrupted the flow right before the climax. A case could definitely be made that the 4Kids version has the better sountrack overall, but I wouldn't call it a big loss. I'm sure that someone will insert it into the remake if you don't mind that sort of thing.
 
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Going through a Twitter search for "Netflix pokemon movie", the reception has been really... *finger click* Nice. People are retrieving nostalgia, and people are talking about how good they did the remake, with very complaining about the awful CGI. I thought it would be like this Jacksfilms video, where he talks about how bad the furry-filled Cats film is (Legend says he was hyped for the film in a "Is it going to be real bad or not?" state):
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpfoOvRhwrs
 
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I finished watching the English version and am writing up the comparison now. This movie...it's a mixed bag, really.
Speaking from my days running One Piece Uncensored, I would have still seen "mixed bag" as an appreciable upgrade over "complete dumpster fire," although that series at least finally received a respectable dub whereas the worst of 4Kids' work on the Pokemon series is still canon to the TPCI dub, regardless of whatever improvements they've made in the interim (and truthfully, it's not that much!).

Also like, the standards for a "good dub" back in 2004 were significantly lower than they are now, and my own standards for entertainment in general were lower (being 13 years old then versus 28 now).

I wonder if 4Kids was still handling things how a project like this would have turned out.
 
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Good news for the movie: It debuted at #6 on Netflix US. Someone told me that it was #4 for Greece, so I'm guessing that other countries aren't too far off.

I don't know how this is calculated exactly, but it would seem harder for movies to compete with shows.
 
TPCi needs to give the dub over to FUNimation
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I'm legit surprised that anyone is complaining about the dub using the all around superior Japanese soundtrack instead of a replacement score. What's next, gonna complain that FUNimation isn't using the 4kids score for One Piece? Joking aside I really do wish TCPI would keep everything from now on both for the movies and the show.
 
My Little Ponyta
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This is nitpicky, but I wouldn't call this a Gen 7 movie anymore than I'd call LGPE Gen 7 games. It isn't just the remake thing, but there is just no compatibility to speak of. Coco has far more to do with Movies 20-21 than this movie does.

This movie is a special case for now, just like Meltan and Melmetal were proved to be "etc" Pokemon rather than Alola ones.
I don't disagree, it's definitely kind of an outlier. I was just considering it part of Gen 7 since it was released within that time frame, but like I said, it is a little harder to judge since its a remake. I just wanted to point out that I felt the last three movies released were the best they've been in a while, even when I Choose You wasn't really my cup of tea.

Good news for the movie: It debuted at #6 on Netflix US. Someone told me that it was #4 for Greece, so I'm guessing that other countries aren't too far off.
I also have to say, I wasn't personally a big fan of the movie coming out on Netflix (I'd have rather watched it in theaters or on Disney XD) but I do think that ultimately, they probably made the right choice with this one. I've seen tons of people I know personally talking and posting about this movie and how much they enjoyed it, and these are people who definitely do not still watch Pokemon and more than likely wouldn't have gone out to the theater to see a limited run or tuned into Disney XD for it. It seems like the Netflix platform definitely helped it to reach a wider audience.
 
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I'm legit surprised that anyone is complaining about the dub using the all around superior Japanese soundtrack instead of a replacement score. What's next, gonna complain that FUNimation isn't using the 4kids score for One Piece? Joking aside I really do wish TCPI would keep everything from now on both for the movies and the show.
Nostalgia is a powerful force for a lot of people.

And it's funny you mention FUNimation because they actually did something very similar with Dragon Ball: their dub of Z had a notoriously loose script and replacement score by Faulconer Productions. When it came time to dub Kai pretty much the entire script was redone much more faithfully and the original Japanese soundtrack was kept. It's still polarizing to this day.

One Piece is pretty much the only "re-dub" that's universally preferred to my knowledge, and that's only because the 4Kids version was such an inarguable trainwreck. Even so, there are people who enjoy the 4Kids dub in an ironic sense.
 
TPCi needs to give the dub over to FUNimation
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Nostalgia is a powerful force for a lot of people.

And it's funny you mention FUNimation because they actually did something very similar with Dragon Ball: their dub of Z had a notoriously loose script and replacement score by Faulconer Productions. When it came time to dub Kai pretty much the entire script was redone much more faithfully and the original Japanese soundtrack was kept. It's still polarizing to this day.

One Piece is pretty much the only "re-dub" that's universally preferred to my knowledge, and that's only because the 4Kids version was such an inarguable trainwreck. Even so, there are people who enjoy the 4Kids dub in an ironic sense.
I know full well about what they did to DBZ. Keep in mind however that they learned from that mistake and have not done it since. Also FUNimation later re-released DBZ with the original music. And I find it quite obnoxious whenever people complain about Kai's score not being the Faulconer one (complaining about that Yamamoto thing is understandable, but that wasn't FUNimations fault at all), so yeah. I actually do recall a bit of small backlash when the FUNimation dub of One Piece first aired, however there's a good chance the ones complaining were either trolls or clueless. Although I can understand people enjoying the 4kids dub as a sort of laughable bad sort of thing, or morbid curiosity. I admit I just like to give people a tough time for wanting bad dubbing practices because I just really wish Pokemon would get treated better.
 
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The dub seems fine. It has the usual awkwardness that it always has, but it was OK. Hopefully if and/or when the home video release comes out all the extra audio tracks that are on Netflix will also be included, or at least the Japanese.
 
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Also forgot to add that I feel like the end credits were very well done. The combination of the song and the beautiful paintings of the OG trio had me bawling. Not sure exactly what hit me about it...I just really loved it.

Love that I just recently made a post that I rarely cry watching Pokemon and that seems to be all I've done in recent months!
 
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I forgot to mention that I love the ending song. Yeah it’s not Kaze to Isshoni (which I hold as the best vocal song to ever come out of the franchise so...) but it’s lovely regardless! Something about the way it’s put together makes it sound like a cross between a classic ABBA song and a late 80s power ballad and... that is the kind of vibe I live for so thumbs up to Mr Goldfarb (y)
 
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