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Pokemon Movies Discussion

AnimeJewel246

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I've noticed that the pokemon movies aren't really discussed all that much in the forums, so I decided to make one where we can discuss them! Talk about which one is your favorite, which one you feel is overrated/underrated, which ones you wish turned out differently, opinions you have on movie characters, theories on certain events in movies, connections to canon, speculation on future movies, and just plot-points of the different movies in general.

I'll start by talking about why I think The Power of Us is by far the best pokemon movie. Despite having such a large cast, each of them have individual personalities and character backgrounds-as well as character arcs that we the audience see them go through as the movie progresses. Every character has some type of importance in the plot, a stark contrast compared to many movie characters of the past-which introduce multiple characters that often have little or no baring on the story. This movie, however, introduces every character with a personality and role that AFFECTS the overall story and pushes it forward. (For crying out loud, even Team Rocket had an important role!) The diversity of the cast strikes the message home that anyone can benefit from "pokemon power"-which at first seems cheesy, but actually has an importance to the story.

Also something that separates this movie from others and makes it stand out much more is how excellent the pacing is. Every SINGLE SCENE drives the plot forward in some way-introducing characters, world-building, aspects of the plot, establishing character personalities, etc-which makes every scene a smaller and beautiful piece of an even bigger masterpiece. The movie also repeatedly used "show, not tell" in the best way possible-establishing Ash and Pikachu's relationship, establishing the other characters personalities and backstories...even when it did fall into the "tell, not show" that pokemon tends to do-it was honestly very natural and didn't feel contrived or forced.

It was also unique in the aspect that it was one of the few pokemon movies that used the "man vs nature" plot-line as the final climax rather than the typical "man vs man"-or "pokemon vs pokemon"-that usually happens(the only other exception I can think of right now is Lucario and the Mystery of Mew-correct me if I'm wrong). It can even be argued that this movie pushes "man vs self" as well, as the characters had to face their inner struggles in order to move the story forward-fighting their flaws and limitations by perseverance while hanging on to the essential message of "pokemon power".

Speaking of that message, though kinda cheesy, it is still a kids movie, and unlike other contrived messages that typically would happen-this one is actually shown to MAKE sense. Every character has shown to benefit from a pokemon in some way-and some characters(most) actually have said pokemon affect their character arc and help them grow as a person. This even ties in to the end of the movie, where the same message is given but in reverse: a pokemon can benefit from a relationship with humans, just as humans benefit from a relationship with pokemon-it's a two-way street and I think that makes a wonderful message. Is the power of unity new and original? Well, no, but the execution is done very well and the fact that it specifically brings home the message throughout the movie-even from the very beginning with Ash and Pikachu working together to save the Tyranitar-is something that I feel is rarely done, making it an all around good movie. Again, yes, it is not perfect, but its the only movie I feel would stand alone as a good movie rather than a good "pokemon movie".
 

Neo Blaze

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My favorite Pokémon movie is still Spell of the Unown: Entei. I think I would even go as far to say that it's my single favorite piece of Pokémon anime. I think it's a fantastic Pokémon movie for a plethora of reasons, but it's also just a really good movie on its own. I love that they came up with a crazy fantasy story and just went for it. It has a good amount of childhood value to me since I rewatched it countless of times on VHS but I think I would love it even if that wasn't the case.

I also like Mewtwo Strikes Back and especially The Power of One a lot. I don't love Mewtwo Strikes Back as much as a lot of OG Pokémon fans do as I don't have the same nostalgia for it, but I've always found it entertaining and they made Mewtwo into a complex and compelling character. The Power of One is just a great adventure movie all-around. Lugia's song is absolutely one of my favorite pieces of Pokémon music and it's pretty much ingrained into my brain at this point. Celebi: The Voice of the Forest is a weird one to me, because I rewatched it almost as much as Spell of the Unown: Entei, but I don't hold the same affection for it. I always liked watching it, but over the years I've come to accept that it's a weaker Pokémon movie in terms of story. The Iron Masked Marauder was pretty much a stereotypical mustache-twirling villain. The relationship between Ash and Sammy and the twist at the very end was absolutely fantastic however, and made a somewhat mediocre Pokémon movie still stand out. Pokémon Heroes: Latios & Latias never really stood out that much to me but it's really solid. In terms of settings it's definitely one of the more beautiful Pokémon movies (Venice :bulbaLove:)

In regards to Jirachi: Wish Maker, I actually think that one has grown on me over the years. It never really stood out to me back in the day, but it's a touching Pokémon movie and Chiisaki Mono is a really great song I still listen to from time to time :bulbaLove: Destiny Deoxys is one of my favorite Pokémon movies, perhaps because it has a very science-fiction feel to it, and I really dig that (one of my favorite genres in film). Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is just a great Pokémon film and definitely Top 5 for me. Never really liked Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea for some reason, and it's near the bottom of the Pokémon movies to me.

The Sinnoh movies are really solid for the most part, though I really didn't care that much for Arceus and the Jewel of Life when I rewatched it last year. With BW I think the quality in Pokémon movies started to drop. It was an interesting experiment what they did with the M14 movies, but it was ultimately pointless. Kyurem vs. The Sword of Justice is probably a contender for worst Pokémon film, just very weak all-around. Genesect and The Legend Awakened is kind of a guilty pleasure to me, but I do think it's a very flawed film and the decision to introduce a new Mewtwo was a bit weird. The XY movies were pretty weak, not much to say there.

In regards to the reboot/AU movies... oh boy, I personally think they're extremely overrated. They're decent movies and by no means bad, but I just never really cared for them. Especially The Power of Us I found to be a big snoozefest and I struggled to care about most of the film or its characters. Which is weird because I generally like the type of vibe and story it was going for, but it just didn't do it for me whatsoever. I'm definitely keeping an open mind on Coco, but after reading some less-than-positive reviews and the fact that I just didn't care for I Choose You! and The Power of Us at all, my expectations are not very high. I do think the relationship between Ash and Coco and its interwoven story with Zarude looks and sounds interesting (albeit a bit cliché), so I'm still looking forward to it.
 

AnimeJewel246

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My favorite Pokémon movie is still Spell of the Unown: Entei. I think I would even go as far to say that it's my single favorite piece of Pokémon anime. I think it's a fantastic Pokémon movie for a plethora of reasons, but it's also just a really good movie on its own. I love that they came up with a crazy fantasy story and just went for it. It has a good amount of childhood value to me since I rewatched it countless of times on VHS but I think I would love it even if that wasn't the case.
I think my favorite part about that movie is the VISUALS. The artwork and animation is absolutely stunning, honestly. The color scheme, the backgrounds, the details...it was a pure masterpiece on the eyes which was actually something that I felt started with this movie and continued with every movie after with particular amazing visuals until Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. After that, I felt as if the visuals in the movies were pretty lackluster. Still good-and some are amazing-but they're a degradation compared to the first few pokemon films. I felt as if they got a nice and soft art-style with Movie 21, but one of my only gripes with that movie is that the contrast is hard on the eyes on occasion. It was a nice art-style, don't get me wrong, but the color scheme didn't work well with it. Coco looks like it's an improvement though, so I'm excited to see that.
 

Neo Blaze

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I think my favorite part about that movie is the VISUALS. The artwork and animation is absolutely stunning, honestly. The color scheme, the backgrounds, the details...it was a pure masterpiece on the eyes which was actually something that I felt started with this movie and continued with every movie after with particular amazing visuals until Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. After that, I felt as if the visuals in the movies were pretty lackluster. Still good-and some are amazing-but they're pretty lackluster compared to the first few pokemon films. I felt as if they got a nice and soft art-style with Movie 21, but one of my only gripes with that movie is that the contrast is hard on the eyes on occasion. It was a nice art-style, don't get me wrong, but the color scheme didn't work well with it. Coco looks like it's an improvement though, so I'm excited to see that.
I agree. Some of its stills look like surrealist paintings. Take this one for example:
movie03_ss07.jpg
I also think M03 doesn't get enough credit for its score:

I also think Molly is such an interesting character, and I love that she's the "villain" of the film but she's also really not.

I feel they definitely put a lot of effort in making the first few Pokémon films feel very cinematic in more ways than one.
 

Sheep

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Chiisaki Mono

An absolute masterpiece of a song - this is part of why I love the Jirachi movie so much. <3 I still can't believe the English version added dubbed lines while keeping the song and Japanese singing intact. Not something I ever expected from them, since the dub has consistently liked to replace music and deviate from the original version. It's really cool and beautiful in both versions!

M3 was great. The story was very powerful and it was just so...storybook-like. Molly was super cute, the music was lovely, battles were great, and Entei as a whole was a very memorable character. I really miss rewatching it on VHS all the time too.

It's hard to pick my favorites sometimes, since I like many of them a lot. I'll say Lucario and the Mystery of Mew is very high up there, as well as Spell of the Unown, Heroes, and Destiny Deoxys.

People keep saying how great The Power of Us is but it didn't click with me as much when I first watched it. Going to have to go through it again since I wasn't paying enough attention on my first watch. I love some of those character designs!
 

AnimeJewel246

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I feel they definitely put a lot of effort in making the first few Pokémon films feel very cinematic in more ways than one.
I recently watched Pokemon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea, and while I feel as if its a lackluster movie, it does have really pretty visuals. It felt unique especially in the fact that the style in that movies specifically felt unique and original compared to other movies and AG itself. It felt as if I was watching a classic anime, to be honest. Even the jokes felt gave off a "classic anime" feel and I felt as if that movie was closest to a children's anime movie in comparison with every other one. It's flaws as a narrative are unfortunate coupled with the art.

Certain scenes dragged on for too long and my main issue with that movie is that they glossed over May in the beginning introduction, making it seem as if Ash was the protagonist in this movie, when she took focus throughout the entire plot. She was the one who formed a relationship with Manaphy, yet Ash had barely any importance until the end where he was the hero? He hardly felt like a protagonist-May did, yet the ending made it seem as if the writers suddenly remembered that "wait, Ash is SUPPOSED to be the protagonist so he needs to solve the entire conflict". It wasn't even him assisting in a joint effort-he quite literally stole the show. For crying out loud, May filled all the protagonist roles better than Ash did-she had a connection to Manaphy, she formed a solid relationship with it-giving her motive as a protagonist, and she even had an emotional obstacle to get over in the movie-making her sympathetic as a protagonist. May had motives, a potential connection with the plot, and garnered sympathy from the audience with her relationship with Manaphy(I didn't feel that sympathetic since I didn't form any connection with Manaphy, but in terms of writing, it was the sympathy we were supposed to feel for her-which is why I pointed it out).
 

Silktree

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I guess that Neo Blaze and I have very similar tastes when it comes to Pokemon movies (except we differ on the Deoxys and DP movies). I like movies that leave me thinking, and only the Mewtwo and Entei movies have done that due to Mewtwo and Molly being so lonely and ultimately relatable. Shudo had strong feelings about them, and it showed.

The Lugia movie had the best action and setting, while both the Jirachi and Lucario movies did a very good job in showing Max/Ash bond with the titular Pokemon (Lucario was also pretty Shudo-esque in terms of backstory).

I don't have a lot of good things to say about the other movies, honestly. The first two AU movies were a needed change from a tired formula, but suffice to say that I don't think that a Ho-Oh movie should have been set in an AU. Did Ash need to be in the Zeraora movie at all?
 

AnimeJewel246

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People keep saying how great The Power of Us is but it didn't click with me as much when I first watched it. Going to have to go through it again since I wasn't paying enough attention on my first watch. I love some of those character designs!
I think what unfortunately holds The Power of Us back in terms of audience enjoyment is that, when in comparison with other pokemon movies, it is far more character driven than plot driven-making it a different experience from other pokemon movies in that it feels as if nothing is happening. Especially since most pokemon movies tend to immediately jump into the plot through an action scene at the start of the movie in order to grab the audience's attention. But The Power of Us doesn't do that because it not only doesn't follow the typical formula, it also puts the characters first before the plot.
 

Neo Blaze

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I don't have a lot of good things to say about the other movies, honestly. The first two AU movies were a needed change from a tired formula, but suffice to say that I don't think that a Ho-Oh movie should have been set in an AU. Did Ash need to be in the Zeraora movie at all?
I'm of the same mind. I appreciate and respect that they went a different route from I Choose You! on, but I think the execution has been lacking. I think they should have either gone full AU or multiple AU's. What we got feels like half-baked AU. I Choose You! and The Power of Us are supposed to be in the same universe (as evidenced by Ash's cap symbol) but they feel extremely disconnected from each other and in fact don't really have a connection (if I remember correctly) besides Ash and Pikachu being in both. From what I've seen and heard of Coco, it went the same route as its predecessors.

While some may say the power of these movies lie in being standalone stories, I still think it was a weird decision to create an alternate universe that's ultimately not really a coherent thing at all. The Power of Us might as well be set in a different universe from I Choose You (maybe it is after all since the writers have been very vague on it, but I do think the cap symbol is intentional). I know it's ultimately a minor thing but it's something that has bugged me about these movies.

In my opinion, a more interesting approach would have been to have each new movie set in a different AU, each with a different kind of Ash (kind of like a Marvel What If scenario I guess). You could even tell the same kind of stories, but it would have been interesting to explore Ash as a character in different ways. The AU Ash we've gotten so far has been pretty bland to me.
 

J Bouken

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My quick and dirty take on the movies would be:

Mewtwo Strikes Back, The Power of One and Spell of the Unknown remain some of the best and still hold-up well today.
The movies ranging from Celebi to Manaphy and the Temple of the Sea are a mixed bag.
I have complete apathy for every DP, BW and XY movie.
I Choose You and The Power of Us were intriguing and a much-needed shot in the arm for the movie side of the franchise, though I was sad SM didn't get anything.
I haven't seen Coco yet.

To elaborate, I feel something was lost around about the DP era. Much the like the anime itself, the movie franchise fell into a rut of predictability, with every new instalment copying the same tired story and structure, just with the locales and featured legendary Pokemon swapped out. I really struggled to distinguish these movies from an episode of the show itself and I think the steep decline in box numbers at that time showed I wasn't the only one. People were really losing interest in these movies.

The problem, as I see it, was that the conflict in those movies became less interesting. They placed more focus on the struggles between the Legendary and the villains of the day, following the formula of establishing empathy for the Legendary first, presenting the villain as villainous, and then wrapping up with Ash and friends doing some heroic thing and the villain getting their comeuppance. While there was nothing wrong with the simplicity of this, the lack of any personal stakes for Ash and friends made them far less engaging. Hence, they felt like closer to a filler episode from the show rather than a special event that had the opportunity to do something unique.

The Power of One is probably my favourite movie. It's also the closest in structure to those DP-XY era movies. However, it did several things differently, not least how it handled Ash. His role as the chosen one was purely ceremonial and coincidental, something he really embraced because, at the time, he loved to be the star of the show whenever he could. When things became more dangerous and decidedly more real, Ash was terrified. He did not want the responsibility of being the one who had to solve the problem (he very literally got cold feet). Our protagonist being scared sold how dangerous the moment was, grounded Ash as a character and demonstrated the very real courage he had to summon in the end. This all came from the idea of the time where Ash was actually an average joe, whose only special qualities were his courage and persistence, and who couldn't do it alone. Despite being the "chosen one", he needed Pikachu and co. to help him, he needed Team Rocket to help him, he needed Misty to save his life, he needed Lugia and they needed Melody to play the song. Everyone played a part.

As the years went by, the show distanced itself from Ash the Everyman and began portraying him as someone innately special in some way. Every movie had a moment of him being an Action Hero, pulling off death-defying stunts to save the day that he just does. The danger no longer felt real because at no point did we feel Ash was even aware of it or, if he was, even cared. This resulted in the other characters being pushed to the sidelines, ultimately overshadowed by Ash's heroics. Manaphy and the Temple of the Sea suffered from this big time, as a story that focused on May still required Ash to almost drown and save the day through magical powers. It only got worse from there; I struggle to think of any meaningful things Ash's friends did. It was a shame because it came off the back of the AG movies which, while a mixed bag, at least endeavoured to give Max and May their time in the sun (not Brock though, the poor sod).

So you won't be surprised to hear then that the best movies, in my eyes, tend to be the ones that have the most personal stakes. Spell of the Unknown not only had a sympathetic antagonist to change things up, but drags Ash into the story by having said antagonist kidnap his mother. Lucario and the Mystery of Mew focused a lot on the parallels between Ash/Pikachu and Lucario/Aaron. It was powered by the excellent conflict between Ash's deep loyalty and love for his Pokemon and Lucario's bitterness over being abandoned. The Power of Us tells personal stories for multiple human characters. The modern movies have made some strange decisions but I'm glad they've gotten their storytelling priorities back on the right track again.
 

Timaeus

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It cannot be understated how shoving in Legendries hampers my enjoyment of the movies.

Watching the latest PokéToon in particular (which reminded me a lot of Ghibli's "Kiki") makes me long for a movie that is lower stakes and more character driven. :unsure:
 

AnimeJewel246

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I have complete apathy for every DP, BW and XY movie.
From what I recall, many people hold the same view except for the DP movies, which seem to be liked a lot by the fandom. Especially The Rise of Darkrai, which...I just never fully understood what the appeal was. The beginning dragged on for far too long, certain scenes were nonsensical and had no effect on the plot(Ash's nightmare in particular), many characters had little to no relevance or importance, and the movie repeatedly relied on a "tell, not show" narrative-making things feel slow and boring. It also fell into the trap that many other pokemon movies do with having far too much exposition-another thing I feel was a staple after Lucario and the Mystery of Mew-which was when, like you said, the movies started to fall in quality. Giratina was alright, I suppose, but the plot was ridiculously hard to follow. Even now, I'm still confused as to what exactly happened there. And Shaymin...did she even go through development? I can't recall... Arceus had potential in its premise, going to the past and the characters were actually very interesting...but it was arguably the worst because of how dragged on it was: it had absolutely ridiculous amounts of exposition and the "tell, not show" was as subtle as a slap to the face. Actually, all three of them were very slow and nonsensical. Which is funny, because the one that actually made somewhat sense was Arceus and the Jewel of Life, and like I just said, that was arguably the worst one.
 

Hidden Mew

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My favorite movie is still a tie between Lucario and the Mystery of Mew and I Choose You. The Lucario movie was just great and emotional with the personal focus on Ash's bond with Pikachu, Lucario dealing with feeling abandoned from Sir Aaron and seeing the two of them become closer as they search for Pikachu. Plus, it was the reason Lucario became my favorite Pokemon, so that gives it a personal boost in my book. I Choose You felt so refreshing. I liked most of the changes they made to Ash's first journey through Kanto, especially with Charmander's capture and evolutions, and the new characters were likable. The anime at its core is the bond between Ash and Pikachu. Because that is a key aspect to I Choose You, it felt like a fitting celebration of the anime's anniversary.

Generally speaking, I do enjoy most of the Pokemon movies. Not all of them are on the same level and admittedly, it's kind of tricky to rank them personally just because there are so many, but they're usually enjoyable. The worst ones are usually just boring or uninteresting as opposed to being flat out bad. The OS movies are pretty fun and have some nostalgic charm to them, which is probably why I could still enjoy the Mewtwo remake as much as I did. The AG movies were pretty solid, although I think Destiny Deoxys was one of the weaker movies pacing wise. I haven't seen the DP movies in a long time, but I remember enjoying them. I thought having a trilogy was at least an interesting concept, but I think only Rise of Darkrai and Legend of Arceus stand out among those first three movies. The Zoroark movie was pretty good, but Zorua being able to talk always made me think that they stopped trying to give any kind of reason as to why the new movie Pokemon could talk after arguably Lucario.

The BW and XY movies are some of the least memorable movies in the franchise though. They weren't bad, but I think that the formula of using the newest Legendary Pokemon in each year's movie was starting to really take a hold. There were some good fun movies. I actually really liked Hoopa and the Clash of Ages since it was pretty fun. The plot for the Volcanion movie was pretty typical, but it was executed fairly well at least. Despite this, I think that the movies were as a whole a bit too stale. A large part of it could have been just because there were already so many movies, but it was still hard to make most of these movies stand out when they were mostly about Ash and his friends bonding/helping the new Legendary Pokemon of the year, Ash would take up all of the attention and his friends were lucky to do anything noteworthy in the movie's runtime.

That's one of the reasons why I'm glad that they went for the AU route starting with I Choose You. While it is a shame that the SM cast, as well as possibly Goh and Chloe at this point, didn't get to be in a movie, I think it was ultimately the best choice to make. Almost all of the movies already give the main cast nothing to do, so just making it about Ash and the new movie characters instead of trying to manage something for the regular cast on top of new characters is a better plan. They still incorporate the newest Legendary Pokemon for marketing reasons of course, but I think the AU setting helps to make that less formulaic. Ash was more of a side player in The Power of Us movie for example since it was more focused on giving all of the movie cast members attention instead of making Ash the special chosen one again.

I haven't seen Coco yet of course, but I'm glad that they're still going with the movies set in their own continuity. Since the other movies set within the main series are rarely brought up, they might as well just exist in their own universe instead. I think doing so helped to make the movies more refreshing again. They can just do whatever they want to in each movie without having to factor in the current cast members, where Ash currently is traveling to and he can probably use whatever Pokemon they want him to have without having it to reflect his current team. Having a clean slate and a bit more creative freedom really helped to make me appreciate I Choose You and The Power of Us a lot more.
 

jbmasta

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My favorite movie is definitely Lucario and the Mystery of Mew. The movie presents a location and a history that adds so much flavour, something the games wouldn't properly explore for backstory until X and Y. The time flowers are a really cool idea, windows into the past that tie in to those who are aura sensitive and are used as a more interesting method of exposition at various points so as not to come across as contrived.

The characters are all solid, and the TRio are incorporated in much better than they usually are (sometimes you have to ask why they're even there, they make so little impact). They aren't even antagonistic, and share the goal of reaching the Tree of Beginning because Meowth is there with Pikachu. Kidd is a great character because she's initially coming across as the bad guy, but her intentions are far less insidious and in the end readily gives up any gain the Tree would give her, subverting expectations of her trying to take advantage and making things worse. There are no bad guys, just a misunderstanding that triggers the rescue mission. Even the breakdown the Tree does through doesn't happen because of a villain, it's because the main characters and present day technology aren't compatible with the Tree.

Lucario is fully three dimensional, it has history and a proper arc. Even Max is useful (the chocolate interaction having a lovely callback in the credits). Lucario has understandable motive and confusion because we know as much as it does, if a bit more albeit lacking the context along with Lucario. This sets up its relationship and arc with Ash, rehabilitating its lost trust in humans.

And of course the end credits are unskipable. It touches upon all the characters seen in the movie, even has a cameo of Butler and Diane from Jirachi Wishmaker. We Will Meet Again is a bop. The concept of Aura has since made it into the show, at least three times with the Lucario line (the Pokemon Ranger storyline with Riolu, Riley and Lucario and most recently Ash's Lucario) and also in the Spiritomb episode.

For The Power of Us, while the characterisation of the human characters and how that moved the plot was amazing, the inclusion of Zeraora as the event pokemon to plug was definitely the weak point. Lugia stands out more, and Lugia has much less screentime. It's a shame that the event pokemon have gone to having a lot of lore built around them to being merchandising tools (this crosses over into the games, where the last time we had proper lore and story expansion was Gen 5, since then it's been pick this up at the Pokemon Center).
 

swiftgallade46

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I have a lot of thoughts about the Pokémon movies but not enough patience to write them all down. Suffice to say, I am very nostalgic for the first 12 movies, The Movie 2000 being my absolute favorite to this day. Jirachi Wishmaker and Destiny Deoxys are also up there, though.

As for more modern movies, they’re all mostly hit or miss for me.

I didn’t care for any of the BW movies, except for Genesect which was just decent.

I really did enjoy the Diancie movie, it went back to the old movie “formula” and did a great job. Hoopa and Volcanion were just alright. The former too oversaturated with legendaries and the latter with Megas.

I enjoyed I Choose You for what it was. The Power of Us was kind of meh to me. I wish we had gotten a movie with the Alola crew instead. And then the Mewtwo Strikes Back Remake was cool and all, but seemed like a bit of a cop-out since it came instead of a new movie rather than in addition to.

With Koko I, again, would rather have a movie featuring Ash, Goh, and Chloe rather than continuing with these alternate timeline Ash-clones. I just am not invested in him as much without his Pokémon and travel companions.

The movies had always seemed like a way to celebrate whatever progress Ash had made in his journey up until ICY in the series by showcasing his Pokémon and that of his travel companions in a more high-stakes and lengthy adventure. I miss that.
 

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The risk with doing a movie with the Alola crew is how would you give everyone the right amount of screentime? Even when Ash was travelling with two or three others it wasn't often all his companions got something meaningful to do. The manga adaptation of the Volcanian movie omits Serena, Clemont and Bonnie, and there's little change to the narrative. With Alola that's at least five other characters besides Ash, a good number of them would be sidelined. The Power of Us works despite the large human cast in that the narrative is driven by the characters and their personalities, rather them serving the already in motion story.

There's also that the legendaries of Alola, the box legendaries, Necrozma, the Tapus and the Ultra Beasts, were explored in the anime seasons proper, whereas the movies have traditionally been used to showcase legendaries from the current region and sometimes the next region.
 

swiftgallade46

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The risk with doing a movie with the Alola crew is how would you give everyone the right amount of screentime? Even when Ash was travelling with two or three others it wasn't often all his companions got something meaningful to do. The manga adaptation of the Volcanian movie omits Serena, Clemont and Bonnie, and there's little change to the narrative. With Alola that's at least five other characters besides Ash, a good number of them would be sidelined. The Power of Us works despite the large human cast in that the narrative is driven by the characters and their personalities, rather them serving the already in motion story.

There's also that the legendaries of Alola, the box legendaries, Necrozma, the Tapus and the Ultra Beasts, were explored in the anime seasons proper, whereas the movies have traditionally been used to showcase legendaries from the current region and sometimes the next region.
I don’t imagine that it would be particularly difficult. There also theoretically would have been at least 3 movies for them to get focus. Honestly, just giving them non-cameo roles in a movie at all would have been fine by me.
 

Puddle

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Again, yes, it is not perfect, but its the only movie I feel would stand alone as a good movie rather than a good "pokemon movie".

I agree with this 100%. I like all the Pokemon movies (all the ones I've seen, anyway - I still need to watch Genesect and the Legend Awakened, Hoopa and the Clash of Ages, and Secrets of the Jungle once it's been released internationally), but in most cases I think you really need to be a Pokemon fan to appreciate them. The Power of Us, and the live-action Detective Pikachu, are the only ones that stand out as good pieces of cinema in their own right (interestingly, they're also the only ones to receive "fresh" scores on Rotten Tomatoes, but I've never taken too much notice of what critics think).

The Power of Us is probably my favourite Pokemon film at the moment. I love Detective Pikachu as well, but The Power of Us is more closely aligned with the series' core values, which I think would make it a better introduction to the Pokemon universe for a new fan.

As a child, my favourite was Pokemon Heroes. I was captivated by the beautiful city of Venice Alto Mare and the array of special powers Latias and Latios had (invisibility, shape-shifting, "sight-sharing"), and the bittersweet ending really left an impression on me. Latias and Latios are still two of my favourite Pokemon because of that movie.

I have high hopes for Secrets of the Jungle. It seems like it has the potential to be, like The Power of Us, a predominantly character-driven story. As someone who hasn't been keeping up with the TV series in recent years, I like that the movies have their own separate continuity now, because this makes it easier for me to enjoy them on their own without feeling like I've missed something.
 
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FinnishPokéFan92

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My favorite Pokémon movies are probably the First Movie (due to how long it remained elusive to me, even after I heard stuff about it from other children at school, and Mewtwo's power and character are overall very fascinating) and the Lucario movie (first saw it as a child in YouTube, and it was an experience that I'll never forget and probably contributed to Lucario becoming one of my favorite Pokémon). Honorable mention goes to The Power of Us, which manages to have large cast but still tell interesting stories with them (the old lady's backstory was especially dark for Pokémon anime standards, but I appreciate they were ready to go that far). Even Zeraora doesn't feel as out of place in this movie as, say, Marshadow feels in I Choose You. The focus is on the humans and their partners, instead of a Legendary and/or Mythical Pokémon, which works to the movie's advantage.
My favorite Pokémon movie is still Spell of the Unown: Entei. I think I would even go as far to say that it's my single favorite piece of Pokémon anime. I think it's a fantastic Pokémon movie for a plethora of reasons, but it's also just a really good movie on its own. I love that they came up with a crazy fantasy story and just went for it. It has a good amount of childhood value to me since I rewatched it countless of times on VHS but I think I would love it even if that wasn't the case.
Molly being so lonely and ultimately relatable.
Now for an unpopular opinion from me. I don't really like the third movie, as much as I can see how well made it is. I'm just not a fan of the "a child gains godlike powers without fully comprehending them" trope, so I personally find Molly to be annoying. And the battles, while special in being actual battles in a Pokémon movie, aren't really that exciting to me, since Molly is basically hacking to give herself the advantage, and the battle effects aren't exactly that flashy, either. So, I'm sorry, but I'm not just fan of the tropes this movie uses, and as such, it doesn't rank that high for me.
The Power of One is probably my favourite movie. It's also the closest in structure to those DP-XY era movies. However, it did several things differently, not least how it handled Ash. His role as the chosen one was purely ceremonial and coincidental, something he really embraced because, at the time, he loved to be the star of the show whenever he could. When things became more dangerous and decidedly more real, Ash was terrified. He did not want the responsibility of being the one who had to solve the problem (he very literally got cold feet). Our protagonist being scared sold how dangerous the moment was, grounded Ash as a character and demonstrated the very real courage he had to summon in the end. This all came from the idea of the time where Ash was actually an average joe, whose only special qualities were his courage and persistence, and who couldn't do it alone. Despite being the "chosen one", he needed Pikachu and co. to help him, he needed Team Rocket to help him, he needed Misty to save his life, he needed Lugia and they needed Melody to play the song. Everyone played a part.
The "Chosen One" stuff was all invented by 4Kids, who probably wanted to elevate Ash's status as a shonen hero a lot in the movie. For me, personally, this was, for the longest time, the only Pokémon movie I could easily access, hence why I watched it so much that I grew bored with it, despite the large scope and epic scale. (Also, why did they have to make all those wild Pokémon gather there, other than for dramatic effect? They served zero purpose for the plot.)
 

Sheep

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I think what unfortunately holds The Power of Us back in terms of audience enjoyment is that, when in comparison with other pokemon movies, it is far more character driven than plot driven-making it a different experience from other pokemon movies in that it feels as if nothing is happening. Especially since most pokemon movies tend to immediately jump into the plot through an action scene at the start of the movie in order to grab the audience's attention. But The Power of Us doesn't do that because it not only doesn't follow the typical formula, it also puts the characters first before the plot.

Yeah, I definitely noticed this. It felt slower-paced than some of the other movies at points (not a bad thing at all!) so I feel like younger viewers may not appreciate parts of it as much. Aiming for a proper rewatch sometime this week - I think I'd enjoy the deeper character focus if I pay better attention and don't multitask this time lol. Will be sure to come back to this thread after I'm done with an update :3c
 
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