Pokemon The Movie 2000

"Bad"

Pokemon The Movie 2000 Review


If these shoddily animated, dialogue deficient, trite and mind-melting Pokemon movies are going to become an annual ritual, I may be forced to look for a new line of work.

For the second time in only eight months, this regrettable kiddie cartoon phenomenon has spawned a feature film that is nothing more than a glorified and heavily padded episode of the el cheapo television program -- written, animated, scored and dubbed assembly-line style in Asia and unleashed like a pet store puppy on parents without the will power to tell their kids no.

In "Pokemon the Movie 2000," the endless menagerie of surreal, superpowered and collectably cute critters -- traditionally trained by teenage masters for cartoon adventure and pet-fu cock fights -- face a potential apocalypse brought on by the abduction of the pokemon fire god and the pokemon lightning god. Along with a pokemon ice god -- they're all birds that live on adjacent islands -- these two keep the Earth's elements in harmony and an now a world-wide weather disaster is looming.

Since the movie makes up its own mythology as it goes, the natives of a fourth island near by have a legend about a "chosen one" who can save the planet in just such an event. Said chosen one turns out to be Ash, the tentative young pokemon trainer who is the hero of all these cartoons. (He's also the one who owns Pikachu -- the cutesy-poo yellow cat-like thing with the rosy electric cheeks and lightning bolt tail you see gracing innumerable kindergartners' back packs and lunch pails.)

To save the planet, Ash must to free the divine birds, entreat the help of an even more powerful pokemon from the sea and unite three magic orbs that will restore the world's meteorological balance.

Got all that? You should have heard all the confused kids at the preview screening asking their even more perplexed parents what was going on.

This convoluted and sorry sequel has a few high points, like the intentional irony that finds these pokemon gods snatched by an evil pokemon collector who just wants to keep them as a prize. What a droll dig at the cut-throat adult collectability culture that has sprung up around "Pokemon" and other children's toys.

Just as clever is the computer-animated, H.G. Welles-inspired, castle-meets-Ferris-wheel contraption the nefarious collector flies around in. Driven by scores of propellers and featuring flying buttress architecture and mural-adorned ceilings, the craft is so cool -- and animated so much better than its surroundings -- that it's almost enough to distract grown ups from the insipidness of the rest of the movie.

But it's also indicative of the primary problem with the "Pokemon" phenomenon: Taking kids to see this movie is tantamount to saying "Look at the shiny thing! Look at the shiny thing!" as if they were nothing more than monkeys.

"P2K" hints at storytelling potential that is forever undercut by factory-style production. Like all anime, "Pokemon" plots are littered with abstract themes built into fully-imagined fictional realities. But like too much anime, the creativity stops there. Generic life lessons are tacked on to hackneyed solutions for a barely-realized plot. The picture is populated by unimaginative characters who can scarcely form a coherent sentence -- fully one-third of the movie is ingenuous teenagers with saucer-sized eyes saying "Huh?" As if listening to Pikachu communicate by incessantly repeating his name isn't grating enough.

"Pikachu! Pika, pika? Pikachu-pikachu-pikachu. Pika-CHU? Pi-KA-chu!"

A note to those who willingly make this kind of parent-torturing kiddie fare: If you're not at least aiming for the ingenuity of "Toy Story" or "The Iron Giant," you should be ashamed of yourselves.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Animation

Box Office Worldwide: $133.9M

Budget: $30M

Production compaines: Warner Bro. Japan, 4Kids Entertainment, Oriental Light and Magic, Nintendo, TV Tokyo, GAME FREAKS, Creatures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Starring: as Ash Ketchum (voice), as Misty (voice), as Meowth (voice), Ikue Ōtani as Pikachu (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.