In the aftermath of the early Pokémon hype, one movie comes along and botches the concept of time travel. And boy howdy, is it awful…
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Ohhh, you have no idea how true that title is thus far… Pokémon is about 20 years old now. So…
It might be even older than some of you out there. And before my time, there was Mario. Even before that, Pac-Man. Assuming humanity doesn’t destroy itself in the 21st century, it seems likely that all of those will still be around by the time I’m dead.
But I digress.
So next in my list is a movie that I haven’t seen firsthand as a kid. Yep, I missed out on this one but I did catch it much later on. I had a very neutral opinion about it overall.
And this is also around the time when I was losing interest in the Pokémon anime but still kept up with the games. I completed Pokémon Gold version by the time Ash even got his first gym badge in the anime. Imagine my patience. It didn’t hold up for very long.
Yeah… the irony of it all is that I stopped at the point of what should have been an interesting premise, the Whirl Islands episodes. And for some reason, I found them more boring than I should. I guess with Pokémon The Movie 2000, I was expecting something of a grander scale. And well, you have Team Rocket trying to kidnap the Pokémon of the day (and Pikachu) in every freakin’ episode. The Lugia episodes were no exception. But it wasn’t just Jessie, James, and Meowth, but an entire battalion of operatives.
…Yeah, there is only so much repetition you can take before it becomes all tired out.
Ever since, I had only seen an episode of the anime every now and then. I never got back into it, part of it being that the Hoenn region seasons were embarrassingly obnoxious.
And yes, I’ll get to those two brats at some point.
But enough dragging across the carpet. Let’s watch us some Pokeymen.
The interesting thing about Pokémon 4Ever is that it stars a previously secret Pokémon that was only obtainable through a special event in the Generation II games. Celebi was a widely unknown Pokémon mainly obtainable through the hidden GS Ball item.
Yeah, the GS Ball. Remember that plot cul-de-sac in the anime? HOLY CRAP, that was a waste of fucking time…
However, there was no release of the event outside of Japan. So I found out about Celebi in Pokémon Stadium 2, and I was freaking out over it.
Yeah, you get the gist of it. And my friends who were still into Pokémon at the time didn’t believe me too!
And when this movie came out, I would have asked, “Do you believe me now, fuckers?”
So I tried asking around to see if anyone knew how to obtain a Celebi. Poor little me was heartbroken when no one knew how to get one.
MANY YEARS LATER… I found out about the Celebi egg glitch. Yes, just like Mew in Pokémon Red and Blue, you can only get one through either a glitch or a cheating device. This is long past those games’ time, a time where wireless trading didn’t exist and Game Boys had to connect to each other using link cables.
…Hey! What do you mean you see a white hair on me?!
Okay, let’s begin.
So… unlike the previous movies, this movie was distributed by Miramax Films instead of Warner Bros. It’s still dubbed by 4Kids Entertainment, however.
And also, this movie has a weird little intro put in, in an attempt to explain what Pokémon is about to the non-fans. Like, yeah, this is only the fourth fucking movie, right? What made 4Kids think non-fans are going to see this anyway if they don’t even watch/like the previous movies?
…Maybe it’s a way to appease those critics back then. You know, the ones that “don’t understand Pokeymanz.” Really, what is so hard about understanding little kids leaving the comforts of their homes to poach and own magical pets, then putting them into legalized cockfights?
If you think about it, it’s like getting your own pet Godzilla. Ooh~
WAAAAT DAAAAA FAAAAAWWWW—
What is Porygon doing there?! He’s going to give us seizures! RUN!
…Actually, if you know the real story, Porygon hasn’t appeared in the Pokémon anime because of this one particular anime episode that aired in Japan starring Porygon. It is called Electric Soldier Porygon. There was a scene where ->PIKACHU<- zapped a couple of missiles, which caused a few-seconds long explosion with a strobe effect. Over 700 viewers had an epileptic seizure.
And for some reason, people blamed PORYGON for this. So Porygon and its evolved forms have never in the Pokémon anime after, except for quick cameos.
Okay… if you’re going to blame a fictional character for this, BLAME PIKACHU! Or better yet, blame the people who let that scene in!
So stupid little rant aside…
We ALREADY see our main star of the movie, Celebi, fleeing from a Houndoom and a Scyther. And good god, the CGI in this chase scene is terrible.
…Honestly, if you think the CGI was bad before, get ready for awkwardly slow-moving backgrounds while everything in the foreground moves a lot faster.
Meanwhile, a young boy is taking a walk in the forest and approaches a large tunnel, until a strange green-haired woman appears to surprise him with out-of-nowhere dialogue.
Towa: Don’t forget. If you hear the voice of the forest, don’t move a muscle.
Towa: Don’t tell me you haven’t heard about it.
Sam: No, I haven’t. What’s the voice of the forest?
Towa: Well, it’s only a legend, but everyone around here believes it. They say there’s a sound you can hear when the spirit that protects the forest is time-traveling.
Towa: That’s one of its special powers. It can go back and forth between the past and the future.
That… was painful. I mean, wow. That bit of exposition was WHOOSH! And for a “legend,” you sure know an awful lot about this spirit, lady. So, um, I’m just going to throw this out there: maybe it’s NOT a legend and actual truth?
So Towa hands Sam a load of bread and he goes off on his merry little way.
Meanwhile, a man with a cybernetic eye has Celebi cornered and he tosses a device that looks like a model of an atom… which turns into one of those electric trap thingies in the second movie.
Celebi attempts to flee from its captors once again and ends up coming across Sam. Seeing Celebi in the clutches of the Scyther from earlier, Sam demands Scyther and Houndoom to release Celebi.
Sam: Let it go! Two against one isn’t fair!
…Heeeeeh. Just wait until double battles, triple battles, and rotation battles. Then talk to me about fair, kid.
Celebi manages to free itself by… summoning very skinny vines to hold down Scyther and Houndoom, and landing next to Sam.
Okay… so we have a giant praying mantis with razor-sharp blades for arms and a hellhound that breathes fire. Nope, I don’t see an escape solution here…
But the man with the cybernetic eye returns and explains that he is a Pokémon hunter who captures Pokémon to sell to auctions.
Sam runs away, but Celebi activates its time-traveling ability and the two vanish to parts unknown.
In a rather confusing transition, we flash-forward to a different time period where we see an older version of the Pokémon hunter getting interrogated by a strange masked man.
Yeah, what is up with that mask?
The masked man demands the hunter to tell him about Celebi, but the hunter refuses. The masked man frees a captive Tyranitar and pulls out a strange Poké Ball called a Dark Ball, then uses it to capture Tyranitar.
Why does it look vaguely like Mewtwo’s eyeball Poké Balls from the first movie?
Masked Man: The Pokémon I catch with the Dark Ball become evil Pokémon. And their power instantly increases to the highest level.
BULLSHIT! PURE, UNADULTERATED BULLSHIT!
Besides, how does that thing even work anyway? How do you substitute a lot of time and effort into conditioning a Pokémon with a mechanical ape testicle? That’s so……. UGH!
So the masked man demonstrates the Tyranitar’s power and it ends up leveling down the entire area—and possibly killing the other captured Pokémon, because we never see them again. Ouch.
The Pokémon hunter surrenders and begs him to stop destroying the area.
Whoa! Watch the hand there, buddy!
So, our subtitle of the movie: Celebi: The Voice of the Forest. Mmm. Self-explanatory.
So we meet our heroes—or rather, just Misty and Brock since Ash is nowhere to be found. Can it be, that the writers have FINALLY eliminated Ash Ketchum?! YAAAAAAAAAY!
…Oh, I wish.
Naw. Ash is just battling a kid named Dundee with a thick Australian accent. Don’t ask why. Random movie reference. Derpy derp.
So a cover of Born to Be a Winner plays as the battle rages on. And egggggh…
It didn’t look nearly as good as the one opening up the previous movie.
And because Ash is a careless dimwit, he ends up getting Pikachu to shock both the Croconaw and its trainer. Before he could get the kid some first aid, Ash spots Brock’s Croconaw and leaves the other boy hanging.
…Dude, that is not cool.
Ash barely catches his boat, so much so that it’s amazing he didn’t bash his head against it.
So our heroes have a little conversation with Mr. White—and that is really his name—, the man who saved Ash earlier. They are all going to do some sightseeing around the forest, until…
Ash: Hey… was that a Pokémon?
What idioc—drugs—mental impairments DO YOU HAVE? What ISN’T a Pokémon in this crazy little world you live in?! Hell, even your garbage bags and sludge are Pokémon!
Ugh… so our heroes make a quick stop somewhere to speak to Professor Oak, where they inquire him about the strange Pokémon they saw earlier. Oak somehow figures out that it’s a Suicune.
Professor Oak: And according to folk tales, Suicune personifies the north wind and it’s believed to have the power to purify tainted waters.
Ash: Wow. I hope I get to see Suicune again. It sounds like it’s a pretty cool one.
Professor Oak: Believe you me, kids. Those tales are definitely true.
Ash: Really? How do you know that for sure, professor? Have you ever seen a Suicune before?
Professor Oak: Yes, I sure have. But only one time.
Ash: Wow! Where?
But Mr. White jumps in to interrupt the conversation before Professor Oak had a chance to answer. Ash hangs up immediately and runs off.
We cut to Professor Oak looking at a textbook with a photo of the forest, wondering if he should’ve told Ash something before he hung up.
Our heroes sail down the river as Team Rocket follows through their…
Paper airplane exercise bicycle…
…I’m sure it has its benefits somewhere. Oh, and they end up getting blown away. Hardy har har.
And speaking of which, Mr. White transforms the boat into the stupidest thing ever.
A mini blimp that looks like a pair of floating cigars.
Doesn’t that… defeat the point of it being a boat? And I thought the wind-sailing up a staircase scene in the second movie was stupid…
So everyone ends up at Arborville, a city in which I presume to be the precursor design for the Hoenn region’s Fortree City. Ash, Misty, and Brock take a walk through the forest until an old lady stops them.
A young lady named Diana appears before them and introduces herself and her grandmother (who is actually an older Towa if you haven’t figured it out). Towa makes a warning to the children about the “voice of the forest,” but Ash is more interested in looking for Pokémon and the group leaves quickly.
Good to know Ash hasn’t lost his common sense…
Brock asks the group about what Towa meant about “the voice of the forest.” But their conversation gets interrupted when they notice a strange glow around the area. They trace the glow to a mysterious shrine, where they find Sam.
Not too far off, Celebi is attempting to crawl away out of sight.
Our heroes bring Sam back to Towa and Diana. But then, Sam comes to his senses and shoves Ash. YEAH, SAMMY, POUND HIM!
But Sam calms down as Towa and Diana check up on him. Towa hugs Sam in relief and the young boy realizes who she is.
In Towa’s treehouse, Towa hands over an old sketchbook to Sam and explains to him that he has been gone for 40 years.
In a random transition, we see our villain of the movie piloting… a giant, mechanical tick across the forest.
Ha, wow… subtle.
You know what would be appropriate?
Back to the treehouse: Sam wonders where Celebi is, which for some reason surprises Towa. I mean, the kid has only been gone for 40 years without a single trace of aging since that fateful day after all.
Towa explains that Celebi may be going deeper into the forest to heal at the Lake of Life, but Sam and the gang are concerned for Celebi’s well-being and decide to search for it.
Meanwhile, Team Rocket is sitting in a tree.
Insert obvious joke here.
And they spot the twerps passing by. Well, hopefully, they do get a big part in this movie as Meowth foreshadowed in the previous one.
Our heroes find an unusual gathering of Pokémon huddled around an opening in an enormous tree, so Ash and Sam decide to go tree-climbing.
Ash: Sam, maybe you should wait down with Brock and Misty.
Sam: No, I have to find Celebi! I couldn’t protect it before so I gotta help it now!
Ash: I know how you feel, Sam, but… take it easy.
Maybe you should follow your own advice, kid. Practice what you preach. You dig?
…The fuck you’re looking at?
So they do find Celebi in the tree and attempt to help it, but Celebi lashes out in an attempt to protect itself. They try to reason with it, as Celebi bitchslaps them with vines, but it eventually calms down and Celebi faints in Sam’s arms.
Everyone tries to bring Celebi to the nearest Pokémon Center, but they get some unwanted company.
The visit doesn’t last long, as the tree branch collapses from their weight and the kids escape.
But just as they get close to Arborville, they get another unwanted visitor.
Ash: Who are you?
Masked Man: A Pokémon lover.
Ahhhhhhh! Dude, too much information!
So the masked man sends out his h4x Tyranitar in an attempt to apprehend them… with a Hyper Beam.
Uhhh, guy? Wouldn’t you need Celebi alive for… whatever plan you have in mind? Maybe a trap would work out better?
However, Team Rocket butts in, thinking the masked man is trying to take their prize, but they end up drawing Tyranitar’s attention.
Jessie: Look at that mask! I’ve seen him before!
Meowth: Yeah, wasn’t he in that Mexican wrestling movie?
Pffffft, what? So now Mexico is in this same world? I don’t know what it is, but that line just cracks me up.
James: No, Meowth! He’s from Team Rocket!
Altogether: The Iron-Masked Marauder!
The WHAT? Maybe he really is a luchador! Holy crap, that’s so…
…That is so stupid and unintentionally hilarious. I-I-I… I gotta give that props.
So Team Rocket submits to the… pfft, Iron-Masked Marauder, so I guess they’re all working together now.
Meanwhile, our heroes are looking for an escape route, but the Iron-Masked Marauder’s Scizor and Sneasel—presumably h4x like the Tyranitar—catch up to them.
Ash and Sam challenge them to a battle, in what is probably the very first double battle in the anime. Can someone reading this article check up on that for me?
Is that Sam’s Poké Ball…?
So it becomes Bayleef and Charmeleon VS. Scizor and Sneasel.
…Nice job, Ash, sending a Grass Pokémon out against a Bug/Steel Pokémon and a Dark/Ice Pokémon. You’re a fucking genius.
Charmeleon and Sneasel seem to be evenly matched—so I guess the Iron-Masked Marauder is full of shit when he said the Dark Balls raise the captured Pokémon’s power to the highest level—while Bayleef struggles against Scizor using its illusionary Double Team move.
Sammy tutors Ash to get Bayleef to locate the real Scizor—seeing as how our upcoming Pokémon Master seems to keep forgetting what Double Team does. And with just a Razor Leaf and Vine Whip combo, Bayleef defeats Scizor.
Okay, NOW I KNOW that the Iron-Masked Marauder is full of shit!
See… this is one of the biggest reasons why I stopped watching the anime series. It’s because the anime constantly ignores typing disadvantages and completely destroys expectations for the actual conflicts.
Oh, you want examples? Okay, let’s take Ash’s Bayleef (from her time as a Chikorita to the end of the Johto seasons) and compare her victories and losses.
- Ash’s Charizard (though more of a draw)
- Misty’s Staryu
- Jessie’s Arbok
- Chuck’s Poliwrath
- Chuck’s Machoke
- Gary’s Arcanine (in a fucking RACE)
- Harrison’s Houndoom
- Falkner’s Hoothoot
- Bugsy’s Metapod
- Gary’s Blastoise
- Harrison’s Blaziken
And half of her victories came from defeating evolved Pokémon that had a type advantage! And how the fuck did this h4x Bayleef lose to a Blastoise and a fucking METAPOD if she managed to bring down a Charizard, a Spinarak, an Arbok, an Arcanine, and a Houndoom?!
And of course, Bayleef isn’t the only one. Ash’s Pikachu is the best example of pulling victories, for battles it shouldn’t have won, out of its ass, and… many more of the protagonists’ Pokémon to come.
In a way, this is called “staging.” I like to call it “ignoring consistency in order to bring overwhelming odds to the protagonist’s favor.” I also have a shorter term: Half-assing it.
See, if a writer does this, it means they don’t care enough whether you notice these inconsistencies or not. You’re still giving them money for this written bullcrap. And that kind of arrogance pisses me off.
Ahem… what you just witnessed was a brief glance at my childhood frustration. Expect more of these moments as I get through more of these movies.
Ash: Yeah, Bayleef! You did it!
Sam: You’re a great trainer, Ash!
Ash: Well, it helps when you have great Pokémon!
A MINI RANT.
- How is Ash a great trainer if you, Sam, have to tell him exactly what to do in that situation?
- Ah, yes, Ash’s great Pokémon… which includes a Pikachu that brought down an Onix and a Dragonite, but not a Snivy or a Surskit. Because FUCK CONSISTENCY. IT’S FOR PUSSIES.
Oh, and also, Sam’s Charmeleon defeats Sneasel with a single Headbutt. Why he wouldn’t use a fire attack to get the job done—though maybe not the best idea to do in a forest—, I won’t understand.
So there you go, Iron-Masked Marauder! That Scizor of yours lost to a middle-staged Pokémon in which it has TWO TYPE RESISTANCE ADVANTAGES OVER!
But for whatever reason, the Iron-Masked Marauder is amused by this and is looking forward to the challenge.
And I think you’re an imbecile.
Our heroes run into dense fog in the middle of the forest, but run into a Teddiursa and Ursaring. The two wild Pokémon lead them through the fog until everyone meets up with a lone Stantler. Then the Stantler urges the kids to follow it.
And then the Stantler passes the kids off to a Furret.
…Strangely organized for a bunch of wild animals, huh?
Furret leads everyone to the rumored Lake of Life. Knowing they have no time to pussy-foot around, Sam walks into the lake with Celebi in his arms. Celebi squirms away and submerges itself in the water, then swims around.
And for some reason, the fog just clears itself away, revealing a massive gathering of wild Pokémon surrounding the lake.
Brock: This must be the Lake of Life. Hey, that’s it! The lake water must have brought Celebi back to life!
*slams head against the wall*
Who is the idiot who wrote this script?!
So Celebi rises out of the water, showing its gratitude to the children, and we are treated to a whole three minute’s worth of annoying cutesiness.
Nom nom nom…
Meanwhile, we have a random scene of Team Rocket attempting to get some peaches off a tree. They fail miserably. Of course.
Later that night, Ash wakes up to Sam sketching Pikachu and Celebi sleeping next to each other. Sam shows more of his drawings.
Ash: These are amazing! This is like a handmade Pokedex. That’s this machine that has pictures of Pokémon.
…And gives you detailed descriptions about them.
Sam: I guess you know a lot about the future, huh, Ash? At least, more than I do.
Ash: Yeah, I guess so. But I’m sure glad I’m not stuck in it like you are.
…Okay, Ash. Right there, you just rocketed out of “idiot territory.” You rocketed out of there and ended up in “douchebag territory.” Are you happy with yourself now?
By the way, remember this conversation for later… because it’s important to know.
So Ash apologizes for his behavior and Sam accepts it, thinking he’ll get used to living in the future.
Sam: But then I think about my mother worrying about me and wondering where I am. And I wonder if she still wonders.
Ash: Yeah, me too…
Sam: Hey, what about your mom, Ash? I bet she worries about you when you’re out on your Pokémon journey.
Ash: Yeah, she worries… I guess. Maybe that’s just what moms do.
To be fair for a minute, I understand this conversation is to develop the friendship between these two characters. That’s a respectable move.
And while I can see where Sam is coming from here, there’s just not enough of him we know about to sympathize with him. The fact that this child is chronologically away from his mother for 40 years is a pretty intense concept to think about. A mother thinking her child is gone for 40 years? That’s an undeniably horrifying thought. But maybe if we had looked at a brief scene of Sam’s former life, maybe this whole scene would have worked out better and I would sympathize with this character more.
But that’s just me. So, enough of my yapping, because we got MORE FILLER!
Ho-ho-ho! How enchanting and not so time-wasting!
Ash tells Sam to keep his chin up, that he will go back to his time period.
…Um, now that I think about it, why not get Celebi up the following morning and do just that? Celebi is an intelligent Pokémon and it’s psychic. I’m sure it will understand. In fact, the next minute has Sam’s very own TARDIS literally sitting in his lap! HOW IS THIS SO DIFFICULT TO FIGURE OUT?
Hello… ship tease? Nice to see you crawl out of nowhere!
The next morning, everyone heads back to Arborville but gets ambushed by Team Rocket and the Iron-Masked Marauder. Pikachu attempts to apprehend the Marauder with an electric attack, but it turns out the giant mechanical tick can erect a barrier to protect the cockpit.
…Hehe. cockpit. Uhuh! Uhuh uhuh uhuh!
The Marauder subdues Celebi and captures it in a Dark Ball. And because Ash has this tendency to charge into danger YET AGAIN, he climbs up on the mechanical tick and attacks the Marauder while a bunch of bird Pokémon assist him.
Ash steals away the Dark Ball for a moment but the Marauder crushes his fingers with presumably an iron boot for a whole ten seconds.
Ash, why can’t you just pull the ROUND OBJECT away and RUN?!
It’s unbelievable how bereft of common sense this movie is, even compared to the previous entries. And here I am, sitting here and watching it. This is what I do in my spare time, folks.
The Marauder has the Dark Ball in his possession as the wild Pokémon surround him. To demonstrate its power, the Marauder unleashes the h4x Celebi to curbstomp all of them in a matter of seconds.
Celebi summons a large amount of wood and leaves to create…
A twister sphere thing…
…And ends up sucking up Jessie in the process.
Towa, Diana, and Mr. White arrive on the scene to check up on our heroes, seeing as how their lack of common sense ends up being their undoing.
Oh, by the way…
So 45 minutes into the movie, a CGI Suicune shows up. Where the hell have you been all this time?
Later, our heroes search around the forest via boat-blimp as James and Meowth are hanging off to the side.
How do these people not notice them?!
Oh, what am I saying. These are the same kids that fall for paper-thin disguises in every fucking episode…
James: Do you think Jessie’s going to be all right?
Meowth: Yeah, but I ain’t sure about Celebi.
That is pretty harsh, Meowth. I mean, really, it’s not like she hasn’t been one of your constant companions throughout the whole series.
Meanwhile, we see a spiky death star crashing into everything in sight while the Iron-Masked Marauder laughs evilly.
Mwa ha ha ha! YES! DESTROY! DESTROY!
Oh, and Jessie is, um…
It’s amazing how that skirt defies all sense of gravity in every opportunity…
Jessie: Uh, excuse me, Mister Masked Person, but could you let me out of here?
Iron-Masked Marauder: Not yet. I need a witness to report back to Giovanni. I want the head of Team Rocket to know just how powerful Celebi is and how powerful I am too.
In other words, GLOAT GLOAT GLOAT. MY WANG IS BIGGER THAN YOURS NOW.
Celebi transforms the spiky death star into…
A gigantic wooden devil that shoots lasers.
I swear, it’s like doing a CGI version of a Rorschach test…
Jessie tries to bargain with the Marauder, promising a big promotion from Giovanni if he delivers Celebi. But the Marauder has other plans.
Iron-Masked Marauder: Ha ha ha! I control the most powerful Pokémon in the world!
Eh, that’s debatable.
Iron-Masked Marauder: Why would I give something that valuable to the boss?
Jessie: What do you mean?
Iron-Masked Marauder: Now the boss has to be afraid of ME! Because Celebi gives me the power to destroy him. With Celebi, I can rule Team Rocket AND THE ENTIRE WORLD IF I WANT TO!
Cue clichéd evil laugh.
URRRRRGGGGGHHHH. WHAT THE HELL IS WITH THIS MOVIE?
Okay, I apologize in advance but let’s really examine where we are so far.
- Sammy accidentally gets sent forward in time while Celebi attempts to protect itself.
- The villain of this movie has a specialized Poké Ball that lets him have absolute control of a Pokémon. Even though he claims it boosts the Pokémon’s abilities to the highest level, we clearly see them LOSING to what should’ve been much weaker opponents! Still, why not mass produce that shit and create an ARMY of obedient h4x Pokémon? He would be unstoppable!
- The moment the kids healed Celebi at the Lake of Life, Sam could have asked Celebi to send him back in time and this whole mess could have been avoided. And by a big fucking coincidence, the villain of the movie tracked Celebi in the right time period. Why didn’t Celebi travel through time again to defend itself?
- The Iron-Masked Marauder captured Celebi in a Dark Ball. And his motivation is to oust Giovanni, then rule Team Rocket and the world. Okay. Why didn’t he think of going back in time with this time-traveling legendary Pokémon then?! With his advanced technology, he could have dominion over the world in the past too! He could have founded Team Rocket—or hell, prevent Team Rocket from ever starting up—, create minimal possibilities of rebellions, and keep the citizens of the world under his thumb!
How did this movie have bigger plot holes than the previous ones combined?! HOW?!
Our heroes catch up the giant wooden devil and GET SEEN.
IMA FIRIN MAH LAZAR!
The mini-blimp crash lands at the Lake of Life, where we see that no one has a single scratch or burn mark on them after getting hit by a giant LASER. Pikachu tries to shock the wooden devil, but it ends having no effect. Doesn’t catch fire as it should. Hum.
Seriously, Pikachu, I think Johto is the point of the entire anime series where you begin to suck…
And rather take advantage of his invulnerability and go off on his merry way, the Marauder sics the wooden devil after the kids. Dude, talk about overkill. But at the last second, Suicune saves Ash and Sam right before the wooden devil’s laser hits.
50 minutes in, and this is one of Suicune’s big moments. I want my money back.
Ash: You must’ve come here to help us out.
But it doesn’t really explain why Suicune is at the forest in the first place.
The Marauder sends out his evil Tyranitar to bring down Suicune with a very slowly charging Hyper Beam—just move out of the fucking way, Suicune—but Brock sends out his Onix to interrupt the attack. Yeah, for some reason, Onix knows what to do right away.
Tyranitar curbstomps Onix but this gives Suicune the chance to climb onto the giant wooden devil with just a couple of leaps. Ash and Sam peer inside the devil’s mouth—which is a surreal thought—and find Celebi in a zombie-like state.
Man, you won’t believe the weed I found… So… smokey, man…
Celebi manipulates the wooden devil to shake off Suicune. The Marauder’s Tyranitar is about to finish off Brock’s Onix, but Suicune comes in to bring down the beast.
How come every one of these h4x Pokémon is so easy to defeat?
And a pissed off Onix smashes Tyranitar while it’s down and sends it to the bottom of the Lake of Life.
That is fucking harsh.
And remember, this Tyranitar was just a poached Pokémon captured by the Pokémon hunter much earlier in the movie. It was only evil because of the Iron-Masked Marauder. So Onix just murdered an innocent armored beast with a stone-like body by having it drown at the bottom of the lake.
And it doesn’t bother our heroes at all that they just murdered a Pokémon.
But the Marauder is still confident that Celebi will wipe out everything in sight. Suicune attempts to bring down the wooden devil, but ends up getting captured along with Ash and Sam. Celebi tortures them with purple electricity.
No! I’m too pretty to be touched that way!
Ash and Sam somehow squirm free and seemingly fall to their doom, but Jessie saves them in a nick of time—while still being bound upside-down by vines.
Ash and Sam get inside the devil’s mouth again and try to reason with Celebi and get it to remember them. And SOMEHOW, this causes Celebi to snap out of it and it tries to resist its mind control.
Look, even the wild Pokémon are encouraging it to stop.
Ash and Sam manage to get close to Celebi to touch it. Celebi gets a bunch of flashbacks and it manages to break free. Even the Marauder’s Dark Ball explodes!
So you see it here, folks. Celebi breaks free from its control through the power of friendship. Good god, this movie is stupid.
The giant wooden devil collapses into the Lake of Life.
Celebi saves Ash and Sam and safely escorts them back to land, but everyone notices something is wrong.
Ash tries to revive Celebi with the Lake of Life’s water, but it doesn’t work. Towa explains that “the forest is hurt and the water is tainted,” which is a load of bullcrap.
Misty: Wait a second. Suicune has the power to make the water clean again.
And this is Suicune’s OTHER big accomplishment in the movie. Purifying the lake water. Give it a minute to see how pointless it is.
So Ash tries submerging Celebi into the water again, but it still doesn’t work.
So you see it here. Other than for plot convenience, Suicune has absolutely no point in being in this movie, therefore the small amount of screentime and the bare mention of it.
Oh, and Celebi is dead.
Well, good job, kids. This is why you need brain cells in order to succeed at life.
And Sam says the obvious to hammer in the point of this scene.
Sam: Celebi didn’t do anything wrong! It was a human being who forced Celebi to destroy the forest! Celebi never even had a choice. And now, it can’t have a choice… Now it’s too late to choose because Celebi is gonna die!
Yeah, poor Celebi! Let’s spend the last half of the movie to turn it into good because fuck that Tyranitar who suffered the same fate from earlier! He was an asshole anyway… oh, and not a real legendary Pokémon. He wasn’t special at all. Luck of the draw, Tyranitar. Derpy derp.
Actually, here’s a good opportunity. Let’s make all of the Pokémon of the forest cry and use their Tears of Life to bring Celebi back to the dead! Because that still works, right?
Well, the Pokémon of the forest don’t cry but rather just wail and howl in sorrow. No tears or anything.
And believe it or not, then comes a deus ex machina ending that is EVEN WORSE than the first movie’s.
Are you ready for this?
Are you sure?
No regrets whatsoever?
Okay… here goes.
So, this is what happens…
Celebi’s past and future selves come back to this specific point in time and negate the damage done to Celebi, bringing it back to life.
Ah, I just dozed off for a minute… what happened? Why is everything so yellow and sparkly?
And these Celebi also undo the damage done to the forest before returning back to their respective time periods.
…Where the hell is the Celebi from this time period then?
I-I’m at a loss for words here. Now suddenly, the concept of TIME plays a role here. And it presents the biggest plot hole of all. If all of these Celebi could have sensed one of their own is in trouble and have easily gone back in time to assist, why didn’t they do so earlier? And if future Celebi existed, that means this dying Celebi somehow survived anyway, and ARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGH!
This movie. This fucking movie. It proves those snobby critics who despised the Pokémon franchise right. Everything wrong with Pokémon, you can see just from watching this movie.
Oh, but it’s not over yet.
The Marauder grabs the revived Celebi and attempts to escape with his hidden jetpack. Ash grabs him by the leg and uses Pikachu to sabotage the Marauder’s escape. They all end up getting shocked and the jetpack explodes.
And they all died.
Oh, of course not. Celebi ends up saving Ash and Pikachu while the Marauder somehow survives from that height by crashing through multiple tree branches to cushion his fall. I still think that would give back problems, thank you!
Towa, Diana, Mr. White, and all of the forest Pokémon gang up on him and tie him up. And we presumed he’s… jailed, sentenced, put to death, whatever. We don’t see him again.
Ash and Sam thank Suicune for its assistance, and Suicune runs off into the yonder to become a subplot device for Pokémon Crystal. Or to pull off more dumbass miracles. Who knows.
You know, maybe that’s why Suicune is in this movie in the first place. To promote Pokémon Crystal, even though the game came out over a year before this movie got released in theaters. A little late there, don’t you think?
So Celebi FINALLY gets ready to travel back in time and wants to take Sam along. Ash and Sam say their farewells to each other, under the note that they’ll be friends forever. Just as Celebi and Sam enter the time portal, Ash promises they’ll see each other again.
Later that day, our heroes recount their unbelievable (and I really mean it) adventure to Professor Oak over the precursor Skype video call. Professor Oak notices Ash’s gloomy expression and comforts him.
Professor Oak: I wouldn’t worry, Ash.
Professor Oak: True friendships can withstand the test of time. And I have a feeling this one will. I’m sure you and Sammy will be friends forever.
Ash: Thanks, professor. I think so too.
They have to cut their video chat short since their boat is about to leave again. Misty points out that they have never mentioned Sam’s name in front of Professor Oak—and they never talk about it again—, which means…
…Well, fuck. This movie actually has something good after all.
Okay, if you think about it, this little twist is obvious. The video call with Professor Oak much earlier in the movie drops this hint big time. That, and the second movie reveals Professor Oak’s real name: Samuel. Still, pretty neat to know despite being thrown into a relatively terrible movie.
Team Rocket is still at the Lake of Life, closing off the movie and tying up some loose ends.
I’M STILL ALIVE!
Well, so much for their big part in the movie.
So yeah, the Marauder’s Pokémon—including the Scizor and Sneasel—are all right and they are free to live in the wild.
Now, back to the conversation between Ash and Sam I asked you to remember earlier. So since Ash showed his Pokedex to Sam, does that mean Sam got the idea of this electronic encyclopedia from HIM?
Oh, and there’s more to it. I even have a list. If Ash didn’t help out and Sam hadn’t gone back to his time period:
- Professor Oak would have never existed
- Sam wouldn’t have invented the Pokédex
- Many of Oak’s apprentices may have never become professors (such as Elm and Hale)
- Ash would have never received Pikachu or become a Pokémon Trainer
So basically, Ash is responsible for bringing about one of the top authorities of Pokémon into the world.
…Good gravy. All this talk of implying Ash being the freakin’ messiah is giving me a migraine.
Or seeing as how Professor Oak still exists in this world, little Sam would have somehow gotten back anyway. Right? Or wait, how would he resolve the Celebi crisis then?
Ah, you know what? Fuck it. THIS MOVIE SUCKS.
At the time, this had to be the worst Pokémon movie by far. The action is boring, the entire plot is beyond contrived, and the ending death scene is one of the biggest copouts that these movies have to offer.
…And yet, there are still worse Pokémon movies, are there? Well, fuck me. I still have 13+ movies to cover…
- The friendship between Ash, Sam and Celebi, which all things considered isn’t badly developed.
- The decent ending twist showing that Professor Oak is an older Sam.
- Terribly choreographed battles, which was oddly enough one of the strongest points of the previous movie.
- Suicune’s phoned in appearance, who has absolutely no point in being in the movie other than for shoehorned plot conveniences.
- The numerous contrivances and major plot holes that make this movie a pain to sit through. The one-note villain has very little point in being around.
- The terrible deus ex machina ending, which is the biggest plot hole of the entire movie.