After the huge financial success of the first movie, the second movie comes in as another box office hit. But is it actually worth watching?
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So while the Pokémon craze in the ’90’s hadn’t quite died down, it was a weird period for the franchise.
The anime series seemed to be suspended in limbo as the writers didn’t seem to know how to approach future episodes, so they created the filler arc known as the Orange Islands saga. They tried experimenting with using Pokémon in different ways through the four gym challenges in this saga, which are mostly sporting events such as a surfing race or a mountain slope race using sleds made from ice blocks. Despite this, the final tournament of the Orange Islands was based on battling, which was really inconsistent with how the gyms worked. Honestly. I’m sure there is something about “earning your Pokémon’s trust” moral somewhere, but it’s like comparing calculus to physics. They are not exactly the same. This anime season was pretty hit-and-miss for fans, and even I wasn’t that into it.
It was also a time when a few new Pokémon were introduced to the franchise, such as Marill (who appeared in the first Pikachu short).
There were also Donphan (sometimes misspelled as “Donfan”), Slowking and Lugia. Pokémon Gold and Silver versions hadn’t been released in the U.S. yet, but imagine the reactions of the kiddies when they found out that those games existed. I was pretty fucking pumped about them too. And when I got Gold version later, it ended up becoming my favorite game in the entire franchise. A new region, new Pokémon species, a new soundtrack, a new set of legends, It blew my tiny kiddie mind!
So at the turn of the millennium, the United States gets Pokémon The Movie 2000—originally called Revelation Lugia—a long anticipated sequel after the teaser trailer in the Mewtwo Strikes Back VHS.
So compared to Mewtwo Strikes Back, we got a more definite world crisis as the main plot of the movie, starring a dragon-like bird Pokémon with a discernible typing and the three legendary birds.
Well, gee, if I say it like that, I would make it sound boring.
…Oh. I Jynx’d it. *laugh track*
So we begin the movie with a shot of three islands as a Slowking—which was a new species at the time and was rumored to be the evolution of Slowbro—stares off into the horizon. We get an opening narration from an unseen character.
“Disturb not the harmony of fire, ice, or lightning, lest these titans wreak destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though the water’s great guardian shall arise to quell the fighting, alone its song will fail, and thus the earth shall turn to ash. O Chosen One, into thine hands bring together all three. Their treasures combined tame the Beast of the Sea.”
…Really? We’re in a “chosen one” flick? Oh god.
We get a look at our villain, credited as Lawrence III. He’s a British person.
His supercomputer tells him about the three legendary birds: Moltres, Zapdos, and Articuno. Apparently, they are all located close to Shamouti Island in the Orange Islands region. Do I smell plot convenience? Lawrence, in his giant air fortress of doom, mobilizes and approaches one of the smaller islands.
Holy shit, did he build this all by himself?
Lawrence launches an attack on Fire Island, where he provokes the wrath of the fire bird Moltres, and successfully captures it using elaborate electrical traps. Lawrence gloats over his easy victory as he states that capturing Zapdos and Articuno as well will summon “The Beast of the Sea.” We get a brief teaser shot of alleged beast.
And then we get our subtitle of the movie, The Power of One. Oh, boy.
So we meet our heroes: Ash, Misty, and…
Wait, who the fuck is this asshole? And WHERE’S BROCK?!
That is Tracey Sketchit, an artist with the misfortune of having a worse pun of a name than North West. He is the very first replacement character in the anime and usurps Brock’s role as the other male companion of Ash. The reason for this is that Pokémon’s popularity was at a high at the time but the Japanese were afraid that Brock might be an insensitive racial stereotype due to his eyes, so thus Tracey was born. The irony is that no one really liked Tracey and preferred Brock over him, so Brock did eventually return to the anime during the Johto seasons.
It is not that Tracey in particular is a truly awful character. He is just… bland as wheat toast and replaces a beloved major character of the series. Oh, and he doesn’t really like to battle. He studies Pokémon by sketching them in his notebook. His role? Pokémon Watcher.
Well, it could’ve been worse. I could be making a joke about the Pokémon Breeder role, which Brock was originally going to be.
So anyways, our heroes are out at sea on a boat with a captain named Maren. They allow their Pokémon to get some fresh sea air and enjoy the nice weather, while Team Rocket is tailing them in their Magikarp submarine. After a rather boring intro sequence, a storm suddenly rolls in and the ocean waves sporadically become treacherous. Ash and his friends withdraw their Pokémon into safety while a large school of Magikarp follow them. Why? I don’t know.
We get another brief peek at Lugia underwater, randomly so. Thanks for teasing us again, movie.
The boat captain Maren takes Ash and his friends to Shamouti Island for safety, while Team Rocket loses control of their submarine and runs into a cliff. Yuk yuk yuk.
So we cut to Ash’s hometown, Pallet Town, where Professor Oak greets Ash’s mother, who we find out is named Delia. Why does the movie suddenly shift focus on them? I have no clue.
Their small-talk conversation is interrupted as a storm randomly rolls in, causing a downpour for a few seconds… and then, snow.
Delia: But this is summer. How can it snow?
Professor Oak: I-I don’t know.
You’re asking that in a world where there are Pokémon that can manipulate the weather. And yeah, this may be before Generation II and therefore Rain Dance wasn’t a move yet, but Pokémon like Dragonair and the previous movie’s Mewtwo could change the weather.
Then a flock of Pidgey flies towards an aurora borealis.
Birdemic 3! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!
And then back to sunny. The weirdness doesn’t stop there.
Move, bitch! Get out da way!
Get out da way, bitch, get out da way!
Professor Oak theorizes that all of the Pokémon sense that something is terribly wrong in the world and are investigating the issue. So basically, they have those super duper senses from Dragon Ball Z. Huh.
Makes sense to me.
At Shamouti Island, Pikachu is watching the sky with a worried look while a group of masked islanders ambush our heroes. Or so you’d think.
No cannibal islanders? BORING!
So the boat captain Maren and the woman named Carol talk about an upcoming festival. The maiden playing at the festival is Carol’s little sister, Melody, a snooty little bitch-and-a-half who shits on centuries of island tradition.
Your secondary protagonist, people.
So as soon as Maren mentions that Ash is a Pokémon Trainer, the islanders… get excited for some reason. An old man steps up, giving a brief explanation of a prophecy involving a “chosen one” who will vanquish the titans of fire, ice, and lightning.
Seriously? In a world full of trainers, Ash just so happens to be the first one to come to Shamouti Island which automatically makes him the “Chosen One” of the legend? What the fuck kind of logic is that?
Well, never mind. The elder clarifies that it’s a little tourist game that the islanders have made up. Swell.
Melody seems to take a sporadic liking to Ash and kisses him on the cheek, which ends up flustering Misty.
Urge to kill… rising…
Do it, Misty! Kill ’em all!
And for no reason, Melody decides to ruffle Misty’s feathers by implying she’s jealous. Charming.
So our island festival is underway, for some reason playing freakin’ calypso music, and we cut to a diner.
Maren: And she says, “Nope. But I have Krabbies!”
…Why? Why the hell does a movie like this need a joke like that?
So Misty grumbles about Melody calling her Ash’s girlfriend, putting on her most charming appearance.
Is that a drumstick she’s eating…?
Ash ignores this and seems to look forward to find out about his role as the “Chosen One.” Then they hear a pretty ocarina song as Melody comes onto stage, seeming to be into her performance despite the earlier scene she made. As soon as she finishes, she runs toward Ash, telling him what his role is: he must retrieve three glass orbs from Fire Island, Ice Island, and Lightning Island and bring them to the shrine at Shamouti Island.
Your plot of the year. Yay~
So Melody flirts with Ash some more while Misty watches, but Ash wants to jump right into his task. The boat captain Maren agrees and is willing to help him out, but Misty is in her tsun-tsun mood and rather stays behind.
Finally, Ash’s Pikachu loses his nerve and takes Ash’s hat, prompting his owner to chase him.
Bitch! Don’t make me abandon you again!
Cut to Team Rocket, piloting what is left of their Magikarp submarine. Ash, Maren, and Pikachu pass them by on a motorboat. As this is going on, another storm picks up and a downpour commences.
Hai, Slowking. Bai, Slowking.
In another location, a Slowking laments the current situation. And for some reason, he can speak like Team Rocket’s Meowth. No telepathy or anything, but actually opens his mouth and speaks human tongue. How much you wanna bet this will never be addressed in the movie?
Ha, thought so.
Meanwhile, Melody worries for the safety of Ash and blames it on the island’s rituals for it as well as herself. Good to know she is modest.
So she, Misty, and Tracey take matters into their own hands while the two ladies bicker on Misty’s relationship with Ash, again for no reason. They take a motorboat across sea—which, admittedly, is a stupid move—while Team Rocket has stowed away on it.
We finally return back to our villain of the movie, Lawrence, who is repeating the damned “disturb not the harmony of fire, ice, and lightning” prophecy to himself again. He seems amused by how his capture of Moltres ends up upsetting the climate as he approaches Lightning Island. What a dick.
We find out that the world is having sporadic weather as well, which the news points out is caused by crazy-ass water currents that stretch out across the globe. Is that all you got for an explanation? And all because Moltres was captured? I don’t buy it.
We cut to Professor Oak and Miss Ketchum watching the news.
Why are you two in this movie again?
Professor Oak: I wonder if this is what’s been upsetting all of the Pokémon.
No, world’s leading Pokémon researcher. They all came across a stash of beans and their gas buildup ended up throwing the climates of the world out of balance. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
So the news report explains that the source of the problems is at the Orange Islands, which worries the two of them since they know Ash is there. Oak receives a message from the lead researcher of the Orange Islands, Professor Ivy, confirming that the “Pokémon are behaving very strangely.” Where the hell have you been all this time, lady?
Oh lookie lookie look! Brock cameo!
So over twenty minutes of buildup and we haven’t learned much at this point. Way to go, writers. You’re really putting me in suspense here.
Ash and Maren find that the storm has ended abruptly, but the waves are still very choppy. After going through a field of sea rocks, they crash-land at the nearest island.
And then Pikachu runs up a staircase and Ash follows.
So, Point A. Point B. Point R, Point C, Point S. This movie goes all over the place!
Meanwhile, Melody, Misty and Tracey are out at sea and are also fighting the waves. Melody seems to be doing pretty damn well with piloting the boat through a treacherous sea while a professional boat captain couldn’t. I don’t mind a pro-active secondary character in a Pokémon movie, but this is stretching things a bit.
Misty: Cool move.
Melody: I’ve been around boats all my life. You don’t have to be scared.
Misty: Oh, I never get scared out in the ocean. I come from a water Pokémon gym.
And suddenly, they’re friends. What the hell, movie.
So somehow, the boat soars into the air and does a backflip (yeah really, a backflip) while safely landing back on the water. However, this stunt throws Team Rocket off and sends them parachuting to the same island where Ash is at.
Oh, and Melody goes through the same field of sea rocks, riding a tidal wave to help her avoid the hazards. Try this at home, kids!
They land on a big rock. And everyone is fine. Just look at this conversation.
Tracey: Hey! Are you guys okay?
Maren: Yeah, we’re fine! But I think the boat’s in pretty bad shape.
Yeah, let’s not question why three children decide to come out to sail in the middle of a storm, who are not even using their Pokémon at this point! Now you’re all in the same amount of danger, you dumbasses!
Oh, and get this. The wind picks up and is ready to knock the children’s boat off the rock, but then Melody pulls the boat’s sails out. The sails carry the boat across the wind, turning it into a makeshift plane. And the wind is even strong enough to move the boat up a staircase, in which Melody has no problem in piloting.
Oh, you are so full of shit.
She makes another jab at Misty about Ash, which for some reason doesn’t fluster Misty as much.
You don’t really call this character development either. In a couple of scenes earlier, they were arguing. The next couple of scenes, they’re suddenly friends. You don’t just make changes like that without showing it on-screen!
25 minutes? We’re only in by 25 minutes?! *sobs*
So at Lawrence’s sky fortress, Moltres attempts to break out of its electric prison while the evil Brit gloats and targets Zapdos. End of scene. NEXT!
Ash continues chasing Pikachu up the staircase, but they are not too far off from danger.
Pikachu, we’ll get you~ Ahahahahaha!
I love those goofballs.
So after all that running for a few minutes, Pikachu leads Ash to a small shrine where he points to a red orb stuck in the mouth of a statue.
It even glimmers so that our dumbass protagonist doesn’t miss it!
This confuses me a bit. Did Pikachu all this time sense that this orb was at this island the whole time? I know Professor Oak earlier in the movie explained that Pokémon were more in tune with nature than humans, but that orb looks man-made to me. Not exactly natural, come to think of it. Where did this orb even come from?
Or maybe the writers needed to find a way for Ash to jumpstart his main goal in the movie but couldn’t find any other reason than… Pikachu using his DBZ sixth sense to track the orb down.
But they don’t have time to celebrate as Team Rocket decides to spoil their victory. Ash shouts that he’s in a hurry—even though we are expected to believe that he is still playing the islanders’ stupid treasure hunt game at this point.
But then karma bites Team Rocket back in the ass.
Looks like they have one hull of a problem! Huh-huh-huh-huh!
Yeah, that really happened. Melody actually piloted the boat up the entire staircase! Why not just abandon the boat and walk up the stairs like normal people? Oh, but wait, we wouldn’t look so ridiculously cool then!
Geez. The logic of this movie is dumber than the last one’s.
So Melody bitches at Ash for taking off in the middle of a storm—which in hindsight is a dumbass move for someone who thinks he is playing a game and is an even bigger dumbass move for her to pursue him in the first place—and she pokes fun at Misty once again, bringing marriage into the conversation.
Just… what the fuck is your problem, bitch?
Oh, and we get this bit from Team Rocket.
Jessie: Listen to me, kid. When you get involved with the opposite sex, you’re only asking for trouble.
James: Yes, and that’s the kind of trouble I stay out of.
Meowth: Youse two don’t need the opposite sex, cuz you got each othuh.
Okay, movie, that is actually pretty damn funny.
But no time for laughs, because a wild Zapdos appears!
For some reason, Ash recognizes the Pokémon as Zapdos, even though in the anime he constantly relies on his Pokedex to tell him about the most common species imaginable.
Pikachu does the dumbass move by attempting to shock Zapdos with his electric attack, but even his thunderbolts of Zeus can’t harm the GOD OF THUNDAH!
And speaking of which, the legendary birds in this movie were originally called “gods” in the Japanese edition but for some reason are called “titans” in the English dub. Heh. Can’t use “gods” in your dub, 4Kids? Geez.
So Zapdos settles down and creates a bizarre electrical field over the area. Pikachu stands back up and attempts to hit Zapdos with another electric attack, though it seems not to be the case according to Meowth. Get this: Pikachu is trying to talk to Zapdos with the little thunderbolts.
But he was able to speak to other Pokémon without doing that before! Where did this shit even come from?
Yes, this is really happening.
So Zapdos apparently gets the message and sends a “message” back to Pikachu. According to Meowth, Zapdos is at Fire Island because Moltres is gone and therefore he wants to claim the island as his own.
Zapdos continues to show off his power, but then Lawrence’s air fortress of judgment descend from the sky and steal the Zapdos’s electricity away. Then he sends out his electrical traps at Zapdos, which for some reason capture Ash and company, and they also succeed in capturing the electric bird.
So Lawrence once again gloats on his victory and reminds us that capturing Articuno will summon Lugia. Did you get that, you dumb little kiddies? One more! One!
Speaking of which, another Lugia teaser scene. Honestly, do you even care what it looks like at this point? I’m just wondering what my watch looks like now.
Over 30 minutes in, and we’re only halfway done. *headdesks and bawls*
So our heroes are in the holding pen of the fortress as Melody takes notice of a marble tablet conveniently placed next to their prison, who repeats the same ol’ “disturb not the whatever” prophecy.
Can we just move on with this clichéd plot already? GOD!
Lawrence appears in the scene, gloating about his “trophies” to the children. And then we get this funny little bit.
Misty: That’s disgusting! The way you talk, it’s like Pokémon are just things to collect like dolls or stamps. What kind of trainer are you?!
You poor, naive child. See this? That’s your slogan of the whole series:
Gotta catch ’em all!
If that is not enough for you, look at the whole Pokémon gaming community. Still nothing? Look at the main idea behind the Pokémon Bank app for the Nintendo 3DS, where you can keep 3,000 Pokémon in digital captivity and view as trophies for eternity.
Or hell, look at the aggressive merchandising that your franchise has given over the years! If that is not a good enough counterargument, I don’t know what is.
…But I digress. Good one though, Misty.
Lawrence: I’m afraid I’m not a trainer, young lady. I am merely… a collector. I began my collection with a Mew card, and… now I have all this. Legendary Pokémon have always been my passion, and so my collection itself will be legendary.
…Really? Is that all you got? A fucking Mew card drives you to piss on the laws of nature, so you got yourself a giant steampunk fortress just so you can collect legendary birds?
Well, if the world goes down, you’ll down straight to Hell with it. Dumbass.
And speaking of Hell…
Religious imagery? What? Whyyyyy…
And to think we had religious nutballs criticizing this show.
So Lawrence releases everyone to wander off in his fortress, which is a pretty cocky move considering he could’ve just dropped them all into the sea and actually WIN in this movie. Can’t very fucking well have that now, can we?
Meanwhile, we get a look at the final legendary bird, Articuno, who is freezing the island it’s at, because… it’s pissed, I guess.
We also see tons of Pokémon on a pilgrimage to Shamouti Island, with Professor Samuel Oak, Professor Ivy, and Miss Ketchum on a helicopter while performing a news interview.
Professor Oak believes the legendary birds near Shamouti Island are the cause of the climate disasters around the planet. He also claims that, according to legend, that the Fire and Ice Islands are the main source of the planet’s water. Yes, seriously. He even tries to drill in that this makes sense in context because: Fire + Ice = Water.
The world’s leading Pokémon researcher.
He also claims that Lightning Island is what controls the water currents, and somehow disrupting the control of elements from these islands will cause the water currents to… fuck the world up, I guess. And then the “Great Beast of the Sea” will rise up and flood the world.
I haven’t been brushing up on chemistry or physics lately, but did that even make a lick of sense to anyone? This is a kid’s series that is trying to take itself too seriously by offering a pseudo-scientific explanation on how the world goes “out of balance.”
Well, guess what? No child gives a shit about how this works! Stop interrupting the movie and just cut to our dumbass protagonists defeating the dumbass bad guy! You dumbasses!
Oh, and Professor Ivy also mentions that all the Pokémon are going to Shamouti Island because they have a sense of duty in protecting the planet, even though there is a good chance that they can’t do anything about it. Wonderful. They were so essential to the plot!
So we cut to an awkward scene with Slowking.
“I can use pants…”
Why is he even in this movie again? Oh, that’s right. To showcase a new species…
So Articuno’s blizzard overtakes Shamouti Island as well as the surrounding islands. By this point, this movie makes me realize that I have already spent too much time on this review.
Speaking of which… over 35 minutes… and how many words did I write after I last checked the time?
700 words. Kill me. Please.
So the dawn of the next day comes and we see Articuno again. I don’t know if any of you have noticed at this point but this movie has a serious case of ADD. It constantly shifts focus between characters and scenes and is gasping for a breath of air for having so many this far into the movie. Even the pacing of Mewtwo Strikes Back was more consistent.
Go back to the air fortress, where our heroes sort of stand around and do nothing. Melody repeats the prophecy for the FOURTH FUCKING TIME in this movie, wondering if it will come true.
Are you people this dense? You saw the sporadic weather! You saw the pissed off Zapdos and you’re inside a steampunk fortress that have Moltres and Zapdos in captivity! DO SOMETHING!
Ash: We gotta do something.
Misty: We have to set Moltres and Zapdos free.
PLEASE! I BEG OF YOU!
So to start things off, Ash’s first plan to set the birds free… is to tackle the electrical barrier Moltres is trapped in.
Dumbass… use your Pokémon, because that didn’t work against Mewtwo either! Were you dropped on your head as an infant?
Darn! I thought I was on to something there!
Articuno comes into the scene and Lawrence is ready to wrap things up. Articuno sort of ignores the incoming cannon fire and continues freezing the area. Well, good to know that these legendary birds aren’t very smart.
But from underwater, Lugia finally does SOMETHING in this movie. To be continued for the next few minutes though.
Ash stops acting like a drunkard and uses Pikachu and Charizard to attack Moltres’s barrier while Team Rocket attempts to bust out Zapdos.
Well, I’m mildly annoyed now.
So Ash sends out his Squirtle and Bulbasaur, and the combination of the four attacks end up destroying the barrier and causing an explosion. Moltres comes out unharmed.
I’m busting you out, brother!
Thanks. NOW EAT THIS, MOTHERFUCKER!
Why brother WHY?!
I’m having way too much fun with these screenshots…
Moltres and Zapdos bust out of the fortress, shooting flame and lightning at… whatever. Lawrence takes notice of his freed captives.
The two legendary birds succeed in damaging the fortress, where it ends up crashing into a frozen Lightning Island. Boy, does that sound weird. Our heroes attempt to escape while Articuno joins its brethren on the field.
“Oh Arceus, we’re not gonna make it!”
And then they all die from fractured skulls…
HA! MADE YOU LOOK!
So yeah, despite that awfully long fall and most likely slamming against metal, they come out unharmed. I believe it.
An explosion from the fortress somehow hands Ash the Lightning Orb.
Out of nowhere, really…
Oh, and remember this?
COME UP ALREADY!
Jessie: I’d hate to get burned by their fire.
James: I’d hate to get zapped by their lightning.
Meowth: I’d hate to get hit by… their droppings!
The legendary birds continue to blow shit up. Everyone ends up on a random boat that SHOULDN’T be there, considering they were just at FIRE Island not too long ago… not LIGHTNING Island.
Speaking of which, what happened to that other boat that got captured with the rest of the gang? It can’t be the one they’re on right now. Um, can it?
So a mishap causes everyone to come tumbling down on a makeshift waterfall made by Zapdos, and then….
DEUS EX WATERSPOUT!
Everyone hears a strange animalistic noise, not questioning where or how the waterspout came to be. The waterspout tosses the boat aside, which nearly kills the children. Okay, thanks for that, Lugia.
The children and Team Rocket get separated, big shock, and the children somehow end up on a sanctuary where the Slowking from earlier is. The Slowking orders Ash to take the two orbs he has and place them on the altar.
…Well, this is an awkward shift in tone.
So Ash complies.
So Ash sets the Chaos Emer—I mean, orbs, onto their pedestals. Slowking walks in and once again makes the whole situation uncomfortable. Dude, you need some social skills.
Slowking: So, you’re Ash! You’re one treasure short.
Ash: Yeah, I know, but… how’d you know my name?
Oh, look, the legendary birds are here! Let’s continue this conversation never.
So our heroes watch on as the birds attack the frozen sea with their respective elemental attacks. Why? I have no idea. I think this is supposed to be them “destroying the world” but they could just be seriously dumb. They aren’t even trying to attack each other, which would sort of make sense if they’re in a battle for dominance.
And Ash continues to be stupid.
Is this kid just suicidal or something?
But then the Deus Ex Waterspout comes again and saves his ass, FINALLY showing us the Pokemon we’ve come to see!
Well, you sure took your sweetass time to come up with that pose!
Really, that has got to be the slowest entrance for a legendary Pokémon ever.
Lugia cries out, which for some reason gets Melody to compare it to her seashell… ocarina thing.
Meanwhile, Lawrence watches Lugia from far away, apparently having survived the crash landing of his fortress. And the scene just ends as we watch Lugia fight against the three legendary birds. Yippee.
So we get a one-sided “clash of the titans” as Lugia gets it ass handed by the legendary birds.
Well, you sucked…
Heh. If only we have Mewtwo here. He and his godlike powers would just reflect the legendary birds’ attack back at them and pawn them just like that.
And the birds go back to firing their attacks at nothing. Well, I can see where the term “birdbrain” applies.
Meanwhile, Professor Oak, Professor Ivy, and Miss Ketchum close in to Shamouti Island as well as the thousands of Pokémon coming in.
Ash and company watch the Pokémon gather around, standing and gawking like the derps they are. Slowking points out that the only hope for the world is the “chosen one” to appear, as well as the verse: And thus the earth shall turn to ash.
…Ugh. No, you can’t be fucking serious. Your dumbass prophecy had a PUN in it? And Ash Ketchum is actually the “chosen one?”
Actually, that is pretty obvious, considering Ash has been gathering the treasures this whole time! This somehow shocks the rest of the group though. Why? Even if they knew, what is exactly different from what’s been going on? Ash just needs to get one more treasure! Poof! World problem solved! Fuck the prophecy! Just hurry your ass up!
Why do we need this “chosen one” bullshit factored in? Who the hell chose Ash Ketchum to be the world’s savior and why? Why do they just bring this up NOW but instead have throwaway characters pass his role off as a game?
Hey, mystical wizard who made the prophecy? Why don’t you make it clear that your little tale is referring to Ash Ketchum if you knew who it was, maybe instead of trying to sound poetic? “The chosen one is Ass Ketchup! Make him save the world.”
Ash: W-wait a minute. Training Pokémon is tough enough, but saving the world is WAY too hard!
Oh really?! Because earlier in the movie in your little tourist game, you were pretty gung-ho about going after the treasures! But NOW you are saying you don’t want to do it after collecting 2 out of 3 of the treasures, after putting yourself through how much danger again? Just use your head and save the world, you idiot!
Okay, I’m going to go on a rant here. If you want to skip it, look for <!—End Ash Ketchum rant—>.
<!—Begin Ash Ketchum rant—>
So at the beginning of the series, Ash Ketchum… was a dumbass. But, in his defense, he started as a trainer recently and therefore he had a reason to suck throughout the “Indigo League” saga. He managed to collect 8 badges at the time and entered the Pokémon League with a team where half of the Pokémon he had wouldn’t evolve.
He was passable as the main protagonist and he managed to pull off some… really dumb miracles, but we still expected him to grow as a person.
But the big issue with this character through the entire anime’s run is that many of his “life lessons” were inconsequential and that he never truly developed as a character. The anime writers kept looking for BS excuses to make Ash lose battles that he should have no problems with, and many times they were due to newcomer mistakes. They also looked for BS excuses to make him win, through coincidence or just plain pulling a victory out of his ass.
Because of this, Ash’s battles lost their tension and became more chaotic and mechanical in nature, therefore easily contriving his victories and losses. This is probably so because the animators are trying to reach tight deadlines as someone in the animation team thinks the quantity of episodes is more important than quality. By the time I wrote this article, the show already had 17 seasons with over 800 episodes. MORE THAN 260 HOURS, PEOPLE. If you had to make so many episodes, you would probably come up with ways to do less demanding work too.
It doesn’t help that Ash often acts before he thinks, has a short temper, and is very gullible, which somehow makes him even worse than when he started out. For all he cries out that he wants the title of “Pokémon Master,” it’s the same thing as Naruto Uzumaki in his respective series crying out for the title of Hokage. Both are utterly inept at what they do and they somehow still expect their dreams to come true. Yes, Ash has his good traits but that sort of argument is like saying he shouldn’t get smarter or stronger. In this sense, when you say he’s a good protagonist, you’re also saying that Naruto is a good protagonist.
From what I heard, the anime writers “reset” Ash for each season in order to appeal to a new generation of Pokémon fans. They wanted to maintain a character for the younger audiences to identify with, as Ash makes them feel less like a noob.
But here’s an idea: can you sell a COMPETENT PROTAGONIST to children? Ash Ketchum doesn’t need to be perfect, but making himself his own hindrance at a regular basis is an annoyance to many of your fans. Ash and his Pikachu are the mascots of the anime and they both have been around for a long time now. It’s fair to expect them to be much better than they were before. It isn’t just for the older fans of the show, but also the newer ones. Ash Ketchum isn’t exactly the representation of a good fictional hero, therefore it’s harder to identify with this character.
If your god-like Pikachu loses to a damn Surskit, you have become the definition of an embarrassment. There is no good excuse, not even from the writers who helped made the anime, that Ash should be this terrible. Even if your target demographic is children, please stop treating them like idiots. I completed Gold version by the time Ash even hits his first gym in the Johto region, and I was still younger than him. Children are smarter than you think.
And if you think the idea of a fictional character being a type of role model is ludicrous, go back to looking at comic book heroes and see how they affect impressionable young children in the early 20th century. The people who save the day, who advocate fairness and justice, and the very image of strength and prosperity.
Ash… isn’t this type of character. He is an idiot who frequently lucks out with his victories and the fact that he’s been so ignorant throughout this movie is a shining example that his “specialness” is just a mere title.
Sorry, people. I don’t like Ash Ketchum and I will take many opportunities to poke fun at the character in the future.
<!—End Ash Ketchum rant—>
…I know there are fans out there, but fuck this movie.
So, we just had a “heavily emotional” scene of Ash of getting too big a responsibility. Don’t bother, kid. You’re not Frodo Baggins.
Melody blames herself for dragging Ash into the situation, seemingly having left behind her bitchiness at one of the islands. She pulls out her shell ocarina and replays the song that she played at the ceremony earlier at the movie.
And apparently, she was holding a magical ocarina like Link from The Legend of Zelda series because this causes Lugia to burst out of the frozen wasteland once again.
Lugia: The song. The song has restored my strength.
And apparently, he can talk too. You know, the funny thing is that Pokémon Gold and Silver weren’t out at the time of this movie’s release… so no one, aside from those who had Japanese copies of the games, knew it was a psychic type Pokémon. So yeah, we have another legendary Pokémon that speaks using telepathy. There is a trend going on here, folks, and it won’t ever stop…
So Lugia explains to the children that the song by itself won’t restore order to the world but it must play when all three orbs are collected. No offense, great guardian, but WE ALREADY KNOW THAT!
Lugia: But this can come to pass only with the help of the Chosen One.
Ash: But what can I do that somebody else can’t?
Lugia: Only in the hands of the true Chosen One will the ice sphere glow like the others, its power awakened.
Oh, you are so full of shit. So it doesn’t matter how competent your “chosen one” is. The orbs just think he’s “special.” Okay. Whatever. Let’s end this shit now.
Lugia: The choice is yours. You must go only where your heart leads.
Yeah, Ash! No pressure. After all, only the fate of the entire fucking world is in your hands! Let’s not make any hard decisions now. Your life is doomed either way, so let’s just walk away from this whole ordeal and pretend it has never happened.
But Ash’s Pokémon all come out of their Poké Balls and encourage him to take this tremendous challenge, the tremendous part being an overstatement. This causes Ash to get overwhelmed by emotion… only for him to change his mood in a millisecond and go, “Fuck yeah, I’m doing it now!” Pft. Ookey…
But not before making a terrible pun.
Ash: Yeah, you’re right! I can do it! I’m the Chosen One! …But right now, I feel like the Frozen One…
You know, Ash, maybe you should pull out your Charizard and… you know, fly across the frozen sea to Ice Island instead of WALKING there?
Oh, that’s right. I’m here to entertain you with colorful images and smug text. Here.
But Ash does come up with a plan as he finds a thrashed boat just sitting in the snow. He tears part of it out to use as a makeshift sled and uses Bulbasaur, Charizard, and Squirtle to pull it as he and Pikachu rides on it.
Anyone else find it funny he’s using a damn TURTLE to pull him?
Oh, and everyone else just stays behind and hope Ash comes out okay. So much for the loving support of your friends there.
Meanwhile, the helicopter from earlier in the movie crash-lands into the island. Oh, but everyone is okay. Now Ash won’t have to attend the funeral of his mom or the professor that sent him, a 10-year old, out into the wilderness with a disobedient Pikachu where he nearly became bird food.
Well, it would serve the old douche right.
And Team Rocket finds an inflatable raft and thinks of an idea. Gee, I wonder what it could be…
The legendary birds stop Ash and attempt to stop him, but Lugia swoops in to protect Ash. However, Ash ends up losing his sleigh and there is no way he can climb over the steep frozen cliffs of Ice Island.
And then we find out what Team Rocket was planning, as they come diving in with their new raft powered by a motor, deciding to be the good guys in this story for once.
Ash: What are they doing here?
What do you mean what are they, they just said it out lo—will someone give this kid a brain already?!
So Ash and Team Rocket… team up for once, talking about why the sudden change of heart. Apparently, they know they’ll be out of a job if the world ends up being trashed. Is it me or should’ve Team Rocket been the heroes of this picture, not Ash?
And well, this plan succeeds as the raft makes it to Ice Island rather quickly and even manages to move past the legendary birds. After a long sequence, they finally arrive at the final altar containing the ice orb.
Just as they are about to leave, the legendary birds find them and destroy their raft, barring their exit. However, the birds end up fighting each other again, resulting in Articuno getting knocked out.
Weak against both of your opponents. Life’s a bitch, ain’t it?
Ash and Team Rocket climb out of the island to escape and Lugia comes in the rescue, giving everyone one hell of a flight. Without Articuno, only Zapdos and Moltres are chasing after them.
Team Rocket, hanging onto Lugia’s foot, figures out that they’re nothing more than payload and are slowing him down. And they end up doing possibly the most heroic thing in this entire movie.
Team Rocket is blasting off for good!
Tch. Moments ago, Ash was questioning himself of being the “chosen one” despite the fact that he completed more than half of the task. But Team Rocket is pretty quick in helping him reach his final goal AND allowing him an easier escape by sacrificing themselves to ensure the world’s safety. Do you see why I hate this kid?
And also, I stick by Team Rocket being the real heroes of this movie. They get the best lines, end up being the most helpful secondary characters aside from Lugia and Melody, and arguably perform more heroic actions than Ash’s accidental actions. Yeah, the main VILLAINS of the anime series are bigger heroes than Ash. This happened in a span of a few minutes!
Oh, but Team Rocket lands in the water safe and sound. Well, good. But wouldn’t it be really dark if they stopped appearing in the anime series?
Oh, and this little gem from Lugia is rich.
Ash: Lugia! Why are all those Pokémon down there?
Lugia: Because they feel they must be here, in case they are needed.
Well, thanks for killing more of my brain cells with that one line!
“In case they are needed.” What a load of ass. Those thousands of Pokémon could’ve been helpful by fending off the legendary birds earlier! Even if the land Pokémon couldn’t reach them, we have plenty of water and flying Pokémon too! I’m certain their help would be much appreciated!
Ash: But what can they do to help?
Lugia: They are not sure, and that is why they are here.
Ash: Whaddya mean?
Lugia: That just one Pokémon can help the world would be worth the journey for thousands of them any day. But this day, the one that can make all the difference is you.
Oh, shut up. That is completely false.
Throughout the movie, Ash has demonstrated multiple times that he is too incompetent to do everything all by himself.
- Ash rushes off into danger for a tourist game, which causes his dumbass friends to follow him and put their lives in danger for his sake.
- Pikachu is the one who finds the first orb in the movie through some BS sixth sense.
- Because our main villain of the movie is an idiot, Ash is able to free the legendary birds with the help of his Pokémon.
- Ash finds the second orb by sheer dumb luck.
- Ash tries to talk himself out of saving the world after he realizes the prophecy was referring to him, and his own Pokémon and friends have to talk him back into it.
- Ash fails to make it to Ice Island by himself. Once again, dumb luck works its magic and Team Rocket ends up assisting him and getting him into the island safe and sound.
- Lugia has to keep saving Ash’s ass whenever he is in harm’s way.
- Team Rocket attempted to sacrifice their lives in order to ensure Ash and Lugia an easy escape.
This is NOT the “power of one” person overcoming difficult challenges through sheer will. Why are you so dumb, Lugia?! WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!
So Ash and Lugia head back to the shrine. But then…
Hey, remember me? I’m still in this movie!
So yeah, Lawrence decides to make his final ditch effort to capture Lugia by sending out his electrical traps. However, this ends up pissing Lugia off and he uses his signature Aeroblast attack to blow up the fortress and even accidentally knocking out Zapdos and Moltres.
Lugia falls into the water, weakened by Lawrence’s electrical traps, and Ash floats on the water unconscious while Pikachu attempts to wake him up.
Hey, Melody, maybe you should play the Song of Healing again and get Lugia back to full strength. You know you could do that again, right? Hello?!
Hey, Ash’s Squirtle or any water Pokémon in the vicinity! The Chosen One is drowning! Hello? Are you pissants just going to sit there and gawk? Well, fine. Just watch the world die while you sit and do nothing! We’ll call you again, “in case you’re needed!”
Melody attempts to do the stupid thing by handing off her ocarina to Misty—even though Misty doesn’t know how to play the damn magical song. Misty declines and says she’ll search for Ash. Oh, and we get this little confirmation for the PokéShippers.
Misty: You’ll have to play Lugia’s Song. I’ll go look for him. And Ash is never really alone because he’s got… me.
Yeah… okay… whatever floats your boat, I guess.
We’ve learned so much about each other throughout this movie!
Yeah, that was the whole reason why they were bickering so much. Thanks for wrapping up this incredibly pointless subplot.
And also, I’ve just realized, but… isn’t Misty freezing her butt off wearing her thigh-high shorts?
Oh, and we get another instance of Ash getting his ass saved. Misty and Tracey end up having to pull Ash and Pikachu back to shore (again, thanks a LOT, water Pokémon that traveled hundreds of miles to get to the Orange Islands “in case they are needed”).
It’s even funnier when Misty is the one swimming over to Ash, in arctic-temperature water! By this point, Ash would have hypothermia and Misty would be experiencing the coldest splash of water in her life.
Ash regains consciousness and approaches the altar, placing the final orb into its pedestal. The orbs glow and perform a Led Zeppelin light show, which somehow causes the altar to melt all of the snow away. And then green water pours out and crystallizes the pillars surrounding them.
Melody steps forward and plays Lugia’s song, which causes each of the crystallized pillars to glow each time a different note is played.
…The movie is almost over. Let’s not question it.
The song reaches the ears of the fallen legendary birds, which somehow revives them even though it doesn’t seem to affect them earlier in the movie. I guess the altar had a loudspeaker or something and Lugia had a much stronger sense of hearing.
The inclement weather in the area also fades away. Green water pours out of the water and causes all of the ice at sea to melt. And then…
I have risen! Go! Tell my disciples!
So Lugia offers Ash a ride, finally putting this mess of a movie to a close.
…I dunno, don’t ask me…
Oh, and Lawrence survived too. …Yay?
But never mind that. WHIMSY!
Well, fellas, looks like they didn’t need us after all. I hope you didn’t leave your trainers behind for this!
So the legendary birds return back to their respective islands, apparently having calmed down, as Melody finishes the song. The people of Shamouti Island look outside towards a new day.
Come sunset, Lugia says farewell to Ash with the parting words.
Lugia: The Beast of the Sea has been tamed. The fate of the world could not have been in better hands.
…Uh yeah. It could have. And thanks for your obligatory movie appearance. Arceus knows this movie wouldn’t have much of a selling point if you didn’t appear…
And then Miss Ketchum (and I know she is a “Mrs.” but fuck it, Ash doesn’t have a daddy) arrives on the scene, having missed the whole thing, and scolds Ash for… no reason really. She makes a cheesy heartfelt speech about how much she misses Ash and that he is her hero every day.
…You know, I wouldn’t have guessed this would be her role from the beginning. Or hell, even Professor Oak’s appearance. So again, another pointless subplot that went nowhere. THANKS AGAIN.
Oh, and Professor Oak and Professor Ivy just take off despite having met Ash after a long time. How neighborly.
Cue nighttime. We see Lawrence standing over the ruins of his airship, picking up an Ancient Mew trading card off the ground.
Lawrence: How it all began… and how it will begin again.
I just thought of a brilliant scam to get people to see this movie.
Wow, so the bad guy hasn’t learned anything either. Swell.
So with our final scene, Team Rocket laments how no one witnessed their heroic deeds. And we know for sure Ash isn’t going to remember it, because fuck Team Rocket, right? But Slowking appears before them, making his last awkward appearance, and breaks the fourth wall.
Yes, they’re looking at you.
So Team Rocket spend the last seconds debating on whether they should start their own organization.
Oh, and the epilogue shows that the boat captain Maren survived too. Forgot about her? So did I. So did I…
One more gem. In the credits, Weird Al Yankovic sings… possibly his most bizarre song yet. You all know what it is…
So, what do I think of this movie? Well…
Even when I was younger, I felt the only reason why I watched this movie was because it had a considerably better atmosphere than the first movie. Despite that, the plot didn’t hold up that well. It had way too much going for it and had way too many distractions. The subplots were pointless overall as well as many of the side characters. If you read my Ash Ketchum rant, kudos to you. You know what is the big thing that brought the movie down for me.
And some more questions:
- Did the legendary birds just sit at their islands for eternity to keep the world in balance, henceforth that bullshit underwater current theory that screws up the world’s climates?
- Why the hell is Ash the “Chosen One” to power up the three orbs and who chose him to begin with?
- Why do the legendary birds attack each other at times, but then team up against Lawrence III and Lugia?
- Why is Lawrence III so willing to screw up the world, if he knows very well about it and that he himself could get caught in its destruction?
- Why do the legendary birds attack the sea? What the hell is the point of that?
- Why does Slowking know so much in general, despite his little screentime and few lines? (And don’t say he’s psychic or he could be the one who made up the prophecy.)
- How did Lugia’s Song calm down the legendary birds at the end of the movie but didn’t affect them before?
- What was that green water that poured out of the altar while Melody was playing the song?
Number of times the word dumbass was used in this review: 14 (including the one mentioned just now)
So… yeah. I know this particular entry has fans, but opinion isn’t meant to align with the masses. And personally, I don’t recommend seeing this one since I felt it has very few redeeming qualities going for it, even for die-hard Pokémon fans.
But if you’re that stubborn and would rather just watch the movie for its beautiful animation and atmosphere, go for it. I guess.
But at least the next entry in the movie series is a fan favorite. We’ll see how that goes for me. See you next review.
Pokémon The Movie 2000$9.99
- The larger scale of the plot, making it more clear that the entire world is in peril.
- The movie’s atmosphere at times, due to the changing weather and the soundtrack itself.
- Picturesque environments.
- Team Rocket actually having an important secondary role.
- The cliché’d “chosen one” plot.
- Ash Ketchum being special in this movie for no discernible reason.
- The very choppy pacing of the movie, which has the need to constantly switch between perspectives of different characters, sometimes padding out the movie with more filler.
- Pointless subplots and side characters who add nothing to the plot.
- The ridiculous number of plot holes.