Pokémon 4: The Movie (2001)
"Poketto monsutâ: Serebî - Toki wo koeta deai" (original title)

G  |   |  Animation, Action, Adventure  |  11 October 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 4,844 users   Metascore: 25/100
Reviews: 25 user | 15 critic | 16 from Metacritic.com

Ash must stop a hunter who forces the legendary Pokémon Celebi to help him destroy a forest.


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A greedy, manipulative media mogul seeks to capture Celebi for nefarious purposes, using the shape-shifting Pokémon, Zoroark, to hunt it down.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rica Matsumoto ...
Veronica Taylor ...
Ash Ketchum / Oltoa (voice)
Rachael Lillis ...
Misty / Jessie (voice)
Ikue Ohtani ...
Pikachu (voice)
Unshô Ishizuka ...
Eric Stuart ...
Brock / James / Charmeleon / Scizor / Stantler / Sandshrew (voice)
Madeleine Blaustein ...
Meowth / Pokémon hunter (voice)
Mayumi Iizuka ...
Kasumi (Misty) (voice)
Yûji Ueda ...
Takeshi / Brock (voice)
Tomokazu Seki ...
Kenji (Tracey) (voice)
Megumi Hayashibara ...
Sammy / Sneasle / Furret / Teddiursa / Jumpluff (voice) (as Tara Jayne)
Dan Green ...
The Iron Masked Marauder (voice)
Shin'ichirô Miki ...
Kojirô (James) (voice)
Inuko Inuyama ...
Nyâth (Meowth) (voice)


In this film, we meet the new Pokémon, Celebi, who has the power to travel through time. Vicious, the future descendant of James and Jessie of Team Rocket, travels back in time to wreak havoc, and it's up to young Ash, Pikachu and friends to stop him. Along the way, Ash continues to mature into the unstoppable Pokémon trainer he will become in the future. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Best friends. Better heroes.


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Celebi: A Timeless Encounter  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One idea for the film originally had Raikou, a counterpart to Suicune, appear instead. Suicune was added when it was determined the film would involve a lake. See more »


Ash Ketchum: Alright
[He sits with Celebi, who's dying, in his arms]
Ash Ketchum: We'll keep trying!
[He pulls out several berries]
Ash Ketchum: See? These are those berries we found in the forest. Here you go.
[He tries to feed Celebi one but it doesn't respond and he drops the berries]
Ash Ketchum: Oh, that's okay.
[He chuckles nervously then tries again but drops them]
Ash Ketchum: Uh, C-Celebi...?
[He realizes Celebi is dead and starts crying]
See more »


Followed by Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew (2005) See more »


Written by Russell Velázquez and Michael Haigney
Produced, arranged and performed by Russell Velázquez
See more »

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User Reviews

29 October 2002 | by (Modesto, California, USA) – See all my reviews

I just returned from the un-expectantly entertaining Pokemon 4. It is a matter of great wonder to me that others did not find the rich storylines in the film as enlightening as I did. I suppose the unfortunate reality is if a film doesn't cater to the 'lowest common denominator', its success domestically (and more and more in foreign markets) is questionable at best.

At first I wish to address the flaws. The animation, as has been pointed out before, is at best sub-par. But where they skimped on artistry in the drawings of the characters, the storyboard simulated camera angles and image composition are superb. The film lover will note the use of techniques from film auteurs such as Orsen Wells (note the second part of the opening scene, which is quite obviously an homage to the master) or Sam Peckinpah (pay close attention to scenes leading up to the first Pokemon Battle and try to tell me you aren't reminded of Straw Dogs). I also thought the sound was pretty crummy.

That aside, the film was a pure masterpiece. As in the preceding three Pokemon movies, the story centers on the loveable 'Pikachu'. Pikachu looks like an overfed mouse that can use his powers to fight other Pokemon, sometimes to the death. All Pokemon (Japanese for 'The Monster who lives in the pocket') have special powers. It has been said that Pikachu is the most powerful of all of these, but to find out that one must become a 'Pokemon Master'. As a parent, I am still confused to what that really means, and I suspect that in 10 years, the entire lexicon of Pokemon movies and television programs will be required viewing in the more credible Psychology and Philosophy departments in Universities around the world.

Countering the hero that Pikachu presents us is yet another Pokemon, who is called 'Meowth', brilliantly voiced by the multi-talented yet under-rated Addie Blaustein. Meowth, unlike every other Pokemon can speak in English (who only know and converse in Japanese. As a side note, I hope in the DVD version the English translation of the Pokemon's conversations will be provided). Meowth travels with a hapless game of criminals called 'The Rocket Team', who battle with Pikachu and his owner Ash to become Pokemon Masters.

Within these two characters lie the classic storyline of the Epic struggle between good and evil, truth and deception, black and white. It is highly recommended that the casual fan revisit the entire running of the TV series in order (including the surreal yet awe inspiring Jhoto Journeys) and the films before returning to this work.

Nine out of 10. Near perfection in my book.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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