An evil genius in a flying fortress is trying to kidnap the birds of the fire, ice, and lightning islands in hopes of luring the sea power, Lugia, and controlling the world. Ash and his ... See full summary »
The once benevolent King Gurumes has become greedy after discovering a large supply of blood rubies under his kingdom. His greed causes him to tear up his subjects' crops and homes in ... See full summary »
Goku and Krillin want to be trained in the martial arts by the great Master Roshi. The only way he will agree to train them is if they go to Devil's Castle to find the Sleeping Princess, who is being held prisoner by Count Lucifer, and bring her back to his island.
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
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.
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