*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pokémon films are the only Japanese films that I would always go for
the English dub because I am used to it as it is the most common
version available in stores near me. I also thought they wouldn't
differ a lot from the original Japanese version since Pokémon is a
renowned franchise but now after reviewing them in 2014? That thought
have been proved completely wrong especially from this film.
Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias (2002) is beautiful, it sets in a refined city and it has great music. It feels romantic. It feels otherworldly at times. Unfortunately in the English dub, the entire backstory introduction has been removed and ultimately making the whole story altered. It is a wonder why the Pokémon company allows this or the production company decided to do this for the English version but it is evident that their "creativity" isn't fruitful.
In the beginning, it appears to have an interesting storyline. It also seems that they have played more with camera movements and angles which are refreshing and fun to watch as the city is beautiful. In the end, the story and concept is not and it isn't satisfying. They could have been done so much better. I won't say there isn't story, there is but it isn't well developed. There are female villains that appears to be promising too, but well, the overall character and story development is just unfortunately terrible.
Sad to mention, the last half of the movie seems like casual work. There are a lot of thoughts put into the visuals and music but certainly not the story. There are several scenes that are quite sudden too. For instance, what happened to all the other citizen? They just disappeared and even the Alto Mare city is facing doom, no one even comes out panic, ever. It seems like as if people from the entire world has vanished. I understand it is night time when that happened but it feels like as if the whole movie is about these several characters only.
Honestly, the story could have been so much better if they put more effort into it, did not decide to alter it completely and remove the introduction segment from the original version. This animated feature could have been one of the best Pokémon films out there with its beautiful music and settings but it just didn't make it.
Ending this post, if you are not bothered by the lack of depth and weak story, Pokémon Heroes: Latios and Latias (2002) should be good. I love to watch Latios and Latias and all the other Pokémon coming to life through animation but I will be honest with you, it may disappoint if you're watching not solely for Pokémon.
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