Pokémon: The First Movie

The Boston Phoenix

DIRECTED BY: Kunohiko Yuyama

REVIEWED: 11-15-99

The cute, cuddly creatures from the Nintendo game (the craze that spawned a TV series and a merchandising empire) get the big-screen treatment as kid trio Ash, Misty, and Brock are invited to a mysterious island to partake in a Pokémon-trainer contest. (The Pokémons -- each a different aberration of animal with special powers, some cute and benign, others hideous concoctions -- are stored in small orbs and released by their trainers during Pokémon jousts). The island is controlled by a maniacal über-Poke -- cloned and genetically enhanced from a telepathic cat -- who wants to take over the world and destroy mankind in the process.

The Pokémon Movie is loosely Enter the Dragon with sweet-and-low mutants. The animation is crisp, and the plot moves along at a Saturday-morning pace, ideal for children. The main feature is preceded by the less engaging Pokémon Vacation, a series of googly vignettes laced with insipid Pokémon banter and trippy imagery. Oh, and Warner Bros. and Nintendo shamelessly commandeer the programming seams for some hardcore ad placement.

--Tom Meek

Full Length Reviews
Pokémon: The First Movie

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