Pokemon: The First Movie
Theatrical Release: November 10, 1999
DVD Release: November 10, 1999
In a future world, humans own creatures called Pokemon and train these beings to battle one another for their own amusement. But when scientists clone a mythological Pokemon from a fossilized hair, it becomes the most powerful – and resentful – of all Pokemon. His name is Mewtwo, and he has supernatural strength and an attitude to match. Mewtwo is determined to destroy all humans.
Meanwhile, human trainers are busy competing against one another with their Pokemon pets – much like Roman gladiators did for bloodthirsty crowds. When these trainers discover Mewtwo’s plan to clone Pokemon into warlike beings, however, they attempt to defeat him in battle. By film’s end, Mewtwo learns a lesson about man’s compassionate nature and his ability to forgive.
Kids at the screening were mesmerized by this film. For some reason, it connects with them, while we adults wish we were in the adjoining theater watching, well, anything but this. Due to the amount of violence for violence sake, we are unable to recommend Pokemon for children under 12.
Although not bloody, the battles are constant. The mystic elements associated with the TV-series and videos are played down here. The film contains messages about the importance of life – “It’s what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are.” But of what good is this theme and the film’s final message of pacifism, if the children in the audience are bombarded with aggressive images for 70 minutes?
Company: Warner Brothers
Writer: American adaptation: Norman J. Gossfeld
Director: American adaptation:Norman J. Grossfeld
Producer: in America: Norman J. Grossfeld
Runtime: 75 min.
Industry Rating: G
Reviewer: Phil Boatwright