Nostalgia Review: Pokémon- The First Movie

Pokémon: The First Movie | Michael Heigny & Kunihiko Yuyama

If you were born somewhere between the mid-1980s to the early-1990s, and specially if you were a boy, then at some point Pokémon rocked your world (unless you were too highbrow, though you were too cool, or you were the child of one of those religous freaks who though their children would worship the devil). I know it did rock mine. I loved the TV show, the videogames, I had the toys (not the real ones, but the ones my family could afford), and wanted just about every product that had some sort of promotinal tie-in to it. So, naturally I loved the first movie. I never saw it in theaters, but when we got it on VHS, I could not get enough of it. So, time passed by, I lost interest in the show after the “Johto Journeys” ended (still played the games though). So, after about 10 years after seeing the first movie for the last time, I decided to watch it again, and the results were unexpected.

So, here the story is about Mewtwo, who is a clone of Mew, the rarest Pokemon. He wants his life to have purpose, but he is just a tool for Team Rocket. So, he decides to destroy the world, but before that he is going to invite some trainers for a tournament. Among those trainers, obviously, is our hery Ash, and his BFFs Pikachu, Misty, and Brock. So, they go, find out what Mewtwo’s plan is, and epic battle happens, and we learn about things like racism, war, and cloning. Oh, and Jesse and James of Team Rocket make an appearance.

First, I’m going to look at the story through critical eyes. If I had not grown up with the brand, I would not have known what was going on. Also, there is very little plot here. So, Mewtwo wants to control the world, and legend foretold that, and that is explained briefly in the beginning by a Latin chick. And though that is only a 10 second speech, it is crucial to understanding the events in the end. Also, the plot device they use to not include the movie as part of the cannon is ridiculous, especially since in an episode, they show Mewtwo escaping from the Team Rocket HQ. Also, the dialogue is horrible, espcially because of all the bad puns. And this movie is rather dark for the target audience. I mean, the search for the meaning of life, and the dangers of science are not things that we see in every animated movie.

With that out of the way, I must say that this movie is freakin’ awesome. It took me back to a time when things were much simpler and I didn’t have to worry about any of this adult stuff that has me on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I loved seeing Pokemon battle again, Pikachu is still the cutest thing ever, and I still get excited about the design of the Pokemon.

And also, after sitting through the credits and seeing some of the special features, this movie reeks of the Late 90s. First off, the first musical cue when the credits starts is a Christina Aguilera song, and a movie today wouldn’t end with one of her songs. Then there is the music video that comes as a feature of the song “Don’t Say You Love Me” by a group called M2M. The song is awful and the message is not very subtle (it’s about abstinence), but the fashion and the dance moves…Jesus. If there is something that I’m not nostalgic about is 90s fashion and dance moves (but at least it’s a lot better than the 8os).

So, yeah, Pokémon: The First Movie should be awful, but my inner 7-year-old does not let me hate it. So, I won’t rate it, but I love that it takes me back to happier times.

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